Mother receives taunting messages from Facebook account impersonating her deceased son
When Lisa Johnstone received a Facebook friend request from an account bearing her son’s name, for a split second, she thought her son might still be alive.
“I kind of freaked out for a second. I kind of thought [my] son was alive, you know?”
Upon accepting the request, however, she found that the messages were from a fake account, impersonating her son. “Right away, I messaged them, and I said, ‘Who is this? Why are you using my son’s name and picture? Are you trying to torment us more than we already are?'”
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The Saskatchewan mother, whose son was found dead in a smouldering car, says she’s being taunted on social media by people claiming to be the killers.
Brennan Ahenakew, who was 20, was reported missing by his family on May 10 of this year and his remains were found later the same day in a burned car on the Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation in central Saskatchewan.
Johnstone says that the first messages came on Monday night around 10 p.m., as she was sitting on her deck having a cigarette.
“You’ll never know what happen [sic] that night,” read one of the messages. “Just to let you know we made him suffer,” read another.
In the hours that followed, Johnstone called the RCMP to alert them to the messages. Meanwhile, the fake account began sending messages to Akenahew’s sister and uncle as well.
“My daughter had messaged him, too, saying, ‘Why are you doing this to us?’ My husband’s bother Josh got a message, too, with the same profile picture and name and it said, ‘Hey uncle.'”
“As if we don’t think of these things,” Johnstone added. “As if I don’t think of my son’s last moments of his life. Now I know I’m never going to get justice,” she said in an interview with Global News.
While the RCMP haven’t deemed Ahenakew’s death a homicide, Johnstone is convinced her son was murdered after his body was found in a burnt-out vehicle on the reserve.
RCMP said an officer investigating the complaint found a vehicle with some bushes burning in the surrounding area. The vehicle was not searched before the officer left, Global News previously reported.
A spokesperson for the RCMP told Global News by email the investigation into Ahenakew’s death is ongoing.
“Preliminary investigation has determined no foul play, however, the investigation is not complete,” the email read. “We are waiting for additional information from the experts we are consulting with before we can make a final determination.”
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Johnstone said that an RCMP officer came by her home Wednesday evening to take her statement.
“Over the past three days, this is the first time an officer has come to my house,” she said, and added that this visit also marks the first time an officer visited her home since her son went missing in May.
No one has been arrested in her son’s death and police don’t believe the social media message had anything to do with the case. However, the RCMP say they are investigating the incident.
“Our General Investigation and Division Criminal Analytical Sections are conducting a thorough and comprehensive investigation into the messages Lisa Johnstone received over Facebook,” RCMP told Global News.
When asked what she hopes the RCMP’s response will be to these messages, Johnstone said, “I need it to be different. I need them to look at this from all angles that I’m looking at it from.”
Global News reached out to the Saskatchewan media office of the RCMP for further comment and will update this story once we’ve heard back.
— With files from the Canadian Press.
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