FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. - The Fairfax County Fire Chief lashed out on Friday at the owners of Fairfax underground, a website where lewd and vile comments were posted about firefighter Nicole Mittendorf before she took her own life.
Fairfax Fire Chief Richie Bowers said today he has no idea at this point if there is a nexus between Nicole Mittendorf's suicide and the anonymous lewd postings about the 31-year-old that were left on the Fairfax Underground message board but he is pushing for the postings to be removed as he investigates whether anyone in his department wrote them.
The vile postings contain information indicating the writers had some inside knowledge of the workings of the fire department and Nicole Mittendorf. Although Virginia State Police are saying the lewd blog posts had nothing to with her death, Bowers is still lashing out at the people who post vile and vicious comments about people on the website Fairfax Underground.
"The anomaly right here right now is this blog and social media is out of control, people have no common sense and they no sense of responsibility when you have anonymous posts and people can say anything and it's not factual and it's not true it's wrong, it's just wrong, it's terrible," Chief Bowers expressed.
Bowers says he doesn't know what was in the note left by Nicole Mittendorf before she took her own life in Shenandoah National Park and has no idea at this point if the people who wrote the vile notes about her sex life are firefighters or connected in some way to the fire service. "That's why I'm appealing to the person who hosts this site to take down the lewd comments and certainly consider shutting the site down," Bowers said.
Chief Bowers claims he was unaware of the message board before Mittendorf's death but that it will not be tolerated in his department and he is promising to get to the bottom of it. "Now that we have been able to respect and honor Nicole and her family I have all of my internal affairs department on the mission if you will of turning over every leaf, looking under every rock and pebble and pealing back every piece of the onion to find at where we are at and as I indicated when I said aggressive I would any local , state regional or federal resource," he expressed.
The chief says he has now implemented additional zero tolerance harassment training and will implement a comprehensive suicide education and prevention program throughout the department.