Strangers “friend” each other regularly on social media sites like Facebook and follow and retweet on Twitter, thinking nothing of the relationship but an additional set of eyes watching and liking their daily posts. However, one California girl paid close attention to a strange post from a girl she had connected with from New Jersey and immediately called the police, eventuallysaving the life of the troubled teen who posted it.
"She blogged, saying she was going to end her life," 18-year-old Jackie Rosas told USA Today. "She had been fighting this depression, and when she posted that, my instinct was that she was serious. She wrote something like: 'I'm going to kill myself. There is no other option.'"
From the time Jackie saw the post and called a local suicide hotline to the time police in New Jersey were able to locate and save the girl, eight hours had passed.
Jackie’s first instinct to call the hotline was unsuccessful because although she followed the troubled girl on Tumblr, she had no idea of her last name. Jackie then called her local police department in Cathedral City, California, but responding Officer Kelly Nava had no success identifying the girl in question at the Cathedral City schools.
Jackie did some more searching online and came up with a Twitter account that had the same profile picture as the Tumblr and also added a last name. A tweet from November revealed that the girl really liked the UHS marching band. More hours of online searching brought Jackie to a newspaper article that mentioned Union Township, New Jersey, and so she called Nava, who connected with the NJ town’s police department. That local department identified the girl and rushed to her house to find that she had taken enough pills “to put her on a psychiatric hold,” according to the USA Today article.
"I kind of cried," Rosas said. "I was happy to know that I saved someone's life. It happened at random and it's an amazing feeling knowing you are able to help someone from thousands of miles away."