Sunday, November 23, 2014

Facebook effort aims to help find baby Lana

By MEAGAN PATTON-PAULSON, Herald Connections Editor | 5/8/2013

Social media has become a powerful venue to find missing people, Darci Riley said.

And so far, that’s been the case with a missing 1 1/2-year-old girl named Lana, whose mother has been identified as one of three victims found at a barn at 3197 Georgia Road.

A flier with Lana’s photo and information had been posted on a Facebook page, “Lisa Irwin-Footprints in the Sand.” As of Wednesday night, Lana’s flier had been “shared” nearly 8,000 times.

The page originally was started two years ago to help locate a missing Kansas City, Mo., toddler.

“We have many missing children’s families find their way to this page,” Riley, a family friend of Irwin, who now runs the Facebook page, said. Missing children are listed there from all 50 states and 11 countries.

“We never give up hope for any of these children,” Riley said.

Melissa Mcintosh-Decock, Ottawa, also created a flier with Lana’s profile on Facebook, which had been “shared” nearly 300 times as of Wednesday night.

“There were so many posts that had little snippets but didn’t have everything, and I wanted to put together one with all the information,” she said.

Mcintosh-Decock said she wanted to help because with her own children, as well as a grandon who is Lana’s age, she sympathizes with what the family is going through.

“I cannot imagine me, having a daughter who had just been murdered and not knowing where my grandchild is,” she said. “There’s no way I could function through that.”

She urged the community to help spread the word about the girl, as well as show their support at a prayer vigil scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday at Forest Park, 320 N. Locust St. The vigil will be for Lana and in remembrance of the three victims, Kaylie Bailey, Andrew Stout and Steve White.  

Mcintosh-Decock said she hopes the girl is found before then, but a few prayers anyway couldn’t hurt.

“Everybody’s seeing Ottawa in a bad light, but if they see how close we can be, maybe something good can come of this,” she said.

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