(Journal & Courier) - Stop it, Facebook sleuths.
Indiana State Police are urging users of the social media platform to stop posting pictures of men alongside the composite sketch of the Delphi murder suspect.
"Those are of no value and take up investigative time," said Capt. Dave Bursten, ISP's chief public information officer.
Investigators have received more than 500 new tips since they released the composite sketch of the man they believe killed 14-year-old Liberty German and 13-year-old Abigail Williams.
The girls disappeared Feb. 13 while hiking near Monon High Bridge in a wooded, remote area east of Delphi. Their bodies were found the next day about a half-mile from the bridge.
Bursten on Wednesday cited a growing problem of "armchair sleuthing" by people who have combed websites to find mugshots of random men who resemble the sketch. Some people post their dubious detective work on Facebook, he said.
"A person that does that may open themselves up to some civil liability," Bursten said. "They will have to suffer the consequences of their own stupidity."
People might find themselves on the wrong end of a defamation or libel lawsuit.
"They are placing themselves in legal jeopardy, and they are doing absolutely nothing to help the investigation," he said.
Tips, legitimate tips that is, on the murders should go to the hotline, (844) 459-5786, or email@example.com, Bursten said.
Call IndyStar reporter Vic Ryckaert at (317) 444-2701. Follow him on Twitter: @vicryc.
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