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Facebook pics led police to murder suspect, say police

A man wanted by police in connection with murder since 2003 is allegedly spotted by an officer on the Facebook pages of his family members and associates. None of his neighbors say they knew about his past.

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Eduardo Rodriguez, wanted since 2003, was allegedly found posing on Facebook. NBC Los Angeles screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

The lure of Facebook is too great, even for those who know that it's the last place they should be seen.

This modern truth allegedly lies at the core of an arrest made by police in Riverside, Calif. Eduardo Rodriguez, 35, was wanted since 2003 on homicide charges, but police had lost track of him.

However, as NBC Los Angeles reports, an injured LAPD officer recently thought he'd spend his time searching yet again for the fugitive.

His idea was to trawl the Facebook pages of Rodriguez's family members, just to see if there might be a clue. What he allegedly found was that the man himself appeared on the Facebook pages of relatives and associates.

His identity had allegedly changed. He was working as a carpenter. he was now engaged. None of his neighbors say they knew who he was or what his alleged past -- said to include street gang activities -- might have been.

He was arrested without incident, with his fiancee allegedly telling police she had no idea about his history either. He is now in police custody, in connection with four homicides.

He had disappeared in 2003, soon after being indicted. He had allegedly being living under his new identity for the past five years.

The Los Angeles Times quoted US Marshal's Service Deputy Laura Vega as saying that during his time on the run, Rodriguez had even been bold enough to visit Las Vegas. Speaking of the arrest, she said: "You could see that moment when he knew what it was about and he just gave up. He saw the cars, he gets his hands up...he still had his tattoos."

Those on the run from law and order have long failed to resist appearing on Facebook. Some accidentally, but others have chosen Facebook to taunt the police (it usually doesn't end well).

In Rodriguez's case, perhaps he thought he'd never be found. Or perhaps, in allegedly living this parallel life, he couldn't resist the communal pressure of having to pose for Facebook pictures.

After all, if you're not on Facebook, you're anonymous.