Facebook sued by family of murder victim after grisly picture posted

(CBS/WCBS) – The outraged family of New York murder victim Caroline Wimmer is taking on Facebook.

A paramedic took a cell phone photo of the crime scene and posted it on the site in a case of what parents Martha and Ronald Wimmer are calling “disrespecting the dead.”

“This is on the second anniversary of our daughter’s death. I just want to get by, day by day,” Martha Wimmer said.

Her 26-year-old daughter Caroline was strangled with an electric cord in March 2009 on Staten Island. The convicted killer, Calvin Lawson, got 25 years to life. One of the first on the scene, former emergency medical technician Mark Musarella, used his cell phone camera to snap a grisly photo of the corpse, which he then uploaded to Facebook. He pleaded guilty to official misconduct and lost his job, reports CBS station WCBS.

A civil suit now names Musarella and Facebook.

“I found my daughter. I seen what she looked like. She was horrible. And I know that people at night are looking at it,” Ronald Wimmer said.

Facebook may be protected by the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which could give the social-networking giant immunity. The Wimmers’ attorney said what Facebook did was wrong.

“Just like a jewelry store cannot resell stolen property, neither can Facebook,” attorney Ravi Batra said.

The victim’s older sister was equally upset.

“Of the pictures on Facebook…for anyone to see, it kills me,” Christina Criscitiello said.

Later this week a bill is expected to be introduced in Albany that will attempt to reign in the broad immunity Facebook currently enjoys.

A spokesperson from Facebook told WCBS, “We haven’t been served or seen the complaint so we have no comment at this time.”