How social media helped save a missing college student's life
When Georgia Tech student Jimmy Hubert went missing after his fraternity's semi-formal on Friday, his friends frantic social media posts and use of technology to help track him down very likely saved his life. The young man was found alive on Monday morning thanks to his friends' persistent search and an iPhone GPS location.
Hubert, Vice President of Georgia Tech's Phi Delta Theta fraternity, went missing after the semi-formal event at the Foundry at Puritan Mill in Atlanta. He had his date's phone in his pocket as well as his own. Danny Goldman, PDT's president, told the Daily Dot:
After both Hubert's and his date's phones died, family and friends began to worry. That's when they turned to social media to help locate the young man. Hubert's mother, Diane, posted a plea on Facebook asking that her son be returned safely. Friends shared photos on Imgur with the caption "Bring Jimmy home" in the hopes of a cyber-stranger identifying him. The pictures were also shared on Reddit. In addition, Goldman sent all members of the Interfraternity Council an alert which was also posted on Reddit. Goldman said:
"Sunday, we had team go out to the last known location of the GPS to hand out flyers that he was missing. We posted all over our social media pages that he was missing and had a ton of help on that front. News stations picked the story up late Sunday evening and the hunt for Jimmy increased."
News of Hubert's disappearance was also posted on the Georgia Tech website asking people to contact the campus police department with any information. Finally, around 9 AM on Monday morning, Diane shared on her Facebook page the news that her son had been found by a friend who went searching for him.
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The police confirmed that the young man was found and described his condition:
"The Atlanta Police Department has been notified and can confirm that Mr. James Hubert, previously reported missing, has been located. He was located along the railroad tracks adjacent to DeKalb Avenue and Arizona St. The student has been transported to Grady Hospital to be evaluated for hypothermia and injuries."
After being reunited with him, Diane shared photos of his son to show his rough but stable condition. She also posted a Facebook status to address the inaccurate rumors that spread upon her son's disappearance and return.
Her message addressing the rumors reads:
"TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT
He was NOT ON DRUGS
He was NOT DRUNK
He left the formal alone and jumped on Marta (train)
When he got off the train he was JUMPED BEATEN UP ROBBED & LEFT FOR DEAD.
END OF STORY!"
In the end, technology saved Hubert's life.
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