A Monday night Facebook posting in which missing teen Sierra LaMar purportedly pleads for a rescuer was the creation of a prankster who hacked into her account, the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office said.
In the post, a Saratoga address is given, along with the message "please call the police he's coming back."
Investigators confirmed the address is real, albeit an empty lot, but that the rest of the entry is a hoax, sheriff's Sgt. Jose Cardoza said.
Deputies canvassed the neighborhood and talked to neighbors, and Cardoza said it remains unclear why that address was chosen.
The Sheriff's Office has tapped the Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team, a multiagency task force headed by the county District Attorney's Office whose aim is to root out high-tech crimes.
"We reached out to them for their expertise so we can locate the suspects responsible," Cardoza said.
The fakery is the latest instance of someone infiltrating social media and purporting to be the 15-year-old. In the days after her March 16 disappearance from her Morgan Hill-area neighborhood, hackers posted messages from her Twitter account. The culprits in those cases have not been identified.
Cardoza said such acts put an undue strain on investigative resources.
"We have to follow up on each and every tip. Detectives have invested thousands of hours in the case, and so has the community," he said. "It pulls away valuable resources from our main
Contact Robert Salonga at 408-920-5002. Follow him at Twitter.com/robertsalonga.