The girlfriend of one of the victims of last week's tragic Oakland warehouse party fire managed to track down a missing photo of her kissing her lost love in Times Square — using Facebook's help.
On June 16, 2015, Saya Tomioka had just seen "The Book of Mormon" with her boyfriend Griffen Madden when the two decided to share a kiss under the bright lights of New York City's Times Square.
At that moment, a stranger came along, who happened to notice their kiss. He captured the beautiful moment with his camera, showed the couple the breathtaking picture and... left. Saya and Griffin never saw the magical picture again.
That is, until this past week.
After the loss of her boyfriend in the fire, a distraught Saya turned to her Facebook friends and family for some hope.
She remembered the picture of Griffin and her from Times Square that summer night and hoped, if she made a status and enough of her friends shared it, she could track down that picture and the photographer after all this time.
She begged of them, "Friends, possibly with your help, I can be reunited with this photograph, this treasured memory that I'll always keep in my heart. I don't even know if it's possible, but please share this status if you think it is."
It only took four days for her Facebook network to pull through for her.
Her post got hundreds and hundreds of shares, and eventually, the status made its way to the photographer, Arken Avan.
Avan goes around New York City capturing romantic moments shared between couples. When he found out Saya and Griffin could have potentially been one of these couples, he went through his archive of over 200,000 photos in hopes of finding their photo.
And bingo! He found it.
He then posted the photo on his own Instagram, writing,
Luckily i found their beautiful image and was so happy i found it and photographed their beautiful moment, but very very sad of this fire happened which took more than 30 lives. I hope this beautiful moment in a photo will stay forever in your memory Saya, for a memory of your love Griffin Madden!
The photo made its way back to Saya, and she posted it on Facebook with a beautiful note to Griffin.
She writes of the days and days she spent following news of the fire, hoping maybe she'd find him.
And, finally, she ends with the fact that, with this picture, she feels like she actually managed to find him: "I have been hoping for a miracle, a glimpse of your light back into my life. With the infinite help from our families, friends, and strangers, I finally found you."
I'm not crying. You are.