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An odious fake news story claiming that a 16-year-old Missouri girl smoked crystal meth and attempted to eat the toddler she was babysitting is yet another example of a half-baked Internet post that has tricked readers into thinking it’s real.
This one is disturbing enough that we want to start by reiterating that it is fake, just so there is no confusion.
The headline on a Feb. 28, 2017, post on NotAllowedTo.com claimed "Babysitter on crystal meth eats 3-month-old baby." The article was flagged by Facebook users as being potentially contrived as part of Facebook’s efforts to fight fake stories in news feeds.
The story said a 16-year-old named Anna Ritchie smoked the drug and drank alcohol while watching a child, then told police she ate some chicken wings and passed out. The parents had supposedly found the baby (alive) in the microwave, covered in barbecue sauce with bite marks on the boy’s arms and legs.
So even in the context of the post, he didn’t really get eaten. If it’s any comfort, not only is the story fake, it also said the boy was expected to recover.
The photo included on most of the posts is not a ravenous, drug-smoking teenager from Missouri. It’s actually of a 28-year-old Indiana woman arrested in January 2016 on domestic battery charges.
The true source of this story is a Jan. 20, 2016, article on WorldNewsDailyReport.com, a website known for posting fake articles. (That version said the babysitter’s name was Anna Krutchiev.) The site says in its disclaimer that it is responsible for "the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content."
There is no indication on the post we checked, or on most of the others reblogging the same fake story, that it's fabricated. Comments on these stories make it clear some horrified readers were tricked.
But this story about a babysitter getting high and attempting to eat a child never happened.
We rate it Pants On Fire!
NotAllowedTo.com, "Babysitter on crystal meth eats 3-month-old baby," Feb. 28, 2017
WorldNewsDailyReport.com, "Missouri: Babysitter on crystal meth eats 3-month-old toddler," Jan. 20, 2016
Fox 59, "Columbus woman arrested for domestic battery with child present," Jan. 11, 2016
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