SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Police departments across the country use social media as a way to connect with people in the area who might have information about a case.

It’s a tool they rely on, but the flip side of social media is that it can spread lies and can quickly cause panic among thousands of people.

Achim Bailey and Andrew Pearson II are both young men from Springfield that have been reported missing recently.

Since then, rumors on social media have been connecting their cases and according to police, that's far from the truth.

"These two cases are absolutely 100 percent not connected," said Ryan Walsh, Spokesperson for the Springfield Police Department.

Achim Bailey went missing after leaving Samuel's at the Hall of Fame in mid-January.

Andrew Pearson II has not been heard from since leaving work in East Longmeadow last week.

The Springfield Police Department confirmed that the investigation into the two missing men are separate, and they are non criminal at this point; correcting those on the internet speculating otherwise.

"These are both ongoing missing persons investigations. That means there is no evidence of foul play whatsoever," Walsh explained.

Laura Hansen, a Professor of Criminal Justice and Sociology at Western New England University said that when people share rumors on Facebook, many don’t do it maliciously.

"I think that most people are well meaning, but there is that troll out there that either its going to me misinformation or false information. That is going to be a distraction not only for police but the public in general," Hansen noted.

"On the surface if people are reading really quick, they see two young men missing, both black. They are common in that. If you read further you see that one was leaving work, the other was leaving a sports bar. They are distinctly different. you can't lump them in one box," Hansen continued.

Springfield Police ask anyone with information on either case to call their local police.

Copyright 2019 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.


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