TikToker discussing her murdered son
TikTok | @shoelover99

TikToker Begs Fans To Help After Son Murdered Day Before Turning 19

TikTok is more than a platform for silly, short videos. It's also a place for people to discuss deep topics and share their most scandalous gossip.

Now, a prominent TikToker is hoping that she can use the platform to help solve a murder. Ophelia Nichols, who's better known by her TikTok handle @shoelover99, is grieving the murder of her 18-year-old son last week. She's appealed to the TikTok community to help find her son's killer or killers.

Nichols' son Randon Lee was gunned down last week in Alabama.

TikToker Ophelia Nichols with her slain son
Facebook | Ophelia Nichols

Lee was shot to death at a gas station in Prichard, Alabama the day before his 19th birthday. While it's known that Lee was shot, investigators have not solved the case.

Nichols is taking matters into her own hands.

In a heart-wrenching TikTok video, Nichols asked her 7.5 million followers for help in catching her son's killer.

"I need your help with this," said a sobbing Nichols in the video. "There's almost 7 million people that follow me, somebody's gotta know something."

She made the video a day after the murder.

TikToker discussing her murdered son
TikTok | @shoelover99

"Today would have been my baby's 19th birthday, but he was took from me last night, took from my children, my husband and my family," she said. "My son was murdered. He was shot, and I have this hatred in my heart that I don't recognize, because I've never felt hate for anybody."

Police provided an update.

In a press conference a few days after the murder, officials said that Nichols' son had been selling drugs.

This is not an indictment of Randon Lee — no one deserves to be murdered — but a lead in the case. The drug dealing connection helped lead police to two people who are now considered suspects in the murder.

Nichols provided more info on her son.

TikToker Ophelia Nichols with her slain son
Facebook | Ophelia Nichols

In a follow-up video, Nichols said that Randon, her son, had trouble coping with the death of his family, but she thought he'd turned a corner.

"We just had a birthday dinner for him and we're all telling him how proud we are of him," said the grieving mom. "Just had no idea."

She added that drug dealing "gives nobody the right to shoot my son."

TikTok may help crack this case.

Alabama police official discussing murder of TikToker's son
youtube | FOX10 News

Police do have two suspects in the case, but they're watching TikTok with interest to see if there are any tips.

"I realize that Ms. Nichols has a TikTok following, which is great, and all those followers could help by calling in if they have any information," said Prichard Police Department Detective Jason Hadaway.

"Any slight, miniscule information that we get is good to follow up on. It may lead to nothing. However, it may lead to something as well."

Nichols has an idea of who did it.

TikToker's comment saying she believes she knows who murdered her son
TikTok | @shoelover99

In a comment on her follow-up video, Nichols dropped an intriguing detail: she thinks she knows who murdered her son. She's wisely keeping the specifics to herself though, so the police can continue their investigation.

The videos have been full of well-wishers.

Sympathetic comments on a TikTok video of a mom discussing her slain son
TikTok | @shoelover99

Nichols is going through an indescribably tough time after losing her son. But if there's any consolation, it comes from her millions of TikTok followers, many of whom left supportive messages on her videos.

We'll continue to follow this story with interest.

We'll provide updates as they become known (and it's likely that Nichols will share developments on TikTok as well). It's a sad story, but also shows how social media tips can potentially lead to breakthroughs in criminal cases.

Let us know what you think of this story in the comments.