PITTSBURGH — A post circulating on social media claiming that a missing North Side man was kidnapped and being held against his will is a hoax, Pittsburgh police said Thursday.
The post showed a fake food order placed through Yelp from someone claiming to be Dakota James, saying that he was kidnapped and was being held in the basement of a Shaler Township home.
Pittsburgh police said they checked the address listed in the post with Shaler Township police and found no trace of James.
Shaler police posted on Twitter that they are looking into who created the hoax.
“How uncaring is it to put the family of this young man through more agony than they must already be in. To divert manpower away from productive leads is truly unwarranted,” Shaler Township Police Chief Bryan Kelly said.
Meanwhile, Tootie's Famous Italian Beef, the South Side restaurant that received the order Wednesday night, posted on Twitter that authorities were contacted immediately.
Karl Horn, the owner of Tootie's, also released the following statement:
James, who is a graduate student at Duquesne University, was last seen Jan. 25 in downtown Pittsburgh’s Cultural District and appeared on surveillance video to be walking in the direction of his North Side apartment.
Police last searched for James on Tuesday along the Ohio River.
Cox Media Group