Writing up, then discarding, a case

Wound up discarding a case I was writing up to add to Charley, although the man is still listed as a missing person on NamUs and the Florida state database. I had very little information to start with, but then I found his mom’s Facebook page and she had written many posts about his death and how sad she was about it.

It was a “few details are available” case so I didn’t know whether he’d been found deceased, or whether she just assumed he must be. His mom is the kind who has all her social media posts public, and she posted often, so it was taking awhile. Finally I went to posts from the month the son disappeared and started working up from there, as that seemed like it would be more efficient.

Eventually I found it. The mom wrote that they found a man’s body wearing a belt that his brother had hand-made and given him as a gift. The body has apparently not been officially identified (my guess is they’re waiting on DNA, which can take forever), but it seems extremely unlikely that it’s anyone other than this missing guy. I’m not going to bother listing a person where the identification is basically pending; I don’t see the point.

It’s interesting the stuff that you can find out about a person on social media, things a lot of people don’t even realize you can find out. I recently got a message from a woman who was like “where did you get all those photos of my missing sister, only family had those.” I had to explain that if someone puts a photo on Facebook and tags it with User X’s account, anyone can find it just by searching Facebook for that account. Even if the photo is not posted by User X’s account, even if User X never saw the photo themselves, a complete stranger like me can find it and its association with User X. All those pics that person thought were private, and could only be seen by family, weren’t really. I told her all this and she was like “…oh.”

2 thoughts on “Writing up, then discarding, a case

  1. Christie M Groves January 30, 2021 / 6:39 pm

    Makes sense. Glad he was found. I hope the brother gets the belt, seems like a cool gesture he was still wearing the belt…

    • Meaghan January 30, 2021 / 6:45 pm

      I don’t think he will want the belt back. The body was badly decomposed. The man’s mom posted she’d actually been searching in the vicinity earlier and smelled something terrible, bad enough that she called the cops about it, but the cops did not find the body till days or weeks after this.

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