Since Wednesday, more than 400 people have shared the photo and story of 16-year old DeLand, Florida resident Jessica Chapman on Facebook, as she reportedly went missing this week in the woods on Hontoon Island. In fact, here’s the full message that was posted with the above missing girl picture:
16 year old DeLand resident Jessica Chapman has been reported missing to police following a trip to Hontoon Island State Park. Ms. Chapman was last seen by her boyfriend Deltona resident Aaron Mullins. Mr. Mullins reported to park officials that she was last seen entering the woods. Park officials aided by Volusia County Sheriff helicopters and K-9 units are currently searching the island.
Anyone that might have information on the case is asked to contact The Volusia County Sheriff’s office.
Additionally, the source of the above photo and description posted the following photo of the “police efforts” to find Chapman…
At face value, this is another terrible disappearance of a young girl, something that has become a tragic, horrible recurring theme in Florida. However, there are a few problems with this story, as there is no News 5 in DeLand, nobody named Jessica Chapman has been reported missing, there have been no exhaustive police searches on Hontoon Island and Jessica Chapman doesn’t even exist. Oh, and the biggest telltale sign that this was some sort of a hoax? The picture and description were posted by Careless Monsters Production, which is promoting a movie about a monster or something, and Jessica Chapman is a character.
That post was followed by another picture of a fabricated article from a newspaper whose name starts “The Volusia…” before the image is cut off. The headline reads “Unknown creature stalking?” and the post contained the hashtags #Missingperson and #cryptozoology.
A third image posted by Careless Monster Productions showed a crime scene with dozens of police vehicles, said to be near the St. Johns River area.
Actually, it’s from Iowa. We conducted a Google image search and found out the photo was actually swiped from an August article from the Des Moines Register about an escaped convict.
Careless Monster Productions posted one more update Thursday, directing all media inquiries to an email address for Emesto Morales.
The company said it had “no comment on the matter” in response to an email from News 13. (Via News 13)
Actually, Careless Monster issued a response on its Facebook page: “It looks like Orange Genetics influence over the media is complete. Their tentacles influence our daily lives. We will continue to bring you the truth! #thetruth #gmo”. So sure, it’s a pretty shitty thing to do – upsetting an unknowing community with news that a young girl is missing, when this kind of thing happens all the time in Central Florida – but at least they’re sticking to the script.