(NewsNation) — Some internet sleuths and social media influences have been helpful in finding information about the Moscow, Idaho killings, and one TikTok creator is using her platform to share the story of one of the victims.
Kaylee Goncalves, who was killed Nov. 13 along with three other University of Idaho students, was a fan of Olivia Vitale, a TikToker who reached out to the Goncalves family after hearing about the killings. The Goncalves family trusted Vitale to make a documentary that shares Kaylee’s story.
“This is a personal connection, and we’ve been in touch in the past few weeks and they’ve welcomed me into their home,” Vitale said Friday on “CUOMO.” “It’s been an honor to meet them and help bring awareness to their daughter’s case.”
Vitale has a following of more than 1 million followers on TikTok, which she said happened very quickly. Her TikTok and YouTube videos center on crime cases.
“(The channel growth) was pretty surprising, and it seems like it’s my calling to help missing people and victims and their families,” Vitale said. “It gives me something to live for.”
Vitale’s mission can be likened to that of Adventures With Purpose, a volunteer dive group that searches bodies of water in an effort to help solve missing and cold cases. One recent notable case was that of Kiely Rodni, a teenager who went missing near Truckee, California, last summer. Her body was found by an Adventures crew.
The group documents their work on their social media pages, sharing updates with community members.
Vitale said her greatest asset is her social media following.
“One thing I do bring to the table is bring awareness to cases,” she said. “All it takes at the end of the day is one person who might have seen something to see possibly one of my videos and notice something and call the tip line.”
Like many others, Vitale’s biggest question in the Idaho murder case is what the motive was. Police have not yet publicly revealed why they believe the suspect, Bryan Kohberger, committed the crime.
A judge has barred police and attorneys from speaking to the media and public, and a preliminary hearing has been set for June 26.
“Why did he do this?” Vitale said. “Did he ever meet any of the victims in passing? … There’s so many unanswered questions, and I believe that there is a moment in time when their paths crossed. It’s very possible.”