LEE COUNTY, Fla.- The Lee County property appraiser is defending his website, after authorities say a man apparently used the site in planning the murder of a woman in San Carlos Park. Ken Wilkinson says the site benefits real estate professionals.
"We help a lot of businesses, and we should not have to take down the site. That would be a mistake," said Ken Wilkinson. The website is: www.leepa.org
The site had 356,000 visits last month alone, from nearly 115,000 individuals.
The arrest report from the Lee Sheriff's office says witnesses saw Dustin Jaye using the property appraiser's site, in planning the murder of a woman.
"The fact is, he could have used any number of sites to find her address or how to get there," said Wilkinson.
The site has information on the owners of 600,000 parcels in Lee County. You can take yourself off the site, by calling the appraiser's office, asking for a form, filling it out, and sending it back. You don't have to explain why you want to be blocked from the site, you just have to sign it and return it. Then, your property and information are removed from the stie. Wilkinson estimates, between 1,000 and 3,000 people have taken themselves off the site.
One homeowner in Fort Myers says it's time to focus on supporting law enforcement, and forget about picking on websites.
"Privacy? That is gone. There are so many ways to find out information about people, you cannot pick just one site and say that should be taken down. You can use google, white pages.com, you can get directions from Mapquest. You cannot stop it," said Erleene Sanders. "Let's back the sheriff and the local police and help them make the neighborhoods safe."