Harry Brown maintains a lot of his friendships online, but he never thought that these cyber relationships along with the lure of free pizza would help him track down a missing girl nearly 5,000 miles away.
Brown, who lives in Surrey, England, was surprised when one day the parents of his friend, Virgil Henley, who lives in the United States, contacted him asking for help.
Henley and Brown met online and maintained their friendship through Facebook. His parents reached out to Brown after their granddaughter, four-year-old Yvette, had gone missing.
Yvette’s grandparents, Gary and Kim Forester, were granted custody of their granddaughter after courts deemed that she was suffering from emotional damage living with her father.
After the court ruling, Henley fled with his daughter and was on the run for three weeks before his parents reached out to Brown for help.
The police believed that Henley had fled the state with his daughter and girlfriend, and was hiding out in motels. The Foresters took to Facebook and went through their son’s friends in hopes that one of them would know of his and their granddaughter’s whereabouts.
That’s when Brown made some heroic moves.
The 21-year-old spoke with Henley online for two days and eventually got him to reveal the address of where he was staying.
So, how did he get a man nearly 5,000 miles away to reveal his address? With pizza, of course.
Brown used the temptation of free pizza to get Henley to give him his current address.
“I eat so much pizza in my life [the idea] just came to me,” Brown told BBC. He forwarded the address to police in the United States, and they showed up at Henley’s door soon after.
Yvette was picked up by Arizona child protective services and returned to her grandparents at their home in California.
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Her grandfather took to Facebook once again, but this time it was to show his gratitude.
“I battled every day with multiple local authorities who didn’t take me seriously,” he wrote. “Harry, all the way in England, was the only one who helped and found our Yvette. Harry will always be in our family’s hearts.”
Forester went on to say that Brown was invited to their home in the US to be their guest of honor. He said, “Words can never express my gratitude for him … Yvette is alive because of what he did for us!”
As for Brown, he’s just glad that he was able to help.
He told The Mirror, “I spend my life on the internet but little did I know that talking to random people would lead to me finding this little girl. She is loving where she is now. I cried so much when I saw the photos of her with her grandparents.”
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