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An Instagram Rumor Falsely Tied This Elderly Couple to XXXTentacion's Murder

A 20-year-old was arrested after showing up at their house saying he was looking for the person who killed the rapper.
June 21, 2018, 4:49pm
Screengrab via WINK News; photo of XXXTentacion by MediaPunch/IPX via AP

Before the cops arrested 22-year-old Dedrick Devonshay Williams Wednesday on suspicion of XXXTentacion's killing, some of the rapper's fans had apparently convinced themselves they'd already solved the crime—falsely implicating a couple in their 70s living in a gated community in Florida, the Naples Daily News reports.

Earlier this week, someone started circulating the house address of the person who had supposedly gunned down XXXTentacion, leading fans to threaten to kill the homeowners and even show up at their doorstep. But the place belonged to Laurie Bernard and her husband, who couldn't have less to do with the death of the 20-year-old rapper, whose given name was Jahseh Onfroy.

According to the Naples Daily News, Bernard got a call earlier this week from someone who said they'd seen her name, phone number, and address on Instagram, and that there was a murderer at her house. And then on Tuesday, a 20-year-old kid reportedly knocked on her door, said he'd ran out of gas, and asked to use her phone to call his mom—all before telling her he "was looking for someone who killed his friend," according to police. The suspect, Jesse Gonzalez, allegedly left the neighborhood and then came back two hours later, when he was arrested on charges of loitering.

Now, cops are standing guard outside Bernard's house to make sure she and her husband are safe. They also put out a press release saying "the suspect does not and has not lived" at their address in Cape Coral, Florida.

"They have NO association with the possible suspect being named on social media," Cape Coral Police wrote in a statement. "Due to the large number of online threats of violence toward the suspect (and thus toward this inaccurate Cape Coral address), both the Cape Coral Police Department and Lee County Sheriff's Office have placed officers in the area/neighborhood of the inaccurate address as a safety measure for those in the area."

"If they were smart enough to get the address, look at our ages. Seventy-three and 76," Bernard told WINK News. “We can walk, that’s about it. We’re not going out to try and kill anybody."

Things should calm down around the Bernards' place now that police have arrested a suspect. On Wednesday, they booked Williams on a first degree murder charge, the New York Times reports. The Broward Sheriff's Office didn't say much more—only that they'll have more details on his arrest soon.

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This article originally appeared on VICE US.