Police say social media posts hinder missing teen investigation

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The search has been widespread. From the desolate mesa to the edge of Rio Rancho, people across Albuquerque have been searching for 15 year-old Collin Romero and 14 year-old Ahmed Lateef. 

“I hope all of this is not what it seems,” said Amanda Kimbrel, Collin Romero’s mother.  

Kimbrel has been searching for her son since Tuesday. The teens were last seen on December 16, and police believe they were involved in a pot deal gone wrong. 

“This is a continuing investigation by missing persons. We are working very hard on locating these individuals,” says Officer Simon Drobik with APD.  

Police have been looking into what happened because they were told about a Snapchat video of Romero and Lateef being beaten up, showing them bloody with broken bones. 

Since then, people have been sounding off on social media. 

“With all these rumors running around and just passing information, which direction do we go,” says Drobik.  

Monday morning, someone posted a picture to Facebook of who they say is responsible for what happened to the missing teens. The post includes the man’s name and nickname, which we’re not showing because police aren’t saying whether he might be involved. But they do have a message for the public.

“It’s very dangerous for the investigation if people are putting innuendos out there and rumors and speculation. We need facts and facts are what gets cases solved,” says Drobik.  

He said most of the information they have received about the case has been posted online, rather than being submitted through proper channels like Crime Stoppers.

“In this case you know, you can get people in trouble, people can start turning on each other, other people could get hurt,” he said. 

There is also a private group on Facebook called “Search for Collin and Ahmed”. Someone running the page made mention of the photo and stressed he is not confirming a suspect by law enforcement and not to post the picture or his name to the page. 

Albuquerque Police ask that if you have any information on this case to call Crime Stoppers at (505)-843-7867.

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