Well, if you’re a sucker for a good true-life mystery story, get ready for the best one ever! On a normal day, 25-year-old claims analyst Eric Jaffe looks like a far cry from an eagle-eyed ace detective. But that changed last week, when an enigmatic Facebook update prompted Eric to spend 20 minutes scrolling through posts, trying to figure out whether his friend’s mom had died.
Move over, Sherlock Holmes! A new investigator is officially open for business.
The mystery began when Eric, while skimming his friend Chris’s Facebook page, noticed a photograph of Chris’s mother accompanied by a brief, cryptic message: “One year.” From there, Eric kicked it into full-on detective mode, determined to spend the next half hour or so finding out if Chris’s mom had passed away.
What began innocuously enough quickly became a whirlwind connect-the-dots-style investigation with a twist at every turn. Scrolling farther down Chris’s page quickly yielded another piece of the puzzle: a message reading “seems like only yesterday” captioning a friendship anniversary video of Chris and his mom.
A clue, perhaps? Or just something that Facebook kind of automatically puts together? With questions piling up, Eric forged ahead.
“At one point I clicked on the mom’s Facebook page, but it was totally blocked so I didn’t get much from that,” said Eric. “Then I saw that Chris’s brother was at Lollapalooza last week, which seems kind of weird to do if your mom just died, but maybe he copes differently? I feel like when my grandma died, our family definitely got together on the one-year mark, but I could be wrong on that.”
As the case unfolded, it was often one step forward and two steps back for Eric. A text post containing a quote about memories looked like a promising lead until he noticed that Chris had also commented on a parody rap video just minutes later. When a status update of “thinking of you” yielded multiple frowny-face emojis, Eric thought he’d hit pay dirt. But on the very same thread, a message from someone named Lydia read, “Call me.” Could it be something with Chris and an ex-girlfriend? Nothing seemed to add up.
Faced with a dead end, Eric said he thought about messaging Chris directly, but decided it was too risky. Better to wait it out, stay on the alert, and trust that it’s only a matter of time before more information emerges to lead him to the truth about what happened to the woman he thinks he remembers meeting once or twice in high school.
Amazing. Whether or not Eric’s dogged search is even on the right track remains to be seen. However, one thing’s for certain: This office worker by day, super sleuth by night is exactly the right man for the job!