Wilson police finding it tough to investigate after hacker tormented 12-year-old for more than a year


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Police in Wilson admit they’ve made little progress in investigating after a hacker tormenting a Wilson 12-year-old and his family. The person responsible said his mom told him to apologize.

Jaylen White, 12, had been cyberbullied for over a year. Although Wilson police have been investigating, they’ve reached dead ends.

Jaylen’s mom said it’s vexing for the detective in charge of the case because it’s overwhelming technologically for the department.

“He let me know they are not engaged to handle it,” said Sheleen White. “They do not have a department equipped to handle this kind of thing.”

For almost a year, Jaylen had death threats sent to him. He also had his remote learning interrupted at both Wilson Prep and Elm City Middle School.

When he was removed from Elm City Middle School’s remote learning account, the cyberstalking continued at his home in various ways. It stopped the last week of June when the cyberbully confessed online to Jaylen’s family. He told them via a text message that he “had to stop because his mom caught him.” Another text said his mother told him “to apologize” to the family.

Last week, the detectives assigned to the case met with Jaylen’s mom to discuss the latest developments. 

“They asked for evidence of everything and wanted to see where it happened,” White said. 

One of the ways the cyberbully was harassing Jaylen was through the family’s Netflix account. The hacker would interrupt movies to send messages via the search engine.

“They stated they had been on the phone with Netflix trying to figure out where the messages were coming from,” White said.

The family also had repeated 911 calls made to the local sheriff’s office. Deputies would have to come out to investigate but find nothing amiss. 

Jaylen also had his video games hacked and deleted by the cyberbully, who would leave profane or threatening messages. 

All of this electronic hacking was too much for investigators to get a handle on. White said it appeared the detective was upset by the inability to handle it. 

“He was frustrated, very frustrated,” she said. “Whatever avenues he took, he got dead ends everywhere he went.”

Agencies like the Wilson Police Department have to turn to the State Bureau of Investigation for help with cybercrime cases.

When Jaylen’s school computers were first hacked, the SBI confiscated them for forensic analysis, but they have yet to be examined. The detective told White the SBI is backlogged.

“I knew when he collected the evidence back in the fall, he let me know it would be 18 months before I’d get a report or something,” White said. “But they (the SBI) haven’t cracked it open to look at it. That’s an issue for me.”

She said the lead detective is frustrated by the case. 

“He was like, ‘I’ll do the best I can, I’ll do the best I can,'” she said. “That’s all he kept saying. I said that’s OK.”

CBS 17 asked the Wilson police to comment but has not received a reply.

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