Julissa Romero, the California girl reported missing in April, is alive and accounted for despite an Internet comment from an anonymous user claiming to know the whereabouts of the supposedly slain girl's body. The Salinas County Police Department was overwhelmed with phone calls Tuesday after an anonymous user on the chat site Omegle listed geographic coordinates for the body. Romero, 12, has been listed as missing on the National Center for Missing and Exploited Kids website since April when she was last seen wearing a brown jacket and blue jeans.
“I have a gift for you strangers,” the disturbing post stated. “At Latitude 37.682040642260595 Longitude -121.969013214111133 is the body of 12-year-old Julissa Romero stabbed 167 times, she has been missing for five months. Enjoy.”
The location detailed is less than 95 miles from the Salinas, California, home where Romero lived and from which she disappeared. The post was quickly reposted on the community news site Reddit.com, inspiring a number of users to call the Salinas Police Department to inform investigators about the sick joke.
Cmdr. Henry Gomez of the Salinas Police Department told KION-TV, Salinas, the post was a hoax. Romero is described in the missing persons report as a young Hispanic female standing 5-foot-3 and weighing about 105 pounds.
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“Her whereabouts are accounted for,” Gomez told KION. He said the coordinates listed in the post lead to a construction site in neighboring Alameda County.
Who posted on Omegle remains unclear, but the site has been the subject of controversy multiple times in the past. Omegle administrators first launched the site with lofty intentions but, as traffic quickly grew, had to begin enforcing profanity and nudity filters as a number of users began to use the site to harass others. Minors, in particular, have been subjected to trolling, forcing Omegle to launch a “monitored” video chat in January 2013 for users less than 18 years of age.
Salinas police did not return a request for comment from the International Business Times.