ANDERSON — Millions of people have viewed a TikTok video filmed in Anderson of a man claiming to show people a shadowy body that smells like a rotting corpse, lying near a railroad track.

Law enforcement officials, however, say the videos that were posted to social media last Wednesday and Thursday are fake.

The coroner must be notified when there is a death investigation in the county, and Madison County Coroner Dr. Troy Abbott said he was never notified of an investigation like the one in the TikTok video.

Madison County Sheriff Scott Mellinger also said the videos are fake.

“There are no law enforcement agencies in Madison County who have received any reports of a body being found as depicted in the video,” said Mellinger.

The videos were posted by a man who lists the name James Craib on a TikTok account called @justiceforunknown. The first video shows him walking between railroad tracks as he films and talks about vultures circling things that are dead. He then pans the video up to show a bird flying over his head.


Did I see what I thought I saw @mjg00000

♬ Sounds like a mystery music box - Yohei

“Come with me on this adventure. Let’s see if we can find something. Might be a dead body,” Craib says in the video.

Eerie music, similar to music in horror movies, plays in the background.

“This is getting creepy,” says Craib. “If you could smell, it smells foul.”

Craib walks down the tracks until he gets to an area where a set of keys are on the rocks along with an unopened drink and several other items. The video speed slows down as Craib points his camera toward the bushes near the edge of the railway.

He creeps closer and zooms in on a shadow as a pair of shoes and clothing become visible for a brief second before he yells, “nope, nope” and runs from the area.

The next day Craib posted a second video with the description, “update on the body.” The video begins by showing the sign outside the Anderson Police Department and Craib says he “just stepped out” to provide an “official update.”

Craib then says the body in the video was confirmed to be a 28-year-old male. He walks along a sidewalk next to the police station’s parking lot, showing several police cars as he gives his update.

APD Public Information Officer Caleb McKnight said the videos were brought to the police department’s attention, but a report of a dead body as portrayed in the video has not happened.

“We can’t validate anything about this video.”

An APD investigator, familiar with the section of the railroad shown in the video, searched the area, but nothing was found, McKnight said.

“He’s gotten lots of views from it obviously, but it is not accurate,” he said. “We’ve checked the area. We had a detective supervisor out there walking in the woodline and along the tracks, and there’s no evidence and nothing found.”

McKnight said there are laws to address people making fake reports, but no laws regarding misleading information that is posted on social media.

“I would love to talk to him,” McKnight said of the person who made the video. “If he has something he would like to report, we will gladly talk to him.”

Mellinger said valuable resources and manpower are used to investigate reported crimes. The discovery of a body would require a law enforcement investigation to make sure there was no crime committed.

He said posting any type of fraudulent material tends to cause the public to panic or not trust the government, especially when the police tell the public that no report was made.

“Panic can grip a neighborhood or community and cause great harm,” said Mellinger.

He said it is dangerous for misinformation to be posted on social media.

A number of people have commented on the videos or links to the videos regarding missing loved ones who match the description of the person in the video.

Craib has not responded to comments on the video, including questions or requests for more information.

“We have become slaves to social media,” said Mellinger. “For some reason, all common sense goes out the window when we hear or see something unnerving. How about let’s all take a step back, take a deep breath and start thinking things through.”

The Herald Bulletin made several unsuccessful attempts to contact Craib, his associates from the videos and some of Craib’s relatives for comment.

Police continue to seek information about the videos and who posted them.

Follow Traci L. Miller

@_TraciMiller on Twitter, email her at traci.miller@heraldbulletin.com, or

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Staff writer

An ink slinging wordsmith with The Herald Bulletin in Anderson, Indiana. Writing about news that is changing people's lives. Have a news tip? Send it to traci.miller@heraldbulletin.com or call me at 765-640-4805.