A British supermarket shelf stocker helped track down a missing 4-year-old girl from 5,000 miles away.
Harry Brown, 21, who works at Sainsbury’s grocery story, was a longshot hope for Yvette Henley’s grandparents who had legal custody of the little girl. They messaged Brown on Facebook with an appeal for help and an offer of a $2,000 reward.
Brown was an online friend of the little girl’s father, Virgil Lamar Henley, 28. The grandparents had gained legal custody of the Yvette on June 20 and filed a missing persons report that day. Yvette was not kidnapped, but they had not seen her for 10 days.
Grandmother Kim Pastore-Forester, 47, declined to comment on the story for fear it could jeopardize custody of their granddaughter.
Posts and responses on the Facebook page of grandfather Gary Forester, 46, indicate that their daughter Alyssa, Yvette’s mother, has a drug addiction.
In his bedroom in Surrey, England, Brown traced Yvette to a motel in Arizona.
The father was likely unaware of the ruling granting the grandparents custody, said reports.
While Yvette’s grandparents did manage to get police to launch an investigation, they were uncertain how effective it would be. Their Facebook accounts give a snapshot of a worried couple hoping their case is taken seriously. Gary shared his hope that Yvette would be added to a national registry of missing persons.
The Foresters contacted Brown because he had an internet history with Henley. Working together the trio managed to track Yvette down.
Brown connected with Henley a few years prior and agreed to strike up a conversation with the man at the urging of the Foresters.
Over the course of two days, Brown learned that Henley and Alyssa had gone to Arizona where they were staying in cheap hotels.
Brown convinced Henley to share his exact location by offering to order a pizza to his room.
That is when the Foresters brought in Arizona police.
From a police perspective, it was a routine missing person’s case that was resolved, said Jodi Miller, a public information officer with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department where the missing persons report was filed.
“The important thing is she is with her grandparents and she is safe,” said Miller.
Brown has been getting plenty of attention in the British press for his role solving the missing persons case.
“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,” he told The Telegraph.
“She is loving where she is now. I cried so much when I saw the photos of her with her grandparents.”
Brown said she is now in the best possible place.
The Foresters look to be the stereotypical doting grandparents, their Facebook feeds are filled with a steady stream of pictures, stories, and happy videos of their beloved granddaughter.
Brown said the experience had been life changing for him.
“I had all these worries but now they all seem meaningless. I have so much more to be happy about now.”