Internet Message Boards are not always a positive environment. They usually have too many bullies and trolls. But that was before Reddit users helped put together clues to find the suspect behind a deadly car crash. All we needed was important proof that everyone could solve the crime.
The deadly hit-and-run
In early August, Susan Rainwater rode her bicycle when she was beaten and killed by a car in Eatonville, Washington. The 63-year-old mother and grandmother drove as usual on a road near her home. Just before 9:30 am, a car disappeared from the road, struck rainwater and drove away to die.
Look for clues
Rainwater's body was later found by a neighbor who immediately called the police for help. Rainwater's family asked the driver to call, but it was not easy. The police searched for clues in the fields along the road and finally found a small car. The Washington State Police patrol shared a car photo on Twitter, which found its way onto Reddit.
Car experts at work
There are many car experts on Reddit. Once they saw the photo, Reddit users went straight to work to identify the car's make and model. Hundreds of comments poured in, offering their thoughts. Users worked together, but it was, after all, a retired vehicle inspector who diagnosed the car part of a mid-1980s Chevy truck.
One hint leads to another
The Reddit user was probably right about his inspection. Days later, the Washington State Police received an anonymous tip about a Chevrolet K-10 pickup truck from 1986 that had visible damage to the headlight. The police easily identified the suspect as 37-year-old Jeremy Simon, who confessed to meeting Rainwater and owning illegal drugs.
Social media can be good
It turns out that the message boards can be good … sometimes. A similar case occurred in January 2018 when Reddit users helped Identify a car part that belonged to a red 2007-2009 Toyota Camry LE. The police then arrested a suspect who also attacked a cyclist in Tampa, Florida.
Who knew, Redditors could solve it crime?