Great Britain

Tristyn Bailey death blamed on innocent teen gamer targeted with death threats as trolls tried to FRAME him

AN innocent teenager says he's being targeted by online trolls who are attempting to frame him for the murder of a 13-year-old cheerleader.

Levi Whitehouse, of Tennessee, said he's unwittingly been dragged into the murder of Florida teen Tristyn Bailey, who was found dead in a pond on May 9 after being stabbed a "horrific" amount of times.

Read our Aiden Fucci live blog for the very latest news and updates...

Her 14-year-old classmate Aiden Fucci has been arrested and charged with her murder.

Police previously stated that Fucci is the only suspect in the case and nobody else is believed to be involved in Tristyn's murder.

However, that hasn't stopped Whitehouse from falling victim to online trolls who have overwhelmed the teen gamer with messages of abuse and death threats.

Whitehouse said he's been falsely accused of being involved in Bailey's murder, despite never having visited St. John's County where she was killed and not having any links to the teen or Fucci.

Pages on various social media platforms have been set up on which numerous accounts - which appear to be run by teens - are making false claims about Bailey's death and taunting her family, News4Jax reported.

Some accounts have even posted troubling messages claiming to be involved in the killing while impersonating Whitehouse.

Other pictures of a blood-soaked knife have also been uploaded, which some have claimed to be the murder weapon.

Whitehouse’s face has been plastered all over social media, where some pictures and videos have been viewed millions of times.

One post is said to feature an image of him standing by a friend's tombstone.

“I had no clue [about the case],” Whitehouse told News4Jax, adding that his family is now receiving death threats.

Levi’s father, Steve Whitehouse, added: "I pray for the family for having to go through all this mess, but I promise we are not involved in this.

“And if there’s anything we can do to get to the bottom of it, I’ll do whatever we need to do 155 percent.”

The teen believes he may have been targeted as a prank by the online gaming community, of which he is a member. Fucci was also an active gamer, according to reports.

Whitehouse says he thinks his identity may have been lifted as part of a horrible prank.

“We all are scared for our safety,” Steve Whitehouse said. “As a matter of fact, we’re moving on account of all this. I don’t know what's going to happen amongst all this mess.”

Police have issued a warning to anyone setting up fake accounts to attempt to garner notoriety from Bailey's murder or spread falsehoods.

"There are a number of accounts however that are using this case to try to gain fame and followers. Please know that these individuals had nothing to do with this incident," St. John's County Sheriff's Office said.  

Some of the fake Instagram accounts flagged by investigators featured the hashtag #FreeAiden. 

If caught, any of the trolls behind the posts could be charged with interfering with a police investigation or cyberbullying, which could amount to a felony.

Police are also currently investigating a Snapchat image taken by Fucci, appearing to show him flash a peace sign in the back of a police car with the caption: "Hey guys has inybody [sic] seen Tristyn lately."

The post was uploaded hours before her body was found by investigators.

Hundreds of thousands of people have now signed an online petition calling for 14-year-old Fucci to be tried in Bailey's murder as an adult and have his charges upped from second- to first-degree murder. 

Bailey was found with a "significant injury" to her head and multiple stab wounds.

She was first reported missing by her family on Sunday, May 9, with surveillance showing her walking alongside another person - believed to be Fucci - in the early hours of the morning.

Fucci was charged on Monday after a search warrant “led to the location of multiple items of evidentiary value at the suspect's home.”

The evidence included pieces of clothing that gave presumptive positive tests for the presence of blood, according to authorities.

“This is a cold-blooded murder by an individual who, I’m not even gonna give his name. He doesn’t even deserve for his name to be mentioned,” Sheriff Rob Hardwick said Tuesday.

“This is a cold-blooded murder of a 13-year-old young girl who did not deserve to die.”

As of Friday morning, more than 375,000 people had signed a Change.org petition asking the State Attorney’s Office and Gov Ron DeSantis to charge Fucci as an adult and with first-degree murder.

If he is not charged as an adult, he cannot legally be held in jail beyond age 21. 

Fucci currently remains in a state-run juvenile detention facility in Volusia County. 

He is being held without bond. 

Florida cheerleader Tristyn Bailey, 13, stabbed a ‘horrific’ number of times in ‘cold-blooded murder' sheriff says

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