A distraught mother and other loved ones were frantically searching for a missing girl, Olivia Campbell, after the Manchester explosion. However, tragically, her mother, Charlotte, has now confirmed on Facebook that Olivia has died.
The teen, a big Ariana Grande fan, had gone to the concert with a friend – and was so excited she even bought a new outfit for it – but had not been seen since the blast rang out, killing 22 people and injuring at least 59. Her disappearance had touched people all over the world.
On May 23, Olivia’s grandfather, Steve Goodman, tragically wrote on Facebook, “to all friends and family please stop posting now we have had the news we were dreading. Thank you all so much we love you. ??”
Goodman had written 15 hours before, “Facebook asks what’s on my mind. I NEED SOME NEWS OF MY YOUNGEST GRANDDAUGHTER OLIVIA OTHER THAN THAT MY MIND IS BLANK.”
Desperate loved ones turned to social media seeking information about 15-year-old Olivia. It was every parent’s worst nightmare: Olivia’s mother, Charlotte Campbell, went on CNN to seek information about her daughter. She went on Good Morning Britain. She went on Facebook. She reached out every way she could.
Despite social media accounts that she was found dead, there has been no confirmation of those reports. Olivia’s father posted on Facebook that they were still looking for the girl on May 23.
Charlotte Campbell told CNN that she did not know whether her daughter was dead or alive.
“It’s the most horrible feeling ever. To know that your daughter’s there, and you can’t find her, and you don’t know if she’s dead or alive,” Charlotte said, amidst tears. “I don’t know how people can do this to innocent children.”
She also spoke to the hosts of Good Morning Britain. “She’s not turned up yet,” she said. “Calling the hospitals, the hotels where people say children have been taken. I’ve called the police. There’s no news. And I’ve just got to wait.”
A friend wrote on Facebook, “If any of Olivia Campbell friends hear from her please contact me or Charlotte Campbell she was at the concert in manchester and we cant get in touch with her thanks.”
Loved ones looked for Olivia at the Holiday Inn, where unaccompanied children were being sheltered, but the teen wasn’t there.
On Twitter, a friend pleaded, “THIS IS OLIVIA CAMPBELL HER PHONE IS NOT RINGING IF YOU SEE HER PLEASE CONTACT ME CONFIRMED SHE ISNT AT THE HOLIDAY INN.”
“OLIVIA IS STILL MISSING. #Manchester #OliviaCampbell,” wrote another.
Charlotte’s daughter and a friend, who accompanied Olivia to the concert, are both “great fans” of Ariana Grande, Charlotte Campbell told CNN. She said her daughter and her best friend, Adam Lawler, were excited and bought new clothes for the concert. “It’s ended in absolute carnage,” the frantic mother said.
Charlotte’s mother confirmed on television that Lawler was found in a hospital, but she said she didn’t know his condition. There was still no word of Olivia hours after the attack. Her mother was waiting at home in the hopes Olivia would show up there.
Social media users did everything they could do to help, widely circulating Olivia’s photo. People around the world, including total strangers, rallied around the search for the missing Manchester girl:
“It’s a long shot, but if anyone I know happens to be near Manchester tonight please keep a look out. If you’re not but know someone who is spread the word!” one woman wrote on Facebook. “Her mother is PLEADING on CNN for our help. Come on world. Don’t let this child down! Help!”
“She’s missing in Manchester with a boy, Adam Lawler. The more people see this photo the quicker they’ll be found,” one social media user said, sharing Olivia’s photo.
Wrote another: “OLIVIA CAMPBELL WAS WEARING BLUE SKINNY JEANS, THIGH HIGH BOOTS, BLACK TOP, HAIR UP WITH GLASSES. STILL MISSING. PLEASE HELP.”
Charlotte posted her own plea on Facebook:
The search for Olivia highlighted the humanity behind what authorities say was a likely terrorist attack perpetrated by a suicide bomber as an Ariana Grande concert drew to a close in Manchester, England.
Other families and friends also turned to social media seeking missing people.
Loved ones were looking for Martyn Hett:
They were looking for Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry:
They were looking for Alaya Ryan:
Authorities have recovered a body of a suspect, pointing to a suicide bomber, and he was identified as Salmon Abedi (or Salman, accounts differed). The blast occurred at the tail end of the Grande concert, which draws a younger audience.
Victims’ names released so far include Saffie Rose Roussos, an 8-year-old child remembered for her creative flair, and Georgina Callandar, an Ariana Grande super fan who was photographed with the singer in 2015. A stampede erupted when the explosion occurred, as panic ensued.
You can watch a fan’s video that captured audio from the moment of the blast here:
You can read more about the explosion in Manchester here: