Moulton police respond to criticism of investigation into missing woman

The police department posted a long list of facts about the investigation and then pulled it down hours later.

Posted: May 4, 2018 4:03 PM
Updated: May 4, 2018 10:25 PM

Moulton police pulled down their Facebook page Friday afternoon, hours after posting a lengthy response to critics of their investigation into a missing woman.

In a Facebook post Friday, Moulton police responded to critics of their investigation into the disappearance of Jennifer Marshell White on April 8. White is the wife of Moulton City Councilman Brent White.

Jennifer Marshell White (Photo via Moulton Police Department)

"We simply do not tell everything that we know or everything we do because that would be a foolish way to investigate," the post read. "However I would like to give a few of the facts that we do know, some facts the well meaning people may not be aware of."

Police have said White left her home April 8. She has not been seen since. Police have said she sent text messages to her husband and family members indicating she might harm herself.

The police department's post detailed the number of law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation into her disappearance. It gave details about family issues and information about White's medical status, including that she was taking medications with several side effects. And it addressed rumors that Brent White was having an affair or that other family members may have had a role in her disappearance.

"The suggestion that the Moulton Police Department is attempting some sort of cover up for a city council member is ridiculous," the post read. 

Moulton Police Chief Lyndon McWhorter said the post was made with the approval of Brent White, in order to show the public that police are still working to find her.

But many people in the post comments questioned the amount of detail given, including medical information and family details that some thought were inappropriate to release.

A second post was made not long after the first that clarified Brent White approved the initial posting with medical information. It also clarified some of the personal information about the family was intended to show that White was stressed when she disappeared.

The first post was removed after being online for about three hours, generating more than 750 comments and being shared more than 800 times. Not long after, the Moulton Police Department's Facebook page was unavailable as well.

McWhorter told WAAY 31 he decided to pull the information because he included more details in the post than should be shared.

Brent White confirmed that he approved the Facebook post and said the department has gone "above and beyond" in its investigation into his wife's disappearance.

"I hope they continue to do so to find her, so we get some closure," Brent White said.

One man in Moulton told WAAY 31 he doesn't agree with how the police department handled the Facebook post.

"I can see why they posted it, but I feel like the detail wasn't necessary. I feel like they could have just said a vague post, 'we're working on it. We're not sitting on our hands.' Something of that manner, worded better of course, but I don't feel all the detail was necessary, because I feel like in a way this is a private matter," said Kevin Cooper.

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