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- Since November 2020, the bodies of three women have been recovered from different bodies of water in Norfolk, Va., but police say no foul play is suspected.
Serial killer warnings are spreading on social media. We’ve looked into claims that someone is hunting women in Hot Springs, Ark., and Baton Rouge, La. Officials in both places told us it’s not true. Now a new allegation is gaining traction, this time in Virginia.
"The word around town is we have a serial killer loose in the 757 Hampton Roads area," one post said. "He’s targeting women, so please be safe. … They do believe the two bodies of the young ladies found in Norfolk at the outlet and Ocean View are connected to the same person and an incident a couple months back."
Another post said "they call him the 757 serial killer," referring to the area code in the region.
These posts were flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
We called and emailed the Norfolk Police Department but didn’t hear back.
However, we couldn’t find any evidence that authorities are investigating multiple, linked killings in the area.
According to news reports, on April 10, Norfolk police found the body of a missing woman in a retention pond near a Premium Outlets shopping mall. But they said no foul play is suspected in the woman’s death. Searching for the woman’s name online and on social media, we didn’t find anything suggesting she was murdered.
Two days later, Norfolk police announced they were investigating a possible drowning after a woman’s body was recovered from the water at Ocean View beach on April 12. Authorities have not released the woman’s name, but a police spokesperson said no foul play is suspected.
In November 2020, police recovered a woman’s body from the water near the Willoughby Boat Ramp and then said that while the woman’s death was being investigated as undetermined, there were no signs of foul play. Online and social media searches turned up nothing indicating she was murdered.
We rate claims that a serial killer is preying on women in the Norfolk, Va., area False.
Facebook post, April 15, 2021
Facebook post, April 14, 2021
Facebook post, April 13, 2021
PolitiFact, No, police aren’t investigating a suspected serial killer in Baton Rouge, April 16, 2021
PolitiFact, Hot Springs homicide under investigation but no evidence of serial killer, April 13, 2021
13 News Now, Police identify body found at Norfolk Premium Outlets as missing 33-year-old woman, April 10, 2021
The Virginian-Pilot, Body of missing Norfolk woman found near premium outlet mall, April 10, 2021
The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk police investigating after body found in water off Ocean View, April 12, 2021
3WTKR, Woman’s body recovered from water in Ocean View: Norfolk police investigating as undetermined death, updated Dec. 10, 2020
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