After Hundreds Of Arrests In Sprawling Capitol Hunt, The FBI Just Made A Pretty Big Mistake
Ryan J. Reilly
May 7, 2021·5 min read
FBI suspect No. 225 (left) is not Marilyn Hueper (middle, on Instagram, and right, on Fox News). (Photo: FBI/Instagram/Fox News)
On the surface, it was a pretty solid lead.
Marilyn Hueper looks a lot like FBI suspect No. 225 on the bureau’s extensive wanted list for the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. They’re about the same age, with similar hair and similar taste in black jackets. Marilyn Hueper and her husband, Paul Hueper, were indeed on the grounds of the Capitol on Jan. 6 to support former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Like millions of Trump supporters, the Alaska couple believed Trump’s lies about a stolen election and thought they were part of a “righteous revolution to take back our country,” as Paul Hueper wrote on Instagram. The duo, according to the FBI, was also banned from Alaska Airlines for refusing to follow mask regulations on Feb. 17.
Overall, it seemed like a pretty good match. A special agent assigned to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force out of Anchorage thought so too when he compared Marilyn Hueper’s driver’s license photo to FBI photographs 225A and 225B. He’d “confirmed” they were the same person, he wrote in a search warrant affidavit. A person who knows Marilyn Hueper, FBI Witness 2, also “confirmed” she was the woman in the FBI photos.
Last week, the FBI showed up to the Hueper home to execute a search warrant. The couple were handcuffed, and agents asked about a laptop from Nancy Pelosi’s office that they knew that FBI suspect 225 had grabbed. They showed Marilyn Hueper a photo of another woman who looked a bit like her but wasn’t actually her, Hueper said. And at some point, the FBI realized they’d made a mistake. 
Marilyn bore a passing resemblance to FBI suspect No. 225, whom citizen sleuths in the Sedition Hunters community have branded “AirheadLady” because she and a young man she was with throughout her time in the Capitol ― FBI suspect No. 224 aka “AirheadBoy” ― eventually emerged from the building wearing emergency escape hoods
FBI Capitol suspects 224 and 225, aka
When read in isolation, the FBI affidavit in support of the search warrant application, first found online by Seamus Hughes of George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, makes a fairly compelling case that Hueper is the correct suspect. But a closer examination of the photos raises some red flags: The women’s ears are much different, as are their eyebrows and hairlines. A facial recognition check ― which the FBI has used to both identify high-profile Capitol suspects and to find people they’re already investigating on Capitol surveillance footage — would have almost certainly ruled her out.
It’s unclear how old Marilyn Hueper’s driver license photo is, or when the FBI witness who knew her last saw her (or how well they knew her). But the FBI did have access to a recent photo of Marilyn Hueper that was posted on Paul Hueper’s public Instagram page, which was cited in the affidavit. (On its own, the Instagram post is solid evidence that the Huepers entered restricted grounds of the Capitol and could theoretically face a possible misdemeanor charge, but federal authorities have focused their limited resources on defendants who entered the actual Capitol building, fought with police outside the building, or broke down barriers and let in the rest of the mob.)