Help from her Facebook friends and a 10-second call helped the police track down a young woman who had left her home on March 27, leaving no clue behind, and carried neither a cellphone, nor a computer which could leave an electronic footprint.
The woman, a native of Himachal Pradesh and engineer by profession, was found in Shirdi, working in a hotel as a receptionist, and has since been reunited with her family. The 25-year-old was staying in Chandigarh and looking for a job. One day, she had an argument with her mother on the phone, and then left her place, carrying just a bag of clothes and a gold bangle. Her family reported the matter to police on March 30 after her phone remained unanswered.
Sub-Inspector Jaspal Singh, in charge of Sector 22 police post, said, “She left behind her mobile, laptop and other such articles which could have helped us in tracing her.” The police questioned her friends, but they had no idea where she had gone. “They said that she had been happy. They did not hint at elopement. But one of them said that she was seen online on Facebook on April 14 when she had congratulated a friend on her birthday. After that, she deleted her profile,” said the SI.
The police and the woman’s friends decided to start a campaign on Facebook to locate her. All her friends were asked to spread the word that anyone who came in contact with the woman should inform the SI on his official number.
“A few days later, one of her friends called and said that the woman had called her. It was a 10-second call. She had just asked the friend how she was doing and then disconnected the call,” said the SI. The police had been trying to get the internet protocol (IP) address of the place from where she had used her Facebook account last. “Before we could get the details of IP address, we got the call details of the mobile number from which the missing woman had called her friend,” said SI Jaspal.
The phone belonged to an assistant manager of a hotel near the Sai Baba Temple in Shridi. “He told us that a woman, who had joined as a receptionist some time back, had used the phone to make a call,” said Jaspal. He was asked to take care of the woman for a few days. Her parents were called from their native place and, along with a police team, they went to Shirdi. At first, the woman refused to return, but relented after she was counselled by her mother and the police.
Her brother-in-law told Newsline, “She had been staying in Chandigarh for the last few years. She had some argument with her mother and went away.’’