By JASON BRONIS
Associated Press Writer
ATLANTA (AP) - Investigators had not yet discovered the bodies of pro wrestler Chris Benoit, his wife and their 7-year-old son when someone altered Benoit's Wikipedia entry to mention his wife's death, authorities said.
An anonymous user with the same IP address as the person who made the edits confessed early Friday on an online discussion page attached to the Web site, saying the changes were based on rumors and speculation, not hard evidence.
The authenticity of the posting could not immediately be confirmed.
"I just can't believe what I wrote was actually the case, I've remained stunned and saddened over it," the user wrote.
According to Wikinews, an online news source connected to Wikipedia, the Internet protocol address of the individual is identical to that of the user who edited Benoit's profile early Monday morning. An IP address is a unique series of numbers carried by every machine connected to the Internet.
Benoit's page on Wikipedia, a reference site that allows users to add and edit information, was updated at 12:01 a.m. Monday, about 14 hours before authorities say the bodies were found. The reason he missed a match Saturday night was "stemming from the death of his wife Nancy," it said.
Wikipedia confirmed the authenticity of the time stamp and said entry was made by someone using an IP address registered in Stamford, Conn., where World Wrestling Entertainment is based. The anonymous user acknowledged being from Stamford, but claimed no connection to WWE.
Wikipedia referred all further questions to authorities investigating the deaths. Messages left for Fayette County District Attorney Scott Ballard were not immediately returned Friday.
Benoit strangled his wife and son during the weekend, placing Bibles next to their bodies, before hanging himself on the cable of a weight-machine in his home, authorities said. No motive was offered for the killings.
Also Thursday, federal drug agents said they had raided the west Georgia office of a doctor who prescribed testosterone to Benoit.
The raid at Dr. Phil Astin's office in Carrollton began Wednesday night and concluded early Thursday, said agent Chuvalo Truesdell, a spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration. No arrests were made.
Hours before the raid, Astin told The Associated Press he had treated Benoit for low testosterone levels, which he said likely originated from previous steroid use.
Among other things, investigators were looking for Benoit's medical records to see whether he had been prescribed steroids and, if so, whether that prescription was appropriate, according to a law enforcement official speaking on condition of anonymity because records in the case remain sealed.
Astin prescribed testosterone for Benoit, a longtime friend, in the past but would not say what, if any, medications he prescribed when Benoit visited his office on June 22.
WWE attorney Jerry McDevitt said that to his knowledge, no one at the WWE knew Nancy Benoit was dead before her body was found Monday afternoon. Text messages released by officials show that messages from Chris Benoit's cell phone were being sent to co-workers a few hours after the Wikipedia posting.
WWE employees are given WWE e-mail addresses, McDevitt said, though he did not know whether Chris Benoit had one.
"I have no idea who posted this," McDevitt said. "It's at least possible Chris may have sent some other text message to someone that we're unaware of. We don't know if he did. The phone is in the possession of authorities."
On Thursday afternoon, the Wikipedia page about Benoit carried a note stating that editing by unregistered or newly registered users was disabled until July 8 because of vandalism.
Associated Press Writer Harry R. Weber contributed to this story.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)