LUFKIN, Texas (KETK) – Authorities believe that a woman who licked a carton of Blue Bell ice cream in a Walmart and put it back into a display case did so in Lufkin, Texas.
The Lufkin Police Department is now investigating the viral video.
The video hit social media June 28, launching an investigation that led from Walmart stores in San Antonio to Houston and eventually Lufkin.
Early this week social media commenters identified the woman seen licking a half-gallon of “Tin Roof” as being from San Antonio. That lead San Antonio law enforcement to believe it was one of their Walmart stores. A store display case matching the one in the video could not be found.
The search then went to Houston Walmart stores after investigators learned the identified woman may be living with a boyfriend in that area. Again, a store display case matching the one in the video could not be found.
Earlier this morning, Blue Bell corporate instructed all of its division managers to see if they could identify the store location. Within an hour of the corporate plea, a Lufkin division manager called, saying he believed it was Lufkin Walmart. He based this on the store’s unique merchandising which matched the video.
At 1:10 p.m. Wednesday, Blue Bell contacted Lufkin police, saying that they believed the viral video took place in the Lufkin Walmart store and that they had retrieved what they believed to be the tainted container of ice cream.
By 4 p.m., detectives had obtained surveillance video placing a woman matching the suspect description in the Lufkin store on June 28 around 11 p.m.
Detectives believe they have the woman identified and the investigation is ongoing.
Once identified, police say a warrant will be issued for her arrest on a charge of second-degree felony tampering with a consumer product.
“Our biggest concern is consumer safety – in that regard, we are glad to see the tainted product off the shelves,” said Lufkin Director of Public Safety Gerald Williamson. “We are recommending that as a precaution Blue Bell remove products from the Lufkin Walmart shelves until our investigation is complete.”
Detectives are focusing on identifying the man (in the green shirt) behind the camera seen in images of the two entering the store together.
Detectives will continue to work through the holiday on this case.
Anyone who can identify this man is asked to contact the Lufkin PD at 936-633-0356 or Crime Stoppers at 639tips.com.