Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Idaho State Police Probe Clears Sheriff's Department in Facebook/Suicide Incident

Posted By on Tue, Jul 23, 2013 at 9:20 AM

An Idaho State Police investigation has determined that no crimes were committed by the Latah County Sheriff's Department, which came under fire when a series of posts on the department's Facebook page were linked to the suicide of a man wanted by the sheriff's department.

On June 27, Citydesk reported how 19-year-old Andrew Cain of Pullman, Wash., was wanted by the Latah Conty Sheriff's Office on arrest warrants for possession of marijuana and probation violation. The Latah County Sheriff's Department even posted Cain's photo on its Facebook page in early June, calling Cain the "Wanted Person of the Week," later calling him the "Wanted Person of the Month." Cain's family said he even received private messages on Facebook from a sheriff's deputy saying they "would be watching him and would get him."

Cain committed suicide June 23 and his family pointed to the Latah County Sheriff's Department as bullying Cain before his death.

Latah County Sheriff Wayne Rausch pulled down its Facebook page, which included a string of profane comments following Cain's death. Rausch said the Facebook page had no longer become a useful tool in his department.

"We had, I don't know, probably 50-50 as to some people supported us, some people hate us and then those people get into debates and call each other every name in the book," Rausch told the Tribune. "It's going to be investigated and I'm going to let the investigation speak to what's true and what isn't."

But an Idaho State Police investigation determined that the sheriff's office did not conduct any criminal activity.

"There wasn't a whole lot of surprises in it," Idaho State Police Lt. Ed Westbrook told the Lewiston Tribune.

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