#FindIca: How social media helped locate missing teen

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 24 2017 11:01 PM

MANILA—Seventeen-year-old Ica Policarpio trended on social media after news of her disappearance broke on Friday.

Bea Policarpio launched a campaign on social media called #FindIca to help locate her sister's whereabouts.

A selfie posted on Twitter and taken by Danica Bragado, 19, was one of the leads that guided the family to Ica's location in San Pablo, Laguna.

Bragado explained that she was with her friends at a coffee shop when they saw Ica.

"Napansin ko na parang kamukha niya iyong babae na nasa news na nawawala. Sinabi ko po sa mga kaibigan ko pero di po nila alam. Pinagmamasdan ko po siya kasi (according) po sa news iniwan niya bag niya. Pero may bag po siyang dala so hindi talaga ako sure kung siya talaga iyon," Bragado told ABS-CBN News on Saturday.

She said they did not intend to include Ica in their selfie but was fortunate that they did.

"Ta's nag-selfie po kami, noong una ayaw ko po talaga kasi malabo iyong cam ng phone ko ta's iyon. Napagalaw po ako ta's luckily nakuhanan siya," she said.

When she got home, Bragado said her friend, Yra Reyes, saw the news about Ica and said she was the same person the friends saw at the coffee shop.

"Tapos noong nakauwi na po kami, si Yra po friend ko nakita iyong post about nga doon at sabi niya exact daw iyong damit na nakita niya na suot ni Ica," she said.

Bragado said they tried contacting Ica's sister on Facebook but got no response. They then messaged Ica's mother who replied and said a resident in M. Paulino, San Pablo has reported seeing Ica.

"Nag-reply iyong mother po ni ica, sabi din noong mother ni Ica na may nag-report na nasa M. Paulino din, which is nasa San Pablo din. Lumakas po loob namin na si Ica talaga iyon. Ta's sinuggest niya sa'kin na tingnan ko baka nahagip doon sa phone ko si Ica and then iyon nga nahagip po," she said.

"Minessage ni Yra iyong ate ni Ica para maktita iyong pic kasi ka-text niya po iyong mother e, pero di nagre-reply sa chat iyong ate niya. Kaya naisipan ko pong i-tweet," she added.

Bragado said helping Ica get home safe was also a Christmas gift to her and her friends.

"Masaya kasi nakatulong, parang Christmas gift na po ito sa'min magkakaibigan and of course malaking gift sa family ni Ica. At masarap po talaga sa feeling makatulong," she said.

Authorities found the Grade 12 student crying at a carinderia in San Pablo City, Laguna. A barangay council woman took her in before calling her family early Sunday, her father, Rufino Policarpio, told reporters.