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Social media helping in Alexis Murphy case

By Susan Bahorich, sbahorich@wdbj7.com
Published On: Aug 07 2013 05:27:17 PM EDT
Updated On: Aug 07 2013 06:38:56 PM EDT

Which is common in cases like this, but he says it obvious when the FBI was brought in

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. -

It's not just the FBI helping give this case a boost, social media is also playing an important role in getting the word out about Alexis Murphy.

Just about everyone has a smart phone at their fingertips.

And, that's why social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are more important than ever before.

Just like a picture on a store window, sites like Twitter allow family and friends to get Alexis Murphy's face and story out to a bunch of people almost instantly.

Tod Burke is a professor of criminal justice at Radford University and also associate dean of humanities and behavioral sciences.

He's not involved in this case, but believes authorities know more than they're saying.

He says social media will not only help spread the word about the 17-year-old's case, but it will also give authorities an idea to her state of mind in the days leading to her disappearance.

"One of the things that police will also do -whether it be local, state and/or FBI -they're going to look at the missing person's social media accounts -were they online? What's going on with their cell phone records? Where were they supposed to be and where did they end up? And is there a connection between all of that? explains Burke.

Burke says the most important part in a missing person's case having the public involved and aware- that way if they see something, they can call it into police.

And, he says even though the teen hasn't been seen since Saturday, all hope is not lost.

Burke says a majority of missing persons' cases turn out okay.