Some readers take it with a grain of salt. But for others, it’s the Gospel truth.

Whatever the case may be for visitors to the Somerset, Ky., forum on www.topix.com, there has been plenty to read lately about the circumstances surrounding the death of Science Hill resident Kevin Price.

While Internet posters are busy drumming up theories, Pulaski County’s detectives with the Major Crimes Task Force are working around the clock to investigate leads and catch the suspects.

Although he hasn’t seen the postings about Price himself, Pulaski County Sheriff Todd Wood is not pleased with the notion that individuals would discuss such delicate matters on a public forum that’s known for spreading rumors and untruths.

Price, 21, disappeared on Nov. 9. His burning truck was found later that night, and his burned body was found in a remote area nearly three weeks later. What started as a search for a missing man has turned into a search for his killer.

Internet posters’ attempts to “help” law enforcement through the pages of topix.com are futile, Wood says.

“There is nothing about Topix that helps law enforcement’s efforts at all,” he said yesterday.

“That is a place where people can use false names and false information with nothing to back up what they’re saying, and it only stirs up confusion and causes the community to worry about things they don’t need to worry about.”

Wood says he gives no credibility to any information which may crop up on the Web site. In fact, it’s his belief that “people intentionally say things that are untrue just to stir the pot.”

“You can get on that site, and no one knows who you are, and you can say anything you want to without being held accountable,” he said.

“To allow those types of forums is really damaging to the community.”

While those in law enforcement do tend to ignore conversation threads on Topix, they are capable of finding out who is making posts if the need arises. In other words, posters aren’t truly “anonymous.”

“We can trace IP addresses and find out what computer something was sent from if we have to,” Wood said. However, unless something criminal has been posted — as was the case about a year ago when an Internet poster was arrested for threatening Circuit Judge Jeffrey Burdette — investigators aren’t likely to waste their time finding the source.

Those who believe they have tips that could help in any investigation, including the investigation into Kevin Price’s murder, should contact the local sheriff’s department — not post their comments on an online forum.

“If you know something, and want to remain anonymous, you can call the sheriff’s office, and you don’t have to leave your name,” Wood said.

“We encourage anyone, regardless of how important you think the information is, if you have something that could be useful in our investigation, please take the time to dial a few numbers and contact us directly.”

The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department can be reached by calling (606) 678-5145.

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