Probably nobody by now would question the effectiveness of social media networking site Facebook when it comes to locating missing people or raising charity for people or organisations in need. Yet this proven efficacy took another dimension for a mother who was contacted by local police of her son's death through Facebook.
Although thankful for the very valuable information concerning the unfortunate demise of her son, Anna Lamb-Creasey from Georgia still found it bizarre that the local police used the social media networking site to contact her and relay the information.
"Police could have done a better job of finding me," she told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "They could have checked with my job."
Her 30-year-old son, Rickie Lamb, died on January 25. Apparently, he was a hit-and-run victim by a still unidentified vehicle when he tried to cross Tara Boulevard around 11 p.m.
She said she had been trying to find her son since the last day she saw him. And the Clayton County police investigators have been searching and reaching out to her too.
"The police tried every way that we could to reach the family through conventional means, but we were unsuccessful. The young man didn't have current identification to help us to reach his family," Sgt. Kevin Hughes, Clayton County police spokesman, said.
Such a noble intention, indeed. But the execution fared poorly. The police contacted Ms Lamb-Creasey through Facebook using an account profiled as "Misty Hancock" with a photo of rapper TI, which landed on the "other" folder of Ms Lamb-Creasey Facebook's account. Naturally, it wouldn't be given much attention.
Ms Lamb-Creasey said it's a question to her why police resorted to what they did. "That website is used by detectives when they're doing investigations."
It's only when her daughter opened the same message at her own Facebook account, still at the "other" folder, that they ultimately learned that Rickie has been dead for 20 days.
"They told me that they did the best that they can do. But I'm not sure about that. (Because) if they can track a criminal down, they couldn't track me down? They could have done better," Ms Lamb-Creasey said. "I've been on my job 13 years. They could have found me."
Moreover, according to her friends, who will seriously take a message from a stranger, much more with a profile of a rapper.
"People need to know that it's a police department trying to contact them. If you just have a picture of a rapper T.I. no one's gonna take that serious," Melissa Wilson said.