ORLANDO, Fla. (CBS) – A North Carolina woman is disgusted after discovering that a “catfisher” had been using pictures of one of the Pulse nightclub shooting’s 49 victims on a dating website.
Ashley Pickenpack said she was watching local news coverage of the one-year anniversary of the Pulse massacre when she saw a photo of shooting victim Shane Tomlinson.
Tomlinson’s picture matched a photo of a man she knew as Thomas Gregory, who claimed to live in England, Pickenpack said. She first began talking to Gregory on the Plenty of Fish dating website in April.
“He’s telling me he loves me. He wants to be with me. He wants to be part of our family. All of the above,” Pickenpack told CBS affiliate WKMG-TV. “And at this point, I am sick to my stomach.”
Gregory sent her a video that he said showed him and his friends singing, along with several photos that he claimed were of him, Pickenpack said. The video and photos can all be found on Tomlinson’s Instagram profile.
Jai Saint, Tomlinson’s best friend, told WKMG-TV that this is the second time someone used the shooting victim’s pictures since his death. Another person used Tomlinson’s photos as their own on a Facebook profile last year, he said.
The U.S. attorney’s office told WKMG-TV that an FBI agent would be interested in pursuing a case regarding the use of Tomlinson’s photos.
Pickenpack filed a police report in North Carolina on Tuesday, she said.
“You don’t manipulate someone going through emotions and playing with your heart,” she said. “You’re also messing with the deceased member of a family? How can you live with yourself?”