See the update at the end of this post with police concluding the creation of Facebook pages was not criminal but a mistake.
ORIGINAL POST, SEPT. 11, 1:29 P.M.: George Burns used to joke, “The first thing I do is read the obituaries, and if I'm not in them, I have breakfast.”
Using that logic in the social media era, 7-year-old Javier Ramirez should go very hungry because an unknown someone has created eight Facebook condolences pages for the Fullerton boy who is said to have died in an auto accident but is here to tell you, “I am alive.”
A simple case of mistaken identity? Hardly. The pages include Ramirez's very unique nickname (“Liddo Honest“), photos of him and even video of him dancing.
It has so creeped out Ramirez's loved ones that this is now posted on a “R.I.P. Liddo Honest” page with more than 7,000 Facebook “Likes”:
ATTENTION EVERYBODY : Liddo Honest Has Not Died 🙂 Hes just in the
hospital ! Hes best-friend said he died but he was hacked by some girl
she said R.I.P Liddo honest :c Its not funny at all . dont play with
Javier himself reportedly told KCBS/Channel 2 news, “I am alive and I'm fine. . . . I don't know why they put it, but I just feel bad for that.”
Making a 7-year-old feel bad for someone else claiming he has died should be enough to make anyone find their heart and take the pages down, but there are suspicions something more sinister is going on.
Yup, you guessed it: police are investigating because the pages include solicitations for funds to help bury the boy.
UPDATE, SEPT. 13, 12:07 P.M.: After an investigation prompted by Javier's mother, the Fullerton Police Department has concluded the creation of the Facebook pages was the result of a mistake made by a teen acquaintance of the boy. According to police:
A 14-year-old girl and 13-year-old boy, who each knew Javier through a babysitter, were conversing online when the teen boy asked about the 7-year-old. The teen girl jokingly responded, “Oh, didn't you hear? He died in a car accident.” The recipient, who thought the girl was serious, went on to create the Facebook condolences page that has received about 8,000 likes and prompted phone calls of sorrow to Javier's mother.
Initial thoughts of a possible crime were spurred by the page soliciting money, but police explained that was from a car wash fundraiser the teen boy wanted to organize for Javier. By the time the investigation began, reference to the car wash had already been taken down. Police say when the teen girl discovered what happened, she tried unsuccessfully to get ahold of the teen boy.
The Facebook page has now been removed, and no charges will be filed, according to police.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.