FACT CHECK: Did A Florida Man Turn Himself In For Killing His Imaginary Friend?

Hannah Hudnall | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows a news article with a headline that reads, “Florida Man On Drugs Kills Imaginary Friend & Turns Himself In.”

Verdict: False

The details of the article are fabricated, The article stems from a satirical website.

Fact Check:

The Facebook post shows what appears to be a news article featuring the mugshot of an unidentified man and the headline, “Florida Man On Drugs Kills Imaginary Friend & Turns Himself In.”

“Ahhhh. I love you Florida man,” reads the post’s caption. (RELATED: Was A Florida Couple Arrested For Selling Fake ‘Golden Tickets To Heaven’?)

The story is not genuine. A keyword search revealed the article first appeared in May 2015 on Moron.com, with the writer of the article listed as “MORON.” The outlet describes itself as “Moronic stories and people from around the web” on its Facebook page. The website itself has not been updated since 2016 nor does it feature a disclaimer identifying itself as a satirical site.

The article goes on to claim that the suspect, Geoff Gaylord, was arrested in Jacksonville for the alleged crime. However, there are no credible news reports suggesting a man by that name was arrested for committing such a crime. There are likewise no announcements about the alleged arrest on the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office’s website or social media accounts.

“At this time I am unable to locate any incident reports that would indicate the below described scenario occurred in Jacksonville, FL,” said John Medina, a spokesperson for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, in an email to Check Your Fact.

Snopes previously debunked the story in 2015, stating that the mugshot had been taken from a now-deleted gallery of “crying mugshots” created by Tampa Bay television station WTSP-TV in 2011. The man pictured was found to be a Florida resident named Billy Southern, according to the outlet.

UPDATE: This post has been updated with the comment from Medina. 

Hannah Hudnall

Fact Check Reporter

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