Criminal Justice

Police credit crime-fighting Facebook page in cold-case arrest

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A North Carolina woman has been charged with a cold-case murder after the woman who runs a crime-fighting Facebook page received a tip on the location of the victim’s remains.

Kimberly Hancock, 49, was charged Thursday with the 2004 murder of Deborah Elaine Deans, who was Hancock’s sister-in-law and former roommate, report the Washington Post, WTVD, WRAL and CBS 17. A press release is here.

The remains were buried in a shallow grave behind Hancock’s home in Spring Hope, North Carolina. DNA tests were being conducted to verify that the remains were those of Deans.

The Facebook page, Fighting Crime News and Who’s Wanted, covers eastern North Carolina. According to the Washington Post, the page “has more in common with the citizen journalists who have stepped up to fill the void left by local newspapers than with the amateur online sleuths who try to solve long-dormant cold cases.”

It’s not the first time that the page has helped solve crimes, although its fare consists of lower-profile cases as well as murders.

The tipster responded to an Oct. 20 flyer about Deans’ disappearance posted on Fighting Crime News. The tipster described how Deans’ body was wrapped and where the remains were located.

Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone said the remains had been wrapped as described by the tipster. The tip “proved to be very accurate and very reliable,” Stone said. His press conference aired on Fighting Crime News.

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