I'll be the first to admit, when someone says "reddit is on the case!" I tend to cringe a bit. We all remember that unfortunate situation shortly after the Boston Marathon bombings were the reddit sleuths took it upon themselves to figure the whole thing out. We know how that ended.
But sometimes the crowdsourcing works.
Yesterday, a New York City man made a plea in the r/nyc subreddit: My Mom has Alzheimer's, she's missing in the Upper West side of Manhattan, and I need your help.
"My mother went missing yesterday (4/21/14) after wandering out of my parent's apartment on W 69 St between Central Park West and Columbus. She was alone in the apartment at the time, and we believe she left in the early afternoon," said user Josh Goldberg.
"Her name is May Goldberg. She is 59 years old, Chinese, 5'6" 115 lbs. She has shoulder-length black hair and we believe she might be wearing a white, long-sleeve, zip-up fleece (NY1 article lists alternative clothing that she MIGHT be wearing). She speaks both Mandarin Chinese and English. She walks with a slight limp due to hip-replacement surgery she had several years ago. She has severe dementia."
Along with notifying the police, Goldberg provided the reddit community images of his mother and a link to an article about her
In about seven hours, his mother had been found.
"Hi guys. I am so glad May will be shortly reunited with her family. I was walking home from work around 9:30-10PM and I noticed May at East 47th and Lexington Avenue. As I saw Josh's post in the afternoon she looked very familiar. I quickly pulled out my phone and visited this page to ensure it is indeed her. When I realized it's her, I approached her, asked for her name, told her that her family is looking for her, and took her to Hyatt Hotel lobby to contact the police. The gentleman and lady at the Hyatt front desk were extremely helpful and they contacted the police. Two police officers arrived within 3 minutes. They identified May and I believe they called for an ambulance. In the meantime, I quickly sent a personal message to Josh via Reddit informing him that her mom has been found and that she is with the police," said user geryorama.
Reddit has dubbed him the 'Where's Waldo' champion of the world, having found Goldberg in a city of eight million people.
Josh Goldberg took to his post to update r/nyc that his mother had been found, and to thank the community for their help.
"MY MOM HAS BEEN FOUND! She is safe, but she is being checked out at the hospital as a precaution. A million thanks to /u/geryorama for finding her on the street and alerting the authorities. The outpouring of support has been completely overwhelming. My family and I send a HUGE thank you to the entire Reddit community. You are amazing. Thank you," he said.
Gotta love a happy ending.
Image via Wikimedia Commons