Name: Vanessia Lynn Compton
Year of Birth: 1982
Charge: Probation Violation
Agency: Metropolitan Nashville Police (TN)
My Notes: The unusual spelling of her first name will make it much easier to find information about her--or tell you quickly that there is little to be located online. Also, "probation violation" does not offer much about her original convictions--the charges could have been anything from shoplifting to DUI to armed robbery.
STEP #2: Use the Search Engine
Googling Vanessia Compton in quotes returns two pages of records.
The first link is a Myspace page to Vanessia Lynn Johnson, a 28 year old female in Michigan.
What is relevant on this Myspace page?
- Her birth date and the photos.
- She states she is married.
- She lists a married name.
- She describes her employer and also the jurisdiction that she lives.
- She logged into the account last month.
- The photo commentaries describe how her mom and step-father live in Michigan while her Dad and step-mother live in middle Tennessee.
- She has a list of friends.
STEP #3: Rerun the Searches and Exam the Results
When I conducted this search a few weeks ago, on page two of the record, a bridal registry account was listed at the popular retailer Target (it no longer appears).
Why is this important?
It revealed that she was married within the last year, and that her new husband's name is Johnson--with the first name Baylen.
Over on her Myspace page friends, Baylen is friend #1 and he describes his employer in Rockwood, Michigan.
STEP #4: Summarize the Information and Submit It to Authorities
I have reason to believe that fugitive from Nashville, Vanessia Compton, also known as Vanessia Johnson or Vanessia Compton-Johnson, is now married and lives in Michigan.
Her home address is not known, but her husband's employer information and address are listed--as well as possible specifics about where Ms. Compton-Johnson lives and works.
She has family in Michigan and Tennessee.
STEP #5: The Result
Unfortunately in this case, Ms. Compton-Johnson's warrant does not include extradition from Michigan, so police in Michigan will not arrest her.
Often for charges that do not involve violent crime, the issuing jurisdiction will not want to pay to return a wanted person from several states away as they can't afford the transportation costs. As a result, authorities will not authorize an out-of-state arrest for a fugitive.
So what do Tennessee authorities do?
They can contact the fugitive and try to talk her into turning herself in, or they can just wait for her to return to their state so that she can then be apprehend.
What is the most important thing that Tennessee authorities gleaned from the information submitted?
That Ms. Compton is now Ms. Compton-Johnson or Ms. Johnson.
Without this information, if the wanted person is detained during a traffic stop, she may hand the officer a Michigan Driver's Licence with the name Vanessia Johnson.
The TN officer could run the name for warrants and have the computer return nothing--since the warrant is for Vanessia Compton.
Now, they can associate Compton to Compton-Johnson and Johnson; and, thereby increasing the chance that her outstanding warrant is served so that she is returned to court to face the pending charges.
Policing in America? Prime example.