Using new investigative tools

Published 8:10 pm Friday, November 12, 2010

In a time of ever-increasing technology, police everywhere are forced to keep up with both the virtual and the physical worlds in their law enforcement duties.

Worldwide, it seems, technology-related crimes are on the rise. Some crimes occur entirely online, while others blur the lines between the computer-generated and material worlds.

One such crime, it seems, occurred earlier this week in Suffolk. After 31-year-old Katina Jones was found dead in her apartment Sunday, police began piecing together her last hours and found that she recently had reconnected with an old friend on Facebook, a social media networking site. Police now are accusing that friend of using Jones’ credit cards after her death, giving the crime connections to two distinct technological realms that, unfortunately, ended in a violent reality for Jones.

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However, the Suffolk Police Department is fighting back against this technology-related crime by using some of the very same technology that it believes was involved — the Facebook social networking website.

On Wednesday, a Facebook page went live that released details of the crime as well as an identification and photo of the man police say is their main suspect, 32-year-old Larry N. O’Neal of Houston, Texas. Throughout the week, the number of people who had “liked” the page grew by the minute. As of Friday afternoon, 833 people had helped spread the word.

Suffolk police were wise to use Facebook to get the word out. With the help of the online realm, we’re confident that a law enforcement officer somewhere will soon be slapping some very real handcuffs on the person responsible for Jones’ murder.

To find the page, log on to Facebook and search “Catch Katina’s Killer.”