Accused 'selfie stalker' innocent

DENVER - Denver police now acknowledge a man they suspected of breaking into a family's home and taking a photo on a mother's cell phone is in fact innocent. They say a crime never occurred.

Crime Stoppers contacted 9NEWS Wednesday with the update, 12 days after sending the initial alert to the media for the public to be on the lookout.

According to a police report, investigators suspected the man in the photo was innocent more than a week before Crime Stoppers told 9NEWS.

The story of the "selfie stalker" has spread through media reports all over the country and the world, with Nancy Grace saying, "This is a text book serial killer's calling card."

The police report says after getting a phone call from the man in the image, police realized that the picture couldn't have been taken in the woman's home because the background didn't match.

The woman's husband told police he realized he had mutual Facebook friends with the man in the photo and "speculated that perhaps one of his friends accidentally sent the photo to his wife while photo streaming."

The man in the photo, who lives in California, wrote a letter to DPD telling police he called them the day after the Crime Stoppers alert went out to the media.

"I have not been contacted in the 4 days since I initially contacted Denver Police," he wrote.

The man wrote that he's in the middle of searching for a job, living in fear that police are searching for him.

Denver police say they stand by their handling of the case.

"For the victim, we still have to take it very seriously," DPD spokeswoman Raquel Lopez said. "It's a victim. She has no idea how this picture got on her phone. We still have to investigate it. We take everything seriously."

Lopez said she had not heard that the man's name had been cleared before she was contacted by 9NEWS.

She said she was not able to reach the investigator on the case Wednesday evening.

She said police will be looking into whether there was any type of communication break-down.

9NEWS expects to learn more about the handling of the case on Thursday.


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