Anna Lamb-Creasey learned of her son’s death almost a month after it happened through a bizarre Facebook message sent to her account by Clayton County police.
The Georgia mother had been searching for her missing son, 30-year-old Ricky Lamb, for three weeks— calling hospitals, checking jails, and leaving increasingly worried voicemail, text and Facebook messages for her child. She had no idea that Ricky had been killed after he was struck by a vehicle while crossing a street on Jan. 24.
Desperate for any news of her son’s whereabouts, Lamb-Creasey was sifting through her Facebook messages when she noticed a box called “other,” in the message folder. Inside it, she found an old message from a user named “Misty Hancock” asking her to call Clayton County police.
Lamb-Creasey told WSB-TV that she had idea that if someone who is not a “friend” sends her a message, it gets filtered to a box called “other” in her message folder. She said she and her daughter, who also received the odd message, didn’t pay any attention to the note from “Misty Hancock” because of the strange name and the profile picture of Atlanta rapper TI. “I’m like, OK. I’m thinking it’s just fake,” she said.
On Valentine’s Day, twenty days after Ricky Lamb had been reported missing, Lamb-Creasey’s daughter called the police department and learned of her brother’s death.
Lamb-Creasey is furious that it took police so long to deliver the tragic news. “They told me that they did the best that they can do. But I’m not sure about that. If they can track a criminal down, they couldn’t track me down? They could have done better,” she told WSB-TV, in tears. “I’ve been on my job 13 years. They could have found me.”
Clayton County police spokesman Sgt. Kevin Hughes told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that police tried “every way that we could to reach the family through conventional means, but we were unsuccessful. The young man didn’t have current identification to help us to reach his family.”
Sgt. Hughes said that he didn’t know why the “Misty Hancock” profile was used to contact Lamb’s family and that the department was currently investigating the circumstances that led to the message being sent from that account. He added that the chief of police had apologized personally to Lamb-Creasey.
Ricky Lamb will be buried this Saturday. “I can not [sic] begin to tell you the pain I am feeling,” his mother writes on a fundraising website set up to defray funeral costs. “He is survived by 3 children, 6 and 2 year old daughters and a 4 year old son.”
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