There is not a serial killer loose in Little Rock targeting black women with tattoos, police assured the public Wednesday.
Little Rock Police Department spokesman Lt. Sidney Allen said authorities decided to put out a statement denying the outlandish claim because of "false rumors" that have been spreading on social-media websites like Facebook.
Allen said he received multiple calls about the rumor and later tracked down the text on Facebook. He didn't have the exact wording of the message when reached Wednesday, but he said it was a generic warning that incorrectly said the bodies of seven black women with tattoos have been found in various locations around Little Rock.
"It's just a viral post that's going around," Allen said. "There's zero truth to it."
He added that the department felt compelled to address the rumor "before it got too far out of hand."
In an emailed statement, Allen noted that of Little Rock's 30 homicides, only 11 remain active investigations. And of those, only one involved a black woman whose body was found outside.
"There is no empirical data that suggests there is a serial killer in the city of Little Rock," Allen wrote in the email.