[As released by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police]
Coquitlam RCMP reviewing 1000s of tips; online rumours cause delays
Lower Mainland District: A team of investigators lead by the Coquitlam RCMP's Serious Crime section is sifting through thousands of tips that have come into the firstname.lastname@example.org inbox since Friday October 12, 2012
“The outpouring of support, emotion and information is literally overwhelming,” said Sergeant Peter Thiessen, Lower Mainland District RCMP. “The internet and social media were central to Amanda's story and they are central to our investigation as well.”
“One of our big challenges right now, is false information that is being spread by people who appear to be trying to use Amanda's story to do harm or make a profit.”
Investigators spent considerable time yesterday responding to rumours spreading quickly through online and social media. One unfounded allegation involved the release of information that spread quickly online identifying a man as Amanda's tormenter.
Another rumour involved the supposed release of Amanda Todd's autopsy photos. This was quickly debunked by the BC Coroner's Service but nevertheless caused extreme stress for Amanda's family and distracted investigators for hours.
The intense media attention regarding Amanda’s death has led to a number of fake websites and accounts that purport to be fundraising for the TODD family.
“Taking advantage of a family’s grief is despicable. We want to get the word out that there is one real account and anyone who is interested can make a donation at any RBC branch to the Amanda Todd Trust Account,” said Thiessen. The family established the account to handle unsolicited donations from people who have been touched by Amanda’s story and want to contribute to a positive legacy.
“We are doing everything we can as quickly as we can. And we want to acknowledge the role of the public in submitting information,” said Thiessen. “But we want to urge everyone who has been touched by Amanda's story to respect Amanda's memory by being a responsible citizen of the internet and thinking critically about information received online before passing it along.”
Anyone interested in resources about bullying or cyberbullying can visit www.deal.org www.bullying.org, www.cyberbullying.ca or www.cybertip.ca.
As this file is still under investigation, no further comment or media clips will be provided at this time.