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The Lentz Family Murders — Investigators Look at MySpace

My first entry about the murders of Danyetta, Nicole, and Scott Lentz, written January 14, 2007:

A Triple Murder You May Have Missed.”

The Lentzes were found dead in their mobile home in Janesville, Wisconsin on January 12. They were victims of “complex homicidal violence,” according to investigators working the case.

Danyetta, 38, was a long-time employee of a local daycare there in Janesville. Nicole, 17, and brother Scott, 14, were high-school students.

My original blog entry broke the news about Nicole’s presence on MySpace.com, and how there were interesting variations between a Google cache of her page made on November 15, 2006, and the page as it currently appears: www.myspace.com/nickibaby16. Namely, the presence of Nicole’s one-time boyfriend, James Warner, on the page captured by Google in November, and his notable absence from the page and MySpace in general when I first found the profile on January 15, 2006. A blog entry Nicole wrote in mid-December, 2006 about her “bf” (boyfriend) being untruthful seemed to indicate the couple had broken up, seemed to indicate she and James were on the outs.

Yet it has been reported at least once that James Warner called a neighbor of the Lentzes on the night of January 12, a person he would call when he couldn’t reach Nicole.

Now there’s this piece:

Investigators Look At Teen’s Internet Activity For Clues In Triple Slaying.”

It’s published on WISC-TV’s Channel3000.com. A quote:

Nicole Lentz, 17, had a MySpace.com Web page, and someone was logged into her account as late as the day the bodies were found, WISC-TV reported.

“(We want) to find out who these contacts were that they may have had on the Internet at the MySpace, and they might be able to offer us information as to the last 24 to 48 hours of these victims lives,” said Rock County Sheriff Bob Spoden…

Could it be that someone was actually logged-in to Nicole’s page after she was murdered? If so, why? Or was she murdered while her computer was still on, perhaps the page still up and her account open?

I developed other questions after comparing the cached and current pages. The most persistent question in my mind was whether or not Nicole and James were still broken up when the family was slain.

Nicole’s screen name is now “james&nicki2gether4ever,” and she still has a marquee scrolling across one portion of her profile that proclaims, “I love James Warner.”

Had the couple gotten back together?

If not, then I’m sure Mr. Warner is feeling some heat.

Then again, it could be that James Warner truly was worried that night and calling the Lentz’s neighbor because he truly was puzzled at not being able to reach Nicole. He deserves every benefit of the doubt, since he could be a deeply grieving young man right now, and not a suspect in any fashion.

That investigators may have focused on Nicole’s online presence for any reason though is not a surprise to me. Thing is, if there is some evidence there that they find significant, it is doubtful we will know what that is until someone has been brought to trial.

Let’s hope that we will have trial of some sort to wait through sooner rather than later.

UPDATE 1, 1/17/07

There may be a suspect in custody in the Lentz murders. It is not James Warner or Danyetta Lentz’s ex-husband, both men have been cleared of involvement in these murders. From Channel3000.com, WISC-TV:

Unidentified sources say a suspect is in police custody in connection with the killing of a family near Janesville last week, WISC-TV reported.

According to those sources, the suspect is a resident in or near the mobile-home park where the Lentz family — Danyetta Lentz, 38, her 17-year-old daughter, Nicole, and 14-year-old son, Scott — were found last Friday.

The Rock County sheriff is scheduled to hold a news conference about the case on Wednesday at 5 p.m…

So, a neighbor may have done it. That’s everyone’s nightmare, isn’t it? That the guy across the way or the person next door is harboring a homicidal animal in their minds.

If you’re in Wisconsin and you’ve been watching this blog entry, please post about the press conference when it airs, in particular if they’ve named the suspect.