At 2 p.m. last Tuesday, police in Campbell, CA, received an OnStar report of a rollover involving Melissa Vasquez' Chevy Cruze. Police rushed to the location, but it was wrong. In fact, it was miles from where her car was finally found. A few hours later, they received a missing persons call from Melissa's step-mother.
Officer Dave Cameron is shy and modest, known in the department as "kind of a tech geek." He met with the step-mother and asked if Melissa had a Find My iPhone app. The step-mom wasn't sure. She knew Melissa had an iPad, but didn't know where it was. Cameron called the cell company which confirmed the iPad was in the home, so he searched until he found it, but it was locked. Using what he called "common numbers people use for passwords," he unlocked the iPad on the third and final try. The Find My iPhone app was also locked, but the same password opened it. He activated the "lost phone" feature and saw a map of the location of her phone. "It gave a very small search area," he said. "Her phone had only 12 percent battery life left."
Officers responded to the area and in less than 20 minutes located Melissa, who is 28. Her Chevy had plummeted 500 yards down an embankment and landed on its roof. She had been laying outside her car for 19 hours, injured but conscious. A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter airlifted her to Regional Medical Center in San Jose, where she is expected to survive.
Cameron said he was heartened that technology helped save Melissa. But was it only technology? "Something was watching over her," he believes. What do you think?