Police turn to MySpace, Facebook for clues in murder

DURHAM — Detectives are using the social networking sites MySpace and Facebook to help make their case against a Durham teen charged with killing another teenager and shooting two others.

Deamonte Tavaris Brooks, 18, is charged with murder in the Nov. 8 death of Nathan Elmore, 18, during a party at a townhouse on Glendale Avenue. Brooks is also charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, in the shootings of Christopher Hunter, 16, and James Downey, 21.

Search warrants made public Thursday show that investigators with the Durham Police Department accessed user accounts at and seeking evidence in the case.

One of the warrants says a handgun was seized after a search of a residence matching the home address given on Brooks' arrest warrant.

"Upon further investigation it was discovered the suspect had a MySpace account and had photos of the possible murder weapon along with comments and messages that may be related to this crime," wrote Investigator M. Soucie in the search warrant executed Dec. 18. "The MySpace account was viewed and did in fact contain photos of the suspect holding several weapons."

The warrant does not mention Brooks by name, but the MySpace user identification number listed in the warrant matches that for his online profile.

On his MySpace page, Brooks posted photos of himself posing with an arsenal that includes two sawed-off shotguns, an assault rifle and a semi-automatic handgun.

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