Season of Giving: Tip on Nextdoor Leads Fairfield Police to Missing Woman in 24 Hours

Written by ndmulti

In honor of the holidays, we’re sharing stories every week of how neighbors have used Nextdoor to help give back and help in their communities, starting on Giving Tuesday.

To find volunteer opportunities near you, visit VolunteerMatch or Idealist.org.

We hope you’re inspired to help give back this holiday season, in ways big or small. To join your Nextdoor neighborhood and rally your community to join in on the effort, visit www.nextdoor.com and enter your email and home address.

It was a brisk evening this past Wednesday in Fairfield, CA, when the Fairfield Police Department received a report about a 61-year-old missing woman, Vicki, who had disappeared from her home that morning.

Vicki was listed as an at-risk missing adult due to health problems, and police had reason to believe she likely wasn’t dressed for the evening’s rain and cold temperatures when she left her home. The Fairfield Police Department followed their usual protocol, dispatching officers to look for her and spreading Vicki’s photo and word of her disappearance on their social networks, including Nextdoor.

The Fairfield Police Department's post on Nextdoor about Vicki, which eventually led to her safe return home.
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The Fairfield Police Department’s post on Nextdoor about Vicki, which eventually led to her safe return home.

The following morning, the department had no tips. They reached out to the Solano County Office of Emergency Services and activated the Solano County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team to join in on the search, hoping to broaden their reach and increase their chances of finding Vicki.

Before they even got started, however, the police department received a message on Nextdoor from a neighbor who believed she had seen a woman matching Vicki’s description just that morning at the mall.

In her post, the good samaritan said that the woman had appeared frazzled, so she’d taken her to the food court and bought her breakfast and coffee. Happy that the woman had calmed down and was fed, she’d headed on her way, leaving the mall and heading home.

Upon returning home, she saw the Fairfield Police Department’s post on Nextdoor, as well as Vicki’s photo – and immediately recognized her as the woman she’d just bought breakfast for not a half an hour prior. Wasting no time, she sent the officer a private message on Nextdoor.

Happily, within 30 minutes the police had safely located Vicki at the mall. She was reunited with her family later that morning.

“We can’t thank our community enough for their continued support each and every day,” the Fairfield Police Department said in a follow-up post to the city.

Do you have a story about how you’ve used Nextdoor in your neighborhood? Let us know.

If you’re a public agency interested in partnering with Nextdoor, please contact us here.

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