The claim: TikTok video shows missing person Cassie Compton
In the video, a young woman is in the backseat of a car with two men. As they talk, she stares absently ahead of her, a deep, uniform purple around both eyes.
In September 2021, a Facebook post from January began circulating again online. It includes a photo of Compton and the video, which has since been deleted from TikTok.
"TikTok Just Found A Girl That’s Been Missing For 6 Years," the Facebook post is captioned. "So Sad To Watch, Hope They Find Her." USA TODAY reached out to the user who made the post for comment.
Nearly 50,000 people have shared the post since it was first published on Jan. 14.
However, several law enforcement agencies determined the video does not show Compton. A spokesperson for the City of Stuttgart Police Department, which has led the investigation into Compton's disappearance, told USA TODAY that the case is still unsolved.
Police said TikTok does not show Cassie Compton
Multiple law enforcement agencies and the woman actually in the video confirmed the clip does not show Compton, Stuttgart police spokesperson John Eric Mahfouz told USA TODAY.
The TikTok video gained national attention on Jan. 13, when users began commenting that it showed Compton, the Stuttgart Daily Leader reported.
According to Mahfouz, the resemblance to Compton was uncanny. The video caught the attention of a private investigator who has long searched for Compton, according to Arkansas news station KATV. It even briefly convinced Compton's mother it was her, THV 11 reported.
On Jan. 14, a young woman who identified herself as Haley Grace Phillips posted a story on Instagram saying that she was the person in the TikTok video and addressing questions about the bruises under her eyes, the Stuttgart Daily Leader reported.
“I was robbed this weekend. I am fine. Okay?" Phillips said in the video. "I am not kidnapped. And this is my phone and I am real and this is a real account.” USA TODAY reached out to Phillips for comment.
Mahfouz told USA TODAY that the Stuttgart Police Department, the FBI and the Arkansas State Police collaborated on an investigation into the video.
After locating and interviewing the young woman in the original TikTok video, authorities confirmed she was not Compton, the Stuttgart Daily Leader reported on Jan. 15. Though disappointed by the finding, Mahfouz said local authorities continue to look for the missing girl.
"The video was a dead ringer. It really got a lot of people's hopes up," Mahfouz said. "Big letdown for people around here that have really been wondering what's happening to her."
There have been no updates on the case since the January investigation into the video.
"Everybody wants answers and from all the investigating that the department has done, there just aren't any conclusive answers to give," Mahfouz said.
Our rating: False
We rate the claim that a TikTok video shows missing person Cassie Compton FALSE, based on our research. The FBI and Stuttgart police concluded the video does not show Compton after investigating it and speaking with the woman in the video.
Our fact-check sources:
ABC 7 KATV, Jan. 15, Police: Woman in TikTok video not missing Arkansas girl Cassie Compton
John Eric Mahfouz, Sept. 10, Phone interview with USA TODAY
National Missing and Unidentified Persons Registry, accessed Sept. 10, Cassie Kay Compton
Stuttgart Daily Leader, Jan. 14, TikTok video goes viral after some say it may depict missing teen Cassie Compton
Stuttgart Daily Leader, Jan. 15, Authorities confirm girl in viral TikTok video is not Cassie Compton
THV 11, Jan. 15, Police say woman in viral TikTok video is not missing Arkansas girl
Times Record, Sep. 13, 2020, Cassie Compton missing from Stuttgart for 6 years
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Viral TikTok video does not show Cassie Compton