Social media followers help cancer patient crime victim in Willow Springs

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Willow Springs, Mo. Willow Springs, like many small towns, is known for its family atmosphere where people come together during rough times. And that was certainly the case recently when the town banded together to help find some lawbreakers.

While Lorna Tuttle was 200 miles away in Columbia, Mo. finding out that she had stage 4 ovarian cancer, some people who had stolen her food stamp card were back in Willow Springs using it all around town.

"My ex-husband's mother was diagnosed with cancer and the week the card was taken we were waiting on the results to come back and everybody was just a little frazzled," recalls Tina Brummitt, who still helps care for her former mother-in-law. "It ticked me off pretty bad."

The culprits maxed out the cancer patient's EBT card at several area stores like Casey's, Dollar General and G&W foods, who just so happened to have surveillance video of the card users. The mom's family members then posted still photos of that surveillance video on face book, hoping by some chance that the town's residents might help them identify the potential suspects.

"And within 20 minutes we knew who it was," Brummitt said.

Some 20 face book followers came forward to ID the photos, and while the police are still investigating the matter with no arrests or charges yet, they have questioned the two people in the video and say others may also be involved. But they say that the public's response on face book was greatly appreciated.

"Social media has grown so much over the years," said Willow Springs police chief Bryan Hogan. "We get a lot of reports on our face book page as well as finding that people communicate by social media and when they learn things, they in-turn contact us. And it really does help us out a lot."

While the finishing chapter to this saga has yet to be written, it's nice to know that people still watch out for one another and are willing to stand up for injustice.