The Power Of Twitter: Celebrity Tweets Help Find Missing Girl

A missing 14-year old girl who vanished before Christmas has been found safe after celebrities joined forces on Twitter to help trace her, after the police stated they had “exhausted normal lines of inquiry”.

Serena Beakhurst, 14, was located in the Wandsworth area of south London in the early hours, the Metropolitan Police said. She was said to be well.

The girl vanished three weeks ago, and the likes of Stephen Fry, footballer Rio Ferdinand and Sarah Brown – wife of ex-prime minister Gordon Brown – all posted links to appeals for information about her.

A spokesman for the Met Police said: “Serena was found in the early hours of Wednesday in Wandsworth. Officers will be speaking to her in due course.”

A Facebook group that grew to almost 2,700 members was also set up Serena’s family.

Serena’s family thanked supporters of the campaign to find the teenager and described celebrity involvement as “invaluable”. Her cousin James Andrew told The Voice: “The family wishes to thank everyone who supported our campaign to find Serena. We are so grateful to all who took the time to post information about her on their Facebook and Twitter profiles.

“We also wish to thank the celebrities who publicised our efforts. Their involvement was invaluable. And to the media who picked up on the story, your coverage was instrumental in finding Serena.”

There’s a bigger story here – friends and family of Serena felt that the investigation stalled after police listed her as a runaway (as opposed to a missing person), and one has to wonder why it took the involvement of celebrities to bring enough attention to this case to solve it – but what a fantastic example of the sheer, and immediate, power of Twitter.

(Source: Press Association.)