Social media key in search for missing Vernon man

Facebook group admin R.L. Dakin has managed 50 missing persons pages

Behind the intense social media-based manhunt for Vernon hotel manager Jay Rosenberger, one administrator name was reappearing in the group that garnered more than 5,300 members in only a few days.

The Missing: Jay Rosenberger Facebook group is the 50th missing person’s page the Alberta-based organizer, R.L Dakin, as they prefer to be called, has set up.

Dakin, who is an admin for active groups in Manitoba, Oregon, Alberta and British Columbia, doesn’t personally know the 38-year-old Vernon hotel manager but rather empathizes with the family.

READ MORE: Missing Vernon man located

“I’m someone who has had a loved one go missing,” Dakin said. “In our case, we were fortunate and able to locate them and reconnect, but I can certainly empathize with the fear and dread families go through.”

“This is a very gruelling emotional experience.”

Due to Dakin’s personal experience, closer attention was paid to social media feeds when it came to notices of other missing people.

“I would join those groups and help where I could,” Dakin said.

It was there Dakin noticed some groups were disorganized and not run as efficiently as they could be. Dakin also knew families searching for a loved one don’t have the time to monitor Facebook groups, rather they’re often the boots on the ground in the search.

Dakin is not compensated for the work or time invested into managing the Facebook groups.

A “secret ingredient” in Facebook groups for missing people stands out to Dakin as a primary reason to stay involved.

“It’s love,” Dakin said. “We may not have known or loved the missing person, but every person who connects, every person who takes the time to share or print or hang a poster, they do it all because they love. Someone. Somewhere. And it’s that awareness that helps connect them to these people who are missing and their families.”

Dakin said all missing persons Facebook groups transition. The most common form of a transition, Dakin noted, is from a short-term search to a long-term, but in Rosenberger’s case, the group transitioned to “located.”

“The most positive form of transition is when the missing person is located, safe,” Dakin said.

But that doesn’t mean the group closes up and shuts down.

Now, Dakin said, there’s cleanup to do.

“When a missing person is located and safe, we do some tidy-up in order to return as much privacy to them as we can.”

Dakin suggests people re-visit their homepage or group where poster links may have been shared and take them down.

Posters should also be removed from storefronts, utility poles and anywhere else they may have been hung in the search efforts.

Rosenberger was reported missing after not showing up to work or attending plans with friends on Saturday. He was last seen at the Village Green Hotel in Vernon on Friday, Jan. 24, around 11 p.m.

The 38-year-old was reported found and safe by Vernon North Okanagan RCMP at 1:42 p.m. on Jan. 29. But someone close to the search efforts broke the news in the Facebook group.

Family and friends said more information about Rosenberger are to be released at a later date.

READ MORE: Vernon volunteer wins JCI’s Good Citizen of the Year

READ MORE: JustIN: Vernon-born artist teases new tune with mom


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

missing personsocial media

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Vernon Vipers acquire power forward

Former Salmon Arm Silverback Jarrod Semchuk, from Kamloops, comes to Vernon via Bonnyville of AJHL

Major road project in Towship of Spallumcheen starts Monday

Reconstruction and repaving of 1.4-kilometre stretch of Back Enderby Road to last until October

No abandoned Seadoo found on Coldstream lake

Vernon Search and Rescue crews and RCMP unable to find reported abandoned Seadoo on Kal Lake

Okanagan Science Centre open with pandemic safety measures

The Vernon centre has also added four new entries to its summer camp lineup

Coldstream defenceman warrants U17 camp call

Jace Weir, 16, of the Okanagan Rockets one of 113 players picked for Hockey Canada virtual camp

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

Summerland campground to provide COVID-safe accommodations for temporary farm-workers

The managed seasonal worker campsite will be located within a separated area of Peach Orchard Municipal Campground

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

Kelowna high school football star, water skier, signs with University of Calgary

Isaac Athans, and his family, have a long history of success across various sports in the Okanagan, nationally

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Shuswap resident spots waterspout near Salmon Arm

The rare weather event was spotted early in the morning on July 4.

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

Most Read