By Art Harris, The Bald Truth, (c) www.artharris.com, all rights reserved
The Bald Truth has learned Orange County Sheriff’s Detective Yuri Melich was never reprimanded for blogging about the high profile murder investigation he was leading, as Jose Baez represented.
Detective Melich has been the lead homicide investigator in the search for Caylee Anthony’s killer since the summer of 2008, when her grandmother, Cindy Anthony, called 911, hysterical to learn she’d been missing for a month when Casey, her mother, finally admitted she’d failed to report it.
Local reports claim Melich was reprimanded for blogging about the case, but the owner of a major online crime site tells The Bald Truth that Melich never discussed any details about the case on Websleuths, just wrote in to thank his growing fan base for their get well wishes when he broke his leg.
“He told me he was never reprimanded,” Tricia Griffith tells artharris.com. “Higher ups just asked him to stop blogging. He said it was no big deal. If anyone asked him about the case, he said he couldn’t discuss it. He just thanked everyone for their good wishes and told them to keep Caylee and the Anthony family in their prayers.”
Melich was a Missing Persons unit investigator when he was assigned to dig into the missing toddler case, and a recent profile on America’s Most Wanted identifies him as the detective most responsible for nailing the alleged killerâ€”Casey Anthony.
As public fascination grew about the case, so did the Yuri Melich fan club among 33,000 registered members of Websleuth.com’s 2 million readers. When Griffith saw he’d signed up, she called to thank him and advised he could post without revealing who he was. “But he said he just wanted to thank everyone for their kind thoughts.”
He’s among a growing number of law enforcement staffers across the country that graze her site and others for any information the public may dig up that’s relevant to their cases. In one instance, Griffith says a killer revealed a bit too much online and that cooked her goose and lead to her arrest.
“Remember he broke his leg? Well our lovely members started a support thread for him. Then for fun they formed a group called, “WWYD”? What Would Yuri Do,” says Griffith. “Yuri came on and thanked everyone and answered general questions but nothing about the Anthony case. Mostly just chit chat.
“Then I read where he got “in trouble” for posting. I called him immediately and he told me he did not get an official reprimand. He was asked to stop posting and it was no big deal. He is just the greatest guy. A truly a decent human being who tried to do the right thing by thanking a group of strangers for their kindness and Baez pulls this crap on him.
And that’s the story.”
Note: About a year ago, Websleuths members helped expose a convicted sexual predator who was masquerading online as a blogger and child advocate, rallying web crazies to attack our members and flaunting his moral superiority…that is until some astute Websleuths members discovered the man who called himself “Hobbitt” was a registered sex offender named Ricky Lee Lincoln, who had served 8 years in state prison for raping his two daughters. He’d developed quite a band of followers, who guzzled his koolaid and parroted his posts. Then, after one poster filed a hararrassment complaint, detectives in Yuba City, Ca. paid him a visit. Suddenly, he closed up his site, and shocked devotees tried to erase their online hatred and lies and ran for the hills…only to emerge recently to follow another fringe blogger with a past who is in violation of court orders and will soon be exposed.