ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — The teenage suspect arrested for the murder of 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey is believed to have taken a selfie of himself mocking the girl’s disappearance while in the back of a police unit, Law&Crime reported. Bailey’s body was found during a massive, volunteer-led search party several hours after her family reported her missing Sunday morning.
The suspect, Aiden Fucci, 14, was taken into custody in connection with her murder, according to St. Johns County Sheriff Rob Hardwick. The sheriff said the investigation was still in its early stages but disclosed that Bailey and the suspect had grown up together in the neighborhood and both attended the same school, Law Officer reported.
“Hey guys has inybody [sic] seen Tristyn lately,” a caption on a Snapchat reads.
“He needs to be locked up,” a second caption — ostensibly from a second user — also says.
According to news reports, the person in the selfie is Fucci.
“This Snapchat selfie appears to show Aiden Fucci, 14, in the back of a deputy’s car as they were searching for Tristyn Bailey, 13,” WJXT-TV reporter Vic Micolucci tweeted. “Notice the caption and the peace sign. I’ve confirmed with detectives that this is part of investigation.”
This Snapchat selfie appears to show Aiden Fucci,14, in the back of a deputy’s car as they were searching for Tristyn Bailey, 13.
Notice the caption and the peace sign.
— Vic Micolucci WJXT (@WJXTvic) May 10, 2021
Law&Crime reached out to the state’s attorney office prosecuting Fucci to confirm the veracity of the selfie and the identity of the person in the image. An additional inquiry was made to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office. In both instances, however, no response was forthcoming at the time of publication. But local reporters in the Saint Augustin, Fla. area say they have confirmed that the selfie was taken by the alleged teenaged murderer while he faces accusations in the young girl’s death.
“He was not under arrest at the time, from what we can tell,” Micolucci added in a series of follow-up tweets. “They were searching for Tristyn and not sure of circumstances behind her disappearance. Sheriff’s office confirms this is Fucci in the back seat and that this is part of their murder investigation.”
“I asked the SJCSO about this Snapchat photo of Aiden Fucci,” tweeted Jacksonville-based CBS affiliate WJAX reporter and true crime podcaster Bridgette Matter. “It appears he took this in the back of a police car. Deputies say social media and surveillance video played a part in making an arrest.”
I asked the SJCSO about this Snapchat photo of Aiden Fucci. It appears he took this in the back of a police car.
Deputies say social media and surveillance video played a part in making an arrest. pic.twitter.com/IkU2L1dKll
— Bridgette Matter (@bridgetteANjax) May 10, 2021
Matter’s version of the image contained additional captions that appear to be commentary from Fucci’s Snapchat followers on his attitude regarding Bailey’s death, Law&Crime reported.
“You were with her Aiden u know what happened to her,” one such additional caption reads. “wth [what the hell?] — does he think this is a joke?” another additional caption reads. Another simply says: “Wtf aiden.”
Authorities were initially loath to comment on the chilling image that is currently spreading like a wildfire across social media.
“Let us do our jobs,” St. Johns County Sheriff Robert Hardwick said during a Monday press conference in which he refused to answer questions about the selfie, News4Jax reported. “Let the medical examiners do their job. And let’s let the attorney’s office prosecute this case. I’m more worried about Tris and her family.”