Facebook has proven to be good for something but in a sad way. A chance post by 21-year-old Octavia Barnett just moments before she was shot to death may have led police to her suspected killer.
The mother of two posted a status update saying her ex-boyfriend, Lineten Belizaire, was at the door of her Florida home. Not long after, she was shot dead along with her friend, Natasha Plummer, and her six-month-old son, Carlton Stringer Jr. Octavia’s 11-month-old son was found in her dead arms and was the only survivor of the shooting. Police believe he was spared by Lineten because he’s his son.
Investigators only revealed part of Octavia’s last post in which she wrote the phrases “open the door” and “who is it.” She also referred to her 11-month-old son, writing “your daddy came back from out of town from 4monthes [sic] ago better late then [sic] never.”
With no leads after police arrived on the scene, they say her last posting was crucial to the case.
“Octavia Barnett’s last posting actually pointed to the suspect, and thankfully she did that because that one post on Facebook could be the thing that brings justice to this case,’ said Broward County Sheriff Al Lamberti.
“There was no 911 call at that time. There was an entry on her Facebook page indicating he was at her door. We believe that shortly after that post is when the incident occurred.”
Sgt Dave Elwood, agreed:
“I don’t know if that was her intention at the time. I don’t know if she had a feeling or some kind of premonition, but it definitely has become helpful in this case, extremely.”
Lineten was previously arrested in 2008 for aggravated assault with a firearm stemming from a domestic violence incident, but prosecutors dropped the case when he failed to appear at depositions. He’s now been charged with three counts of first degree murder in this case.
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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