The district attorney prosecuting a 14-year-old Pennsylvania boy for plotting a school shooting said the teenager says he communicated online with an 18-year-old from Finland who killed eight people in a school shooting last week, and that he idolized the perpetrators of the 1999 Columbine High School massacre.
Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor said all his information about the conversations came from Dillon Cossey, 14, who denied he and Pekka-Eric Auvinen, 18, discussed detailed murder plots, but confirmed they "idolized and worshipped [Columbine shooters] [Dylon] Klebold and [Eric] Harris."
US investigators have found no evidence of the conversations on Cossey's computer. Finnish police and Cossey's attorney, however, confirm the boys met in cyberspace.
Castor said Cossey "fantasized about being a military leader" and that given enough time he believed the boy would have amassed enough arms to pull off a shooting.
Castor said the boy was "shocked by what happened" in Finland just weeks after his own arrest.
It is unclear on which Web site or Web sites the two teens first made contact, but Cossey's attorney J. David Farrell said his client remembered chatting with Auvinen about video games and the Columbine shooting.
"There is some indication they may have shared direct e-mail addresses and first contacted each other through YouTube," Farrell told ABCNEWS.com.
"My client confirms he had contact with him," Farrell said. "There was no indication in any of the e-mails that Auvinen had intentions of committing a violent act."
The Times of London reported this weekend that Auvinen may have been in contact with Cossey on the social networking Web site MySpace before the shooting. Cossey, a home-schooled student, admitted to American police last month that he had planned a Columbine-style attack at a suburban Philadelphia high school.
MySpace denied today that the two had been in contact in MySpace groups, claiming the profile that allegedly belonged to Auvinen was a fake and that neither of the two suspects had belonged to either of the two groups — RIP Eric and Dylan and Natural Selectors.
"Even though we were unable to locate any connection on our site, we are in contact with local law enforcement in Finland to provide any assistance needed. The alleged profile of Pekka-Eric Auvinen was an imposter and has been deleted," MySpace said in a statement.
Finnish investigators, who initially called contact between the two "likely," have yet to access Auvinen's computer; they are backing off the connection after the MySpace denial.
"If [MySpace] says that it's fake then I'm no longer that confident," Rabbe von Hertzen, the detective superintendent in charge of the investigation at Finland's National Bureau of Investigation, told ABC News.
In Pennsylvania, Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor said he told his detectives to run the name of the Finnish shooter through the computer seized from Cossey, 14, who admitted in juvenile court to planning an attack at a suburban Philadelphia high school, The Associated Press reported.
"None of us really think that there's going to be a lot here, but we're going to check it out," said Castor, who heard of the possible connection from media reports, according to The Associated Press.