Thursday, 3 November 2011

How Facebook Helped Find Her

You can find anything over the internet.

You can find books at a discounted rate; TV shows that you didn’t see on television; movies that are still in theatres… virtually anything. You can even find people over the internet.

15 year old Kaelia Russell, daughter of professional skateboarder Kanten Russell went missing on October 12, 2011 from Chula Vista, California. She was last seen with her boyfriend, Brian Espinoza in a yellow Nissan Xterra with the license plate 6AXP660.

Facebook and Media Relations

Kaelia’s father began sending copies of a homemade poster to skateboarding blogs, magazines, and web sites. He formed a facebook page which explained their story, and asked for any information on Kaelia’s disappearance. Kanten’s famous friends, such as Ryan Sheckler, began to post links to the page so that millions of followers were able to be on the lookout for Kaelia and Brian.

The Car is Found

On October 14, two days after her disappearance, Espinoza’s car was found through tips from an individual who had “liked” the facebook group. While Kaelia wasn’t found anywhere near the car, this was the first step in finding her.

Kaelia Returns Home Safely

On October 27, the Russell family announced that they had found Kaelia, and that she had safely returned home. Though they did not mention how they had found her, they took time to thank everyone on their facebook page for their help and support in bringing her back home.

Through their use of social media and media relations, the Russell family were able to reach individuals throughout the world. People from Canada, Iceland, and all throughout Europe were able to help the Russell family as much as possible, while offering support for the family along the way.

If you had a loved one go missing, would you try to use social media to get them home safely? Do you feel that this story was only successful due to Kaelia's father's fame?

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