Crime Trackers

Jul 8, 2014 10:00 PM by Lupita Murillo

N4T Crimetrackers: Facebook hack complicating death investigation

TUCSON - Pima County Sheriff's Homicide Detectives are continuing their investigation into the suspicious death of 13-year-old Maribel Gonzales. Her body was discovered in the desert area near Avra Valley, last month.

Detective James Brown is the lead investigator, he says in his eight years in homicide he's never come across anything like this. "I've never had anything that so much was being posted on Facebook that's been really misleading to the entire case."

Det. Brown says this case has generated hundreds and hundreds of postings that have to be investigated. "Somebody has a posting on there regardless of what it is we have to look into it. You never know if it's part of the case or if it's not."

Some of the postings include admitting guilt to killing the 13-year-old girl, to people bashing the Facebook user who wrote it. Investigators spent an entire day tracking it down. Turns out the account was hacked. "It takes us away from actually the task at hand as to what happened to Mari?"

Maribelle's father, Adrian, made a plea to the public when he spoke to News 4 last week. "If they can please stop, you know it's not helping anything, just making things worse."

Detective Brown says there's nothing to the postings, and the people who are doing this are seeking attention, and directing investigators away from the case. "It took up a lot of man hours, a lot of manpower when we should be focusing on what happened to Mari, instead we're focusing on somebody who thinks this is a game and its funny to post something like that."

Det. Brown says these insensitive people certainly aren't thinking about what this is doing to the victim's family who've read some of the postings. "They don't deserve to see such painful remarks and when people are just doing it to get attention they're not thinking about what this family has gone through, what they are going through and what they are going to be going through in the future."

Det. Brown says there are consequences for those who've made false postings on Facebook and if people do have information call 88-CRIME or 911.

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