18-year old Jackie Rosas from Cathedral City, CA is a hero.
On May 6, Rosas was reading through Tumblr when she noticed an alarming post from a 16-year old girl she followed. The post read, “I am going to kill myself, there is no other option.”
Over the past year, Rosas had noticed the girl’s posts filled more and more with depressed thoughts and even witnessed other Tumblr users bullying the girl with anonymous hurtful comments. With nothing more than the girl’s first name and a link to her blog, Rosas called a local suicide hotline who instructed her to call her local police department to help her narrow down the location and last name of the girl.
Calling up the Cathedral City Police Department, Rosas was directed to Officer Kelly Nava, a 14-year veteran of the force. The girl’s blog had mentioned that she was a part of the color guard at her high school, but mentioned little else about her identity. With little leads to follow, Officer Nava forwarded the girl’s picture to Officer Heather Olsen, a school resource officer at Cathedral City High School, hoping she could positively ID the girl. Not recognizing the face, Olsen sent the image to the school’s assistant principal along with several members of the school faculty. No one had seen the girl before but soon after the inquiry, Assistant Principal Dimick found a girl’s twitter account with the same user photo.
Now fueled with a last name and a tweet about “UHS marching band,” Officer Olsen began putting all the pieces of the puzzle together — searching through YouTube videos, newspaper articles, and Tumblr posts — until she finally narrowed it down to Union Township, New Jersey. Eight hours after the search for this 16-year-old girl had begun, Officer Nava forwarded all information to the Union Township Police Department who then sent officers over to the girl’s house. Upon arrival officers found the 16-year-old girl who had attempted suicide by ingesting large amounts of pills and rushed her to a local medical facility where she is now under psychiatric hold. With all odds against her, Rosas was able to save this girl’s life from a thousand miles away because of her concern for a Tumblr post crying for help.
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