MOSCOW, Idaho (AP) — An investigation by the Idaho State Police has found no criminal wrongdoing by a law enforcement agency that named a man as its most wanted person on its Facebook page before he committed suicide.
State police investigators released a preliminary report on Friday regarding the Latah County Sheriff's Office's treatment of 19-year-old Andrew Cain of Pullman, Wash.
Sheriff Wayne Rausch requested the review after members of Cain's family claimed he was targeted in June as the department's most wanted person. Cain's sister, Alise Smith, has said online harassment via the page contributed to the June 23 death of her brother, who at the time was wanted by the department for marijuana possession and a probation violation.
ISP Detective Sgt. Vern Grotjohn said no criminal acts were committed by the sheriff's office in its communications with Cain. He said state police do not assess the administrative conduct of other law enforcement agencies.
"The only thing in my investigation anyway was the criminal side of it," Grotjohn said told the Moscow-Pullman Daily News in a story published Monday (http://bit.ly/1aEJZUH).
Rausch said he is relieved by the findings.
"I didn't fully expect that there was going to be anything, but there had been allegations supposedly that my deputy had communicated with the deceased about 150 times, and there was no indication of that."
Rausch deactivated the Facebook page once comments grew vulgar following Cain's death.
Cain had been wanted by the sheriff's office since a bench warrant was issued for his arrest for failing to appear in court. His wanted poster was featured on the Facebook page June 17, and three days later, after an exchange of private messages with Cain, the sheriff's office announced "Cain is no longer the Wanted Person of the Week ... he is the Wanted Person for the Month of June. Congratulations!"
Information from: The Moscow-Pullman Daily News, http://www.dnews.com