Mother upset after police use Facebook to notify her of son's death

by: Tom Jones Updated:

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CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. - A mother is furious after she says a bizarre Facebook message from police contributed to it taking almost a month to find out her son had died.

The mother says Clayton County police used a feature on Facebook she didn't know about to contact her.

Anna Lamb-Creasey told Channel 2's Tom Jones she had no idea that if someone who is not a "friend" sends her a message, it goes to a box called "other" in the message folder.

That's where she said she finally found a message from Clayton County police to call them. But it took her weeks to do that, because of the strange name on the account listed as "Misty Hancock."

Her daughter got the message, too.

They paid it no mind because of the strange name and the profile picture of Atlanta rapper TI.

"I'm like, OK. I'm thinking it's just fake," she said.

Lamb-Creasey had been searching for weeks for her son, Rickie Lamb, 30. He had been missing since Jan. 25. She called hospitals and checked jails.

She even posted messages on his Facebook page.

"Rickie where are you? Love mom," she read.

Lamb-Creasey had no idea her son had died when a driver hit him as he crossed Tara Boulevard and Old Dixie road Jan. 24 around 11 p.m. The driver wasn't ticketed.

Then, on Valentine's Day, some 20 days after Lamb went missing, Lamb-Creasey's daughter called the number on the Misty Hancock page and an officer gave her the bad news.

He was trying to reach them to tell them Lamb had died.

Lamb-Creasey is furious police couldn't reach her by more conventional means, and prevented her son from sitting in a morgue almost 20 days.

"They told me that they did the best that they can do. But I'm not sure about that. (Because) if they can track a criminal down, they couldn't track me down? They could have done better," she said, in tears. "I've been on my job 13 years. They could have found me."

She also can't understand why the police department sent her a message using the "other" folder and why they used the Misty Hancock profile to contact her.

Lamb-Creasey says they should have used a police department Facebook profile. Lamb's friend feels the same way.

"People need to know that it's a police department trying to contact them. If you just have a picture of a rapper T.I. no one's gonna take that serious," Melissa Wilson said.

Clayton County police said they made every effort to contact the family in a more conventional way. They said they checked several addresses and never could reach anyone. They're still looking into why that Facebook account was used.

Lamb's funeral is set for Saturday.

If you'd like to help with funeral expenses, Lamb-Creasey's job has set up an account at any Chase Bank. Just refer to account number 183503217.

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