Siufanua said detectives got their break when Beaumont phoned her mother from a stranger’s house in Pleasant Grove. Officers searched the number and quickly showed up at the address.
Siufanua said the girl had traveled to Pleasant Grove on a bicycle, then stayed the night at a meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Beaumont had appeared to leave for Dixon Junior High School around 8:30 a.m. Monday. The girl’s parents called police after she did not come home in the afternoon.
“There’s repercussions, just ask her dad,” Siufanua quipped in front of reporters. “She’s going to have to answer to her parents.”
Observers like Social Media Club of Salt Lake City co-founder Brian Seethaler said the volunteer turnout was a testament that social media has become a catalyst for causes.
“Notwithstanding the outcome of the case, to be able to mobilize a group that fast and that many people in the neighborhood and around the county, down in Utah County, to be looking for her – I think it’s largely attributable to social media,” Seethaler said.
Seethaler said not only is social media becoming an emerging source of breaking news – it’s also a platform for community building.
“A worthy news event comes up and people are using social media as an empowerment tool – not only to spread the news, but to help figure out how to do things about it,” Seethaler said. “I’m quite heartened about it – it makes you feel good about humanity a little bit.”
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