Montgomery County law enforcement investigating threats made on Facebook

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by Alice Barr / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on July 12, 2014 at 2:09 PM

Updated Sunday, Jul 13 at 10:29 AM

SPLENDORA, Texas – Someone is posting frightening messages on Facebook, threatening to kill everyone in the small town of Splendora, and they give a date: Sunday, July 13.

If that’s not enough, KHOU 11 News has learned the threats started against the most vulnerable of targets, a young boy from Splendora, who’s fighting cancer.

In his year and a half fighting leukemia, 13-year-old Cristian Beasley has had good surprises, like Houston Texans star J.J. Watt coming to meet him, and bad ones, like the Facebook message he got Thursday night.

His mother Amy Gaskamp described when he first got the text: “Mom look at this, so I look and it says you should have died.”

It’s a cruel blow for a family already dealing with the worst.

“He was literally sick the whole night,” said Gaskamp. “I don’t know if it’s from his meds or his nerves or what.”

The threats quickly spread beyond Cristian, targeting other students in the school district, and now threatening the entire town of Splendora.

Text messages have gone out to kids around the town, saying “Go die with Cristian Beasley” and threatening to kill everyone in Splendora on July 13.

Parents out watching a baseball tournament in town Saturday afternoon couldn’t shake the fear for their own children.

“It’s pretty disturbing for people to post stuff like that and it should be taken seriously considering everything that’s going on,” said Splendora mom Gina Baker. “Threats need to be taken seriously.”

Montgomery County law enforcement and prosecutors say they are.

“People out there need to realize that threats against young people, threats against schools, threats against law enforcement, that are made on social media aren’t just funny, aren’t just pranks,” said First Assistant Montgomery County District Attorney Phil Grant.

The district attorney’s office has filed charges in similar cases before, like in April against former student Jacob Marino, who also threatened students and staff at Splendora High School.

But in this case, they believe the Facebook account was hacked or made up, and the social media site won’t tell police who’s been making the posts.

“If somebody gets hurt tomorrow, it’s not going to be because local law enforcement hasn’t done what they’re supposed to do,” said Grant. “It’s going to be because Facebook, unfortunately doesn’t seem to grasp the seriousness of these type of circumstances.”

Gaskamp added, “When it’s a kid and there’s lives threatened and Facebook doesn’t want to release that, it really makes me want to delete Facebook.”

Gaskamp, and all the parents KHOU 11 News spoke to in town, want whoever’s behind this caught. So while investigators wait for cooperation from Facebook, anyone with information should call the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office or the Precinct 4 Constables Office.

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