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Social media sites help police solve cases

By Michelle San Miguel, Multimedia Journalist - Pueblo Chieftain Bureau/Telemundo Anchor, michelle.sanmiguel@krdo.com
Published On: Feb 13 2013 11:43:46 PM CST

Social media helps police solve cases

PUEBLO, Colo. -

News of a missing person was once shared on milk cartons and fliers. Now social media sites dramatically increase the reach of the message, almost instantaneously.

Pueblo police officers hope social media will help find 21-year-old Kelsie Schelling, who was last seen in Pueblo.

The Pueblo Police Department began using Facebook in November and officers say already several crimes have been solved because of tips they've received through social media.

Police say January was one of the highest payouts for Pueblo Crime Stoppers. "We're actually paying out more rewards because more people are calling in so more people are actually seeing this and it's helping a lot. And the great news about that, the more people get on our Facebook page and like us or follow us on Twitter, the more information we're gonna get because the more people are gonna see it," said Sgt. Eric Gonzales.

And now with news that Kelsie Schelling was last seen in Pueblo earlier this month, police hope social media users can help find Kelsie.

The "Help Find Kelsie" Facebook page was created on Monday and it already has more than 1,200 likes. People have posted comments that they're sharing the news with people from Nebraska to Wisconsin. Pueblo police say the power of social media should not be underestimated.

"It's harder for suspects to hide who are out doing crimes. It's gonna be harder for somebody who doesn't want to be found to hide, as well, because the information's out there," Gonzales said. "Social media is a powerful tool."

Police don't believe foul play is involved in Kelsie Schelling's disappearance. According to police, her family says it's not like Keslie to take off and that's why the police have become involved.

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