Trolls who support accused teen killer Aiden Fucci have been writing social media posts trashing victim Tristyn Bailey, the Jacksonville cheerleader the sheriff says was stabbed a “horrific” number of times.
“COMMUNITY ALERT RE SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVITY IN REFERENCE TO THE TRISTYN BAILEY INVESTIGATION,” the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Department announced on May 11 on its Facebook page.
“First, we want to thank each of you for your continued efforts by sending in tips to us. We have gained valuable information and look into everything that is being sent. 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. At this time, the below accounts have already been investigated and no longer need to be forwarded to the Sheriff’s Office.”
They gave this list:
They later added, “The additional accounts below have been investigated and no longer need to be forwarded to the Sheriff’s Office.
Social media has added a disturbing layer to the already chilling case from the start. A Snapchat selfie of Fucci, taken after Tristyn’s death, mentions the seventh-grade girl. And another teenager says he was falsely blamed online for the slaying despite having nothing to do with it.
Fucci is 14. Tristyn was 13 and a classmate.
Here’s what you need to know:
Authorities Are Investigating the Internet Trolls
Internet trolls have swarmed the internet with posts mocking Tristyn Bailey and claiming they were part of her death, according to social media posts. One post showed a bloody knife and some use the #FreeAiden, according to News4Jax.
News4Jax reported that authorities are working to verify the identity of the trolls.
Sheriff’s officials have said they believe Fucci acted alone. But the sheriff said, “We’re trying to figure out is this real, is this legit, is this coming from a person that’s a possible witness? We’re going to find out with every single lead.”
According to News4Jax, it appears teens run the pages and they have taunted Bailey’s family and friends with “false claims.”
Levi Whitehouse, a 15-year-old teen from Nashville involved in online gaming, told the television station that his pictures were used on the page but he had no clue about it and nothing to do with it.
Tristyn Was Discovered Stabbed to Death in a Wooded Area
Despite his young age, authorities released Fucci’s name due to the seriousness of the charges. It’s not yet clear whether he will be charged as an adult or a juvenile, though.
“We actually have arrested a suspect by the name of Aiden Fucci … a 14-year-old,” said St. Johns County Sheriff Robert Hardwick in a news conference. “He’s currently in custody with the Department of Juvenile Justice, charged with second-degree murder.”
Tristyn was reported missing early Sunday morning, May 9, 2021, and her body was found by a neighbor later that evening in the woods, Hardwick said. He told News4Jax that the teen was stabbed a “horrific … horrible” number of times and said, “This is a cold-blooded murder of a 13-year-old young girl who did not deserve to die.” Hardwick said there was no chance it was an accident.
The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Department said in a press release that the chief medical examiner determined that the cause of death was “sharp force trauma by stabbing. The manner of death is homicide.”
The Snapchat Photo Asks Whether Anyone Has ‘Seen Tristyn Lately’
Authorities are reviewing a Snapchat photo “showing a teenager in the back seat of a deputy’s cruiser,” according to News4Jax, which said police confirmed the teen in the photo is Fucci.
The news station reported that it was posted to Fucci’s Snapchat account. He is making a peace sign in the picture along with the caption, “Hey guys has inybody seen Tristyn lately.”
Asked about this at the press conference, Hardwick said, “I will say our real-time intelligence center really has captured all these videos as much as we can. We monitor it.”
Fucci had his first court appearance on May 11, 2021. His parents, Jason Fucci and Crystal Smith, were on the video call.
“Alright Mr. Fucci you’re charged with … second-degree murder, murder committed with a depraved mind but without premeditation,” Judge Michael Orfinger said during the hearing.
The motive is not clear.