To the editor:
This past weekend my family was caught in a bad situation. My teen granddaughter had run away. It turned out that she was with another girl and that girl’s mother; however, she didn’t tell her parents where she was, and the person she was with was unknown to her parents and most of her friends. My daughter contacted the police and, by Sunday, when our granddaughter had been gone for over 48 hours, our entire family was becoming frantic to locate her.
We took to social media and posted on Facebook but it wasn’t broad enough. Early Sunday afternoon, my husband sent a tweet to the Journal-World with a link to the Facebook notice and Shaun Hittle picked it up and posted an article, with photos of my granddaughter, to the Journal-World website. People began to respond to the article and, more importantly, share the article to their own Facebook pages and tweet it.
Within just a few hours, the mother of the girl with whom my granddaughter was staying opened her own Facebook, realized her daughter’s guest was a missing runaway and took immediate steps to reunite her with her family. In the end, what happened wasn’t as dire as our family thought, but there is always a potential for danger in these situations. Prompt action by the Journal-World and a willingness on their part to be a central point for an online search effort brought a child safely home.
Our family owes a debt of gratitude to the Journal-World and to the greater community as well for their response.