FACT CHECK: Is A Serial Killer Targeting Women In Port St. Lucie, Florida?
An image shared on Facebook claims a serial killer is targeting women in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
There is no evidence to suggest a serial killer is loose in Port St. Lucie. The man pictured is an inmate being held in a Tennessee prison, according to an online statement from the Dickson County Sheriff’s Office.
Unverified rumors of violent criminals on the loose in local communities are often shared on social media. Check Your Fact recently debunked one such rumor that alleged a knife-wielding man was going door to door attacking people in Missouri.
The latest iteration of this trend appears to be a viral Facebook post that claims a serial killer is hunting women in Port St. Lucie. (RELATED: Is There An Active Serial Killer In Atlanta, Georgia?)
“There’s a serial killer or abductor who is currently hunting in Port St Lucie, my friend was almost taken by him,” reads the post.”He drives a truck with led lights and hits Cars of women alone and once they pull over he takes them. Multiple disappearances. If you are in the area and you are hit by a truck with led lights keep driving and call the cops. Stay safe.” The post includes an image of the alleged killer, who is a white male with blue eyes.
This claim is false. Check Your Fact found no credible news reports to suggest a serial killer is targeting women in Port St. Lucie, Florida. There is no mention of a serial killer on the city’s official website or any of its social media pages.
A keyword search reveals a Facebook post from the Port St. Lucie Police Department about the viral rumor that states it is”not legitimate.” A reverse image search generates other iterations of the post with a warning directed at women in states including California, Illinois and Mississippi.
The image search also uncovered an article from WSMV that includes the mug shot of the alleged serial killer featured in the post and identifies him as Brandon Odom, an inmate from Dickson County, Tennessee. The Dickson County Sheriff’s Office confirmed on Facebook that Odom is currently in custody despite his photo being used in the viral Facebook post.
“This is a real booking photo and this subject is in custody, but for unrelated charges,” reads part of the Aug. 15 post from the sheriff’s office. “The post is making its way outside of Dickson.”