PARKERSBURG - Anonymous, a collective of hackers known for its Guy Fawkes masks, has taken an interest in the Jaleayah Davis case.
In a YouTube video posted Thursday by Justin Fort, aka "Darstin Oryan," the group claims local police may be guilty of conspiring in a police coverup with regard to the 2011 death of Jaleayah Davis.
"After speaking with the family of Ms. Davis, it's become clear that something extremely suspicious is going on, and we're going to get to the bottom of it. Operation Divulgence... engaged," Fort states in the YouTube video.
Anonymous recently gained attention during a Steubenville, Ohio, rape case. It was responsible for hacking into websites and emails to produce photos, videos, emails and text messages related to the rape. The group posted the names of Steubenville athletes targeted for revenge and published what they said were leaked accounts of the night's events.
The group has announced a rally today at noon at the Washington County Courthouse. Davis' accident happened in Wood County and was investigated by the Wood County Sheriff's Department.
Wood County sheriff's Chief Deputy Shawn Graham said the accident investigation was as thorough as he's seen in 25 years. Graham was not part of the investigation until he took over as chief deputy in January.
* Davis was discovered Nov. 19, 2011, on Interstate 77 near the Emerson Avenue exit. Last month officials announced, following a 16-month investigation, the 20-year-old Marietta woman's death was ruled an accident by the state Medical Examiner's Office, with alcohol playing a contributing role.
"There were some very unique factors about that scene," he said.
"Although it was a very unique scene, one that had a lot of challenges, I am without a doubt convinced it is a single-vehicle accident," Graham added. "It's a shame people don't want to accept that."
Davis' family did not respond to an email seeking comment. Kim Davis, Jaleayah Davis' mother, set up the Justice for Jaleayah Facebook page.
Following the meeting with law enforcement officials last month, Davis posted, "I cannot go through the rest of my life with what was said to me, the pathetic explanation in that brief meeting today."
"Don't allow what was done to Jaleayah to go unpunished."
"Help me understand why they have expected me to not only believe their story of what happened but to accept it and go forward as if she was nothing."
Fort, 23, of New Matamoras, is part of AmeriSec, a subgroup associated with Anonymous.
Fort did not respond to an email seeking comment. During a February rally at the Washington County Courthouse, Fort told The Marietta Times the focus is not disruptive behavior, but on bringing people together.
Graham, who watched Fort's video, said some of the information was incorrect. In the video Fort states Davis' vehicle was found running with all the doors locked.
"If she was ejected from the vehicle something tells me that she wouldn't have had time to put the car into park, to keep the running vehicle from continuing forward. This again comes from the fact that her car OBVIOUSLY scraped along the guardrail and did not hit head on," Fort claims.
Graham said the car was not in park. It was in drive.
They question it being up against the guardrail, Graham said.
The car traveled along the guardrail two-tenths of a mile, "riding the guardrail," he said.
In addition to sheriff's deputies, Graham said crash scene investigators, experts from the vehicle manufacturer, an accident reconstruction instructor and the state medical examiner's office all considered the case. An investigation that spanned more than 16 months.
"It's ridiculous it took this long to close the investigation, but we couldn't close it until we got the autopsy report from the medical examiner's office," Graham said.
Graham said they welcome any outside agency to review the case.
"We are very confident in our investigation."
"I don't believe it will convince the family and friends that this is what it was: A tragic, single-vehicle accident," Graham added.
"I hate it for the family and friends of the girl.
"The bottom line she is gone. It's a horrible tragedy and we are sorry this happened, but we can't make it something that it is not, despite what public opinion may be," Graham said
According to its website, Anonymous is "a decentralized network of individuals focused on promoting access to information, free speech and transparency ... representing many online community users."
Before Steubenville, Anonymous was known for targeting governments, corporations and the Church of Scientology.