- Washington State Police Trooper Johnna Batiste asked Twitter for help in a fatal hit-and-run investigation Thursday, Aug. 9.
- One image Batiste shared was that of a part from the vehicle that killed a bicyclist.
- With the help of a Redditor who identified the car part, police made an arrest in the case just days later.
Washington State Police investigating a fatal hit-and-run caught a lucky break in the case with the help of Reddit channel r/whatisthisthing. The only piece of evidence Redditors were given? A single photo of a part from the vehicle that killed a bicyclist.
According to BoredPanda, it all started when Trooper Johnna Batiste posted a series of tweets asking the public for any tips it might have on the collision, which occurred Thursday, August 9.
The images Batiste posted found their way to the r/whatisthisthing subreddit, which is dedicated to identifying unknown objects. Redditor JeffsNuts, a former Maryland state car inspector, quickly determined the black piece of metal was actually a mid-1980s Chevrolet Silverado truck headlight bezel.
Just days later, Batiste shared the good news on Twitter: With JeffsNuts’ help and a separate anonymous tip, police made an arrest in the case.
JeffsNuts’ internet sleuthing may be impressive to the rest of us car laymen, but the Reddit user seemed to brush off his role in the police investigation.
“I’ve been a Maryland state inspector for a long time, and part of each car and truck inspection, up until recently, was a mandatory headlamp adjustment,” JeffsNuts posted in the subreddit. “Anyhow, I’ve done a s—-ton of headlamp adjustments, so right away I knew what that notch in the plastic was for. I first checked 1988 Ram 1500 trucks and by chance, there was a picture of a mid-80s Chevy truck.”
Twitter, however, was quick to hail JeffsNuts as a hero.
Lesson learned: The next time you need help identifying the creepy crawler that found its way into your home, for example, you might want to call r/whatisthisthing.
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