This morning, police in Herndon, Va. recovered the two signs that had been stolen from the memorial playgrounds honoring Grace McDonnell and Chase Kowalski, victims of the Sandy Hook massacre. Police have told us that The Daily Banter‘s reporting on the story was instrumental in catching 28-year-old Andrew David Truelove and bringing the case to a close.
As we reported here last week, someone claiming to have stolen the signs contacted me and e-mailed pictures of the missing panels, boasting that he had taken them and then called the families of both McDonnell and Kowalski to taunt them by saying that their children had never actually existed and the Sandy Hook massacre was nothing but a hoax. I passed along all the information this person had sent me to the police department in Stonington, Conn., which was working the case. I’ve been in contact with detectives there several times since.
It turns out the photos that we received were loaded with metadata, including geotags, which led Stonington to contact Herndon, where many of the pictures were apparently taken. Police there tracked the geotags to the home seen in the photos we posted last week, which was actually a small unit rented by someone named Alan J. Truelove. They obtained a warrant and this morning confronted Truelove, the father of the man suspected of being the actual sign thief, Andrew David Truelove. While the elder Truelove hasn’t been charged with anything, since he denies knowing the signs in his home were stolen, while being questioned he apparently asked the police how they could be sure the Sandy Hook shooting had really happened. So, yes, it looks like he’s a Sandy Hook truther just like his son.
Herndon police told me that when they opened the front door of the Truelove home, the two signs were directly inside, right where they were in the pictures we ran last week.
The younger Truelove, meanwhile, is actually already in jail at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center. He turned himself in on May 26th on a probation violation for a separate incident. He’s now been charged with receiving stolen property, with further, heavier charges to follow. Andrew Truelove has an extensive criminal record, much of which is pretty disturbing.