A New Zealander who turned to Facebook to find an American woman he met last New Year’s Eve probably didn’t realize he would stir up controversy.
Reese McKee, 25, launched a Facebook campaign last week where he asked for help tracking down a woman he spent New Year’s Eve with last year in Hong Kong. All he knew was her name, “Katie,” and the fact she was from Washington, D.C., and a photo he took of her on his phone, the New Zealand Herald reports.
“I was just walking around and admiring the lights and found this girl just crying on the side of the road. I went and tried to help her out. She was lost. She'd lost all her friends,” he said. “I just cheered her up. I sort of have this undeniably bad sense of humor that no one can resist laughing at.” The pair went drinking and dancing until she was reunited with her friends at 6 a.m., McKee said.
His effort to find the young woman went viral, attracting attention in New Zealand and the United States.
"It turned into a massive 'let's stalk every Katie in the DC area'. I was trying to get people to stop that, but with 2000 plus people messaging ... it got a bit out of hand,'' he said.
The mystery girl, “Katie,” was tracked down, McKee says. “We found the girl. She is from DC, she’s not there at the moment, but she’s sorta taken down all her public profiles for a bit.”
McKee admits he hasn’t contacted “Katie” yet, saying he’s waiting for the attention to die down before he reaches out.
“I'm just looking to settle it down. It was a hell of a lot of pressure, after the second day it sort of dawned on me that if I was going through this much, then there was going to be an incredible wave of pressure slammed into her,” he said. “I suppose she's sort of gone offline for a bit. It's understandably overwhelming.”
McKee has also taken down his original Facebook event post he called “A New Year’s Promise” which read:
“I was hurt a long time ago,” he wrote to followers. “The hopeless romantic in me was locked away when he got hurt because it was too much. For too long, this has effected my relationships, and I’ve failed people.”
“Somewhere along the line my romantic soul went silent, and this is a step towards putting that right. While the main aim of this event has been to reconnect with the now infamous 'Katie,' it's also about me, finding myself and who I know I can be. I hope to find her. And along the way, find myself.”