WASHINGTON (CBSDC) - One local mother is celebrating a happy ending to the story of her missing teen daughter, thanking publicity generated from Facebook as the direct link to her being located.
15-year-old Katie Peterson, a sophomore at Sherwood High School in Sandy Spring, was reported missing after leaving home early Friday morning, and not returning.
Her mother created the Facebook page: “Find Katie Peterson, Olney Maryland,” and the outpouring of online supporters praying for her safety, and spreading inquiries as to her whereabouts thereafter, could best be described as viral.
Katie’s mother began posting frequent updates, as concern for her daughter remained a constant, but her determination to find her was undeterred, throughout the weekend.
“This is Katie’s mom,” she wrote Saturday at 4:10 p.m. “Still no word…she is out there somewhere. I am going crazy trying to think of things to do. If anyone tweets or could post on vine or Instagram I would be so grateful. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing and getting the word out. It mesns so much.”
Along with updates, which received shares to the tune of hundreds, Katie’s mother began posting media stories written about her daughter, which would receive similar viral treatment, transforming the page into a self-sustaining social media blitzkrieg as it ballooned to nearly 7,000 likes.
Sunday’s updates will hereby stand as a testament to the power of social media, if utilized properly, and an eternal timeline to Katie eventually being reunited with her family.
“This is Katie’s mom,” she wrote Sunday at 6:15 a.m. “It has now been exactly 48 hours since Katie walked out my front door and disappeared. Thank you for sharing her picture and spreading the word. I never imagined the response this page would get. I am so thankful. I need her home now.”
“This is Katie’s mom,” she wrote around 8 p.m. on Sunday. “She is still missing. I am headed into another night of not knowing where my baby is. Please keep looking and sharing. I feel that this is our best hope of bringing her home.”
And then at 10:05 p.m., came the status everyone had anxiously been awaiting:
“WE FOUND HER. SHE IS SAFE!!!!!”
“I wanted to take a moment to once again thank everyone from the bottom of my heart,” Katie’s mother wrote the final status on the page at 9:56 a.m. on Monday. “Without compromising the investigation, I can tell you that Katie wad found as a direct result of the publicity from this page, and others like it. A true testament to the power of good people in action, and prayers. Lots and lots of prayers.”