Europe

Attack in Nice: Missing baby boy reunited with his family

A baby boy who went missing during the lorry attack in Nice on Thursday has been reunited with his family after a Facebook appeal went viral.

The child and his parents had become separated during the Bastille Day incident.

Yohlaine Ramasitera, a friend of the boy's parents, posted a picture of herself with the missing baby on Facebook, and included her phone number in the post.

Image copyright Yohlaine Ramasitera/Facebook
Image caption Yohlaine posted in French on Facebook "If you see this child contact me."

Yohlaine's appeal was spotted by her friend Rebecca Boulanger a pastor at Nice's Victory Christian Church. She was at home with her husband Phillipe and their 18-month-old daughter.

Boulanger wrote a Facebook post in English appealing for help to find the child.

"Yohlaine is my friend and member of my congregation. When I saw her appeal about her friend's missing baby I reacted the way I would want people to react if it was my child," she said.

"I contacted people through social media and asked them to share, pray and believe we would find the boy. We were due to go to see the fireworks that night but decided to stay home and put our baby to sleep, so we were shocked when we heard the news."

Soon Boulanger's Facebook friends began sharing the appeal to find the missing baby. They included the boy's aunt whose own post was shared 22 thousand times.

Baby search

Meanwhile members of the child's family were out on the streets frantically looking for him.

"My husband and I were doing what we could from home monitoring social media and spreading the news. I was in touch with Yohlaine throughout the evening." Boulanger explains.

Within two hours Yohlaine was contacted by a local woman who had seen her Facebook post. She said she had taken the baby to her home and he was safe and well.

"It was a miracle." Boulanger said. "A picture of the child was requested from the woman to ensure that it was him, and then finally the baby was reunited with his worried parents."

Image copyright Rebecca Boulanger/Facebook

Boulanger is in regular contact with the family and says the boy's parents are doing better but have requested privacy.

"There was a lot of chaos that night and we know lots of people caught up in that terrible tragedy." She says.

"So we are opening the doors of the church all weekend for those affected.

"People often criticise social media but one of the joys is that it has the power to bring hope to people amidst the darkness."

By Rozina Sini, BBC's UGC and Social News team

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