Police use Facebook to inform mother of her son's death

Police in Georgia say they tried traditional methods to contact Anna Lamb-Creasey before resorting to Facebook. She doesn't get the message for weeks, as it didn't come from a friend.

Anna Lamb-Creasey. WSB-TV Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

What do you do if someone who isn't a friend sends you a Facebook message?

Some people might not even know they've received one. It might well appear in their "Other" folder and who looks there?

In the case of Anna Lamb-Creasey, it took her weeks to realize someone had tried to contact her. It turned out that the message -- with the profile picture of Atlanta rapper T.I.-- came from a lieutenant in the police force.

The message told her that she should call the police.

As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, Lamb-Creasey had no reason to believe that a message from someone with the Facebook name "Misty Hancock" would have been something important.

Indeed, her daughter got the same message and it was she who finally returned the message 20 days after Rickie Lamb went missing. She discovered that he had been hit by a truck and died.

While police insist they did try to use more traditional methods of contacting Lamb-Creasey to tell her that her son was dead, she isn't convinced.

She told WSB-TV: "They told me that they did the best that they can do. But I'm not sure about that. [Because] if they can track a criminal down, they couldn't track me down? They could have done better. I've been on my job 13 years. They could have found me."

As NBC's Today Show reports, the chief of Clayton County Police Department issued a statement that insisted: "Society has accepted social media as a major form of communication, and so have I."

There is no way of knowing what methods the police department really used in attempting to contact Lamb-Creasey before the Facebook message.

However, the department has admitted it has decided to change its procedures and to take what might to some seem like a very obvious step.

It will now have its own Facebook page.

 

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