Facebook likes are emerging as a strange avenue for the justice system to extract evidence and certain jurisdictions to even go so far as to fire civil employees, and one recent case saw a sex offender’s girlfriend’s Facebook like lead cops straight to their door after providing enough evidence for them to find him.
Cops in Tazewell County, Virginia were able to zero in on unregistered sex offender 29-year-old Dyllan Otto Naecker, after his 22-year-old girlfriend Samantha Nicole Dillow liked the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page. Fugitive fail.
According to the Daily Dot, police believe that Dillow liked the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page solely to keep tabs on the agency’s search for Naecker. Tazewell County Sheriff Brian Hieatt says that the Facebook page maintained by the office yields decent leads, and the Naecker case certainly was one of them:
“We have been working with our Facebook page for quite a while now … We use it to post pictures of missing persons, or fugitives we were looking for. It was very helpful when we tracked Chris Sturgill to Texas.”
Major Harold Heatley manages the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office’s social media accounts, and when the new fan popped up, he did some recon. In public pictures Dillow posted to her account, Naecker was clearly visible, and soon spotted by the cops. Hieatt explains:
Major Heatley, who handles most of the page’s maintenance, noticed the new fan and began looking through her public photos. There, he found a photo of Dillow standing next to a man he believed was Naecker, who’d been wanted in Maryland for failing to register as a sex offender.
“Major Heatley emailed a photograph of the male subject to Maryland, and they responded back that he was the fugitive they were searching … We were able to trace her post back to her home. We felt that he was in hiding there with her so several deputies went to her residence.”
“All of that came from Facebook … Once she liked our Facebook page, she put everything in motion for us to make the arrest. She wanted to get updated to see if we were searching for him.”
The Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office then added a Facebook album titled “Captured Sex Offender,” chronicling Naecker’s arrest.