A teen boy who is rumored to be involved in the horrific murder of a 13-year-old Florida girl has said he has never been to the state or heard of the murdered girl until cyberbullies posing as him falsely suggested he was involved in the killing.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Tristyn Bailey was found dead Sunday evening in St. Johns, Florida, hours after her family reported her missing. The teen girl was reportedly last seen in the early morning hours walking with Aiden Fucci, a 14-year-old schoolmate who grew up in the same neighborhood as the victim. Fucci is now in custody on second-degree murder charges, accused of stabbing Bailey to death.
Since the first reports of the girl’s murder, rumors have been circulating on social media that Fucci did not act alone, and have persisted despite denials about additional suspects from law enforcement, along with warnings about accounts spreading false information about the case.
Levi Whitehouse, 15, from Nashville, says that his image has been used on some of the misinformation pages, in online posts that suggest he was somehow involved in the crime, according to News4Jax.com. But Whitehouse and his father Steve insisted in an interview with the news outlet that Levi is being targeted and falsely implicated.
“I had no clue [about the case],” Levi said, adding that he has never been to Florida. The teen is involved in online gaming, as Fucci is, which may be how the Tennessee boy caught the attention of alleged online imposters.
“We all are scared for our safety,” Steve Whitehouse told the news station. “As a matter fact, we’re moving on account of all this. I don’t know it’s going to happen amongst all this mess.”
The father also said that his heart goes out to Tristyn’s family, and that he will help with the investigation any way he can.
“I pray for the family for having to go through all this mess, but I promise we are not involved in this,” Steve Whitehouse said in the interview. “And if there’s anything we can do to get to the bottom of it, I’ll do whatever we need to do 155 percent.”
Anyone found to be interfering with the criminal investigation via false online posts could face felony charges.
Investigators have not yet publicly commented on a possible motive for the killing. Fucci remains in custody in a juvenile detention center while prosecutors consider whether to try him as an adult.
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