SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – The search continues almost a week after 15-month-old Evelyn Boswell was reported missing.
Investigators are continuing to track down tips, but so far, none have led to the missing toddler. On Monday, the TBI released new home video in an effort to help locate the 15-month-old and bring her home safely.
The TBI has received almost 400 tips in this case and continue to ask for any information that will result in Evelyn’s safe return home. However, false information and rumors circulating social media are complicating the investigation for law enforcement officials.
While the TBI and Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office continue to investigate these tips, it’s important to note that they are in fact looking into every single lead they get no matter how big or small. With a number of blatant false claims on social media, officials said it’s starting to exhaust resources and impact the case.
“You’ve got to use your own judgement as to whether or not what you’re reading is true. Whenever someone shares this and it’s been shared 25 times, that information is far from the truth,” said Capt. Andy Seabolt.
Capt. Seabolt with the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office said while he understands Facebook is a platform to share, do so smartly.
In the past few days since the release of AMBER alert, a number of discussion groups and pages have popped up on Facebook regarding the Evelyn Boswell case with a majority of those groups consisting of comments and posts regarding what people believe happened to Evelyn.
While scrolling through Facebook, News Channel 11 found 48 groups focused on the Evelyn Boswell case. While not all the pages are focused on spreading unverified information, Elizabeth Sweeney says the pages that do spread hate need to be taken down.
Sweeney said she started an online petition in an effort to get some of these pages taken down. She started a prayer group page for Evelyn a few days ago and says the focus needs to be on returning this young girl home safely.
“It’s not how we should be responding to this event that’s going on. The focus is to get her back home and not to be negative about everything,” said Sweeney.
Captain Seabolt also said the department has been notified of Facebook groups organizing volunteer search parties for Evelyn. Seabolt said at this time the Sheriff’s office is not organizing any searches nor do they support any unauthorized searches being promoted through Facebook.
Officials tell News Channel 11 that should a search be scheduled, the information will be released officially through the Sullivan County Sheriff’s office.
To report a tip in this case, call 1-800-TBI-FIND.