Social Media Sounds The Alarm For David Harker - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Social Media Sounds The Alarm For David Harker

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It's been nearly three days and 28-year-old David Harker of Rock Island is still missing. Family, friends and strangers picked up where they left off today, gathering in groups to continue the search.

The husband and father of two has been missing since the early morning hours on Sunday. Police say he was last seen leaving a downtown Moline bar but Harker never made it home.

Hundreds of volunteers are taking part in the search for David Harker. Many of those people don't even know David personally. They heard about his disappearance on Facebook and are showing up to help.

David Harker went missing less than three days ago. How do thousands of people already know about his disappearance?

"I initially saw it on Facebook," said one person.

"It popped up on Facebook, it's all over Facebook," said another.
     
Used to give people updates and help coordinate the search effort, the "help Find David Harker" Facebook page is the go-to spot for information.

"The Facebook outpouring has been overwhelming," said family member Brandon Kelly. "I've never been a part of anything like this."

Right now, upwards of 14-thousand people are following the page and that number is going up every minute. David's family says it's been crucial to the search effort.

"We had well over 100 people here this morning, yesterday probably at least 500 if not more, that were out searching," said Dennis Harker, David's father.
     
Mr. Harker posted his own updates to the page over the past few days.

"This is a time where it has value," he said.
    
The search party started as a large group but the group has grown exponentially in just a short period of time because of Facebook.

The social media site is helping investigators, too. Police use it too keep track of search sites and search volunteers.

"With Facebook, we're able to monitor where everyone is," said Det. Scott Williams of the Moline Police Department. "Set up our grid patterns, get to the places we need to get."  
   
Still, while social media technology offers a great benefit to any family in this position, it's also a constant reminder that their loved one is in harm's way.