A teenager from Tennesee has been unwittingly dragged into the aftermath of a Florida teen’s murder after online trolls suggested he was involved with her death.
Levi Whitehouse’s name is one of a number being circulated by trolls who are continuing to make false claims over the murder of 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey.
The young gamer believes he may have been targeted by as a prank by the online gaming community, of which he is a member.
Florida detectives say her schoolmate 14-year-old Aiden Fucci is the only person suspected in the case and nobody else is believed to be involved.
Whitehouse has been tormented even though Fucci has been charged with Kristyn’s murder. He is in custody after Bailey’s body was found at a pond just a quarter of a mile from her home.
Nevertheless, it has not stopped Levi becoming the focus of trolls who have threatened the Nashville teen with some even posting death threats towards the boy who has never even visited St. John’s Country in northeast Florida.
Aiden Fucci, 14, and Tristyn Bailey, 13, were filmed walking last Sunday at 1.45am but within hours, Bailey was dead
Online trolls have accused Levi Whitehouse, 15, from Nashville of being responsible for the murder. He is pictured, left, alongside his father, Steve, right
Some of the social media accounts, as seen by News4Jax have posted troubling messages and images with some users even claiming to have taken part in the killing.
One account is said to have used a picture of him standing by a friend’s tombstone.
Police have also issued a warning to people who had set up fake social media accounts trying to garner notoriety from the case.
‘There are a number of accounts however that are using this case to try to gain fame and followers. Please know that these individuals had nothing to do with this incident,’ St. John’s County Sheriff’s Office said.
Some of the fake Instagram accounts flagged up by investigators had #freeaiden hashtags on their posts.
Tristyn Bailey’s body was discovered by a pond less than half a mile from her house
The social media pages, which police are now looking at very closely, appear to be run by other teenagers and serve only to make false claims for attention, while taunting Bailey’s family and friends.
‘I had no clue about the case,’ Levi said adding that it felt as though he was being framed for the cheerleader’s murder.
‘I pray for the family for having to go through all this mess, but I promise we are not involved in this,’ Levi’s father, Steve Whitehouse said on Friday. ‘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.’
Although Levi has no connection to the Bailey family whatsoever, he is an active gamer and his family believe that his identify may have been lifted as a prank by others in the online gaming community.
Bailey was last seen alive in the early hours of Sunday morning. Hours later, she was found dead by a pong less than half-a-mile from her house
They said they hadn’t heard of the case before Levi’s friends told him his face was being used. However, Levi is active with online video games, as was Fucci.
‘We all are scared for our safety,’ Steve Whitehouse said. ‘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.’
If the online trolls behind those commenting are caught, it’s possible they could be charged with interfering with a police investigation or cyberbullying under Florida law.
Aiden posted this selfie on social media after being taken in for questioning. Sheriffs say the ‘egregious’ post shows he was proud of what he did
Police are also looking at a social media video featuring Fucci in which he appears without handcuffs in the back of a police cruiser flashing a peace sign with the caption: ‘Hey guys has inybody (sic) seen Tristyn lately.’
It was before her body was found in woods.
Now, police say they will use that ‘egregious’ selfie as evidence against him and that it proves he was ‘proud of what he did’.
‘I know it looks egregious with him making those statements in that car, but that is now evidence that we gather and use against him. So that just makes our case a better case to present to the State Attorney’s office and to present to a jury down the road saying this was his mindset,’ St Johns County Sheriff Robert Hardwick.
Aiden Fucci, 14, has been charged with Tristyn’s murder. He is in custody. Tristyn Bailey was stabbed a ‘horrific’ number of times
Bailey was filmed walking alone to her death with the teenage boy accused of stabbing her a ‘horrific’ number of times, police say.
Police have not released the surveillance video but It is said to show Aiden and Tristyn walking near the community center in St John’s, Florida, at 1.45am last Sunday.
It was the last time she was ever seen alive. Aiden was filmed walking away from the community center alone at 3.27am, nearly two hours later, according to the report.
He had taken his white Nike sneakers off and was carrying them, it is alleged.
When cops went to his house, they found bloody clothes – the same ones he was wearing in the video, their report states.
The teenagers were last seen walking near the Durbin Amenity Center in St John’s at 1.45am. It’s unclear what she was doing there or if Aiden was with her
Once in custody, Aiden was left alone in an interview room with his mother Crystal Smith. He told her that he’d taken off his shoes because his feet ‘hurt’.
It’s unclear from the redacted police report whether or not he confessed to the killing but the cops say comments he made, combined with physical evidence, is what led them to arrest him.
The report was released via a records request on Wednesday night.
Prosecutors are still deciding whether to charge Aiden as an adult.
Aiden’s father Jason attended his son’s first court hearing earlier in the week. He spent time in jail in 2003 for molesting a 15 year-old girl when he was 18.
Aiden’s father Jason Fucci (pictured left during his son’s Zoom hearing and right during his arrest), 36, spent time in jail after he was charged with lewd or lascivious battery and child abuse in 2003
Tristyn’s family reported her missing on Sunday at 10am. She was last seen at midnight by them, and cops say she was last accounted for at around 1.15am. By 6pm on Sunday, her body had been found