Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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September 14, 2012

‘Like’ button leads to obstruction of justice charge

BLUEFIELD, Va. — Click here for video

A Tazewell County, Va., woman was charged with obstruction of justice Thursday morning, after lying to Tazewell County Sheriff’s deputies who were searching for her boyfriend who was wanted in Maryland on sex offender charges.

Samantha Nicole Dillow, 22, of Bluefield, Va., visited the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office Facebook Page, and pressed the like button, according to Tazewell County Sheriff Brian Hieatt, who speculated that Dillow wanted to receive alerts of any developments related to the search for her boyfriend, Dyllan Otto Naecker, 29.

“We have been working with our Facebook page for quite a while now,” Hieatt said. “We use it to post pictures of missing persons, or fugitives we were looking for. It was very helpful when we tracked Chris Sturgill to Texas.

Major (Harold) Heatley looks at the page regularly, and when he saw that she had pressed the like button, he looked at the photos on her page, and thought the male she was pictured with might have been the person Maryland authorities were looking for.

“Major Heatley emailed a photograph of the male subject to Maryland, and they responded back that he was the fugitive they were searching for,” Hieatt said. “We were able to trace her post back to her home. We felt that he was in hiding there with her so several deputies went to her residence.”

Hieatt said that Dillow denied that Naecker was in the residence. He said there were enough deputies to surround the residence while one of the deputies returned to Tazewell to obtain a search warrant. “Before the deputy returned with the search warrant, Mr. Naecker walked outside the residence, and we took him into custody. I think he was surprised.

“All of that came from Facebook,” Hieatt said.

“Once she ‘liked’ our Facebook page, she put everything in motion for us to make the arrest,” Hieatt said.

 She wanted to get updated to see if we were searching for us. If she wouldn’t have liked us, we might not have located him this quickly.”

Hieatt said that his office uses social media frequently and they have had good success with several different kinds of investigations.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com

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