Facebook users help Carmarthen mum find missing Keeley
A MOTHER has thanked hundreds of strangers on a social networking site for helping find her daughter who had run away with a friend.
Tracey McGauley, of Carmarthen, found her 12-year-old daughter had gone missing on Thursday morning, when her brother noticed she was not in Queen Elizabeth High school.
Tracey, whose quest to find Keeley took to social networking site Facebook, said: "It was 9.15am and my son, Wesley, brought it to my attention.
"I was told to report it to the police, but I didn't straight away because it was only 10.30am and I didn't think they would have got very far," she said.
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"I drove around town to the usual places, like the park, but I couldn't see her.
"Then I went to see her friend's mum, who was on the phone to the police after the school had phoned her to let her know."
At 11.30am, the girls were spotted in a gully on the A40 between Carmarthen and St Clears, but after police and Tracey drove down to the area, the girls had already left.
"I drove up and down that road for hours, and because the rumours were that they were going to Haverfordwest, I stopped at every lay-by, toilet and shop along the way."
But it was not until 7pm that the pair were found safely by a woman who had seen the appeal on Facebook and was on the lookout after her husband picked her up from work.
"She saw them in a bush about three to four miles from Carmarthen," said Tracey, of Crispin Avenue.
More than 200 people shared a photograph of the two girls on the social networking site during the day, and Tracey had 60 to 70 private messages from worried strangers.
"It really has been crazy, it was amazing how far it did go, and I just want to say a huge, huge thank you to all of those people."
She said that despite being pleased to see her daughter, she was very upset at her for her actions.
"Her and Wesley are very close and he was really, really concerned," said Tracey.
"But he did find it funny that she'd only made it a few miles."