INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana State Police say his personal pictures were used to lure young girls - a cop, victimized in a catfish scheme and suddenly thrust into the Delphi murders investigation.
Now, for the first time, we're hearing from the man whose pictures were stolen and used by that "anthony_shots" fake social media profile.
Vincent Kowalski said his photos have been swiped on social media for years. Pictures from when he modeled after high school, used as bait for catfishing scams.
"It's been happening since 2014," Kowalski said. "You just search my name, there's a hundred accounts, fake accounts, of me."
But the former model and current cop was shocked at what happened this month.
While working his night shift beat in Alaska, someone sent him a screenshot from Indiana. His face and those old photos were front and center in the Delphi murder investigation.
Kowalski wasn't contacted by Indiana State Police beforehand. He learned about the connection just like everyone else, with a press release on YouTube.
"I was, like, 'That's gotta be some fake page or it's gotta be photoshopped or something,'" Kowalski said. "Just seeing your face blasted all over the news was crazy."
Indiana State Police said Kowalski's teen modeling pictures were stolen and used to catfish young girls.
Kegan Kline, jailed in a child exploitation case, admitted to creating the fake profile. Kline has not been charged in the murders of Delphi girls, Abby Williams and Liberty German, who were found dead a day after they disappeared in February 2017.
"This pissed me off. I'm glad they found the guy behind the account, but they gotta find the guy who hurt those two young girls," Kowalski said. "Soliciting videos from young girls, that's disgusting. Makes me sick. But to know that two young girls possibly lost their life because of my picture? It's the worst of the worst. It keeps you up at night as a parent knowing that people out there are like that."
Kowalski is married and a father of two daughters, so the crimes feel personal.
He's also angry that his picture was scammed yet again.
He even put a warning on his own Instagram page a couple of years ago about bogus profiles, many of which he's tried to block or report.
"For a long time, I did. I reported every single account I came across. But then I just eventually just stopped because ... because these social media websites aren't here to help anyone right now and they gotta do better," Kowalski said. "I don't know why there's not a verification process before you're even able to make your account."
Five hundred tips have come into state police because of the "anthony_shots" fake account.
Investigators still want to talk with anyone who may have had contact with the profile. Kowalski just hopes it leads to justice for Libby and Abby.
"At the end of the day, it breaks my heart. Couldn't imagine losing my girls," Kowalski said. "So they have all my love and support and just wish I could support them more."
Kline has not been charged in the Delphi murder investigation, nor is he a person of interest in the case so far. He's accused of using the stolen photos of Kowalski for the "anthony_shots" profile. His trial on 30 charges related to child exploitation, child pornography and child solicitation has been pushed back to May 2022.
How to submit a tip in the Delphi investigation
Those with information about the case can email firstname.lastname@example.org with as much information as possible, including:
- Suspect's name
- Date of birth or approximate age
- Physical description, including height, weight, hair color, eye color
- Address or location, including city
- Vehicle information including year, make, model, color
- Specific reason for the tip; Why could they be the suspect?
- Motivation for the crime
- Connection to Delphi, Indiana
Police say individuals don't need to have all of those pieces to send a tip, but do ask to include as many details as possible.