When 15-year-old Rye teen Pierce Crowley , public response and support was staggering.
Facebook groups sprang up, and people from Westchester to California sent thoughts and prayers.
And when Crowley was , the channels were once again flooded—this time with relief.
"So glad he's been found," wrote one mother on the Facebook page. "I don't know him or his family but am a mom to an almost-eight and 11-year-old, and I couldn't imagine the pain they must've been going through! Welcome home to your family Pierce!"
It's a phenomenon know as communal loss, according to Paige Stetson, a licensed professional counselor based in Rye and Greenwich, CT who works with both adolescents and adults.
"Whenever a child goes missing the community is deeply affected, " Stetson said. "Parents are filled with a dread and fear that strikes at the heart—'that could be my son or daughter,' they think."
Stetson said people can find strength in taking action, like posting flyers or sharing links on Facebook.
"Participating becomes a part of having done something, which is healing in itself," she said.
White Plains police lieutenant Eric Fischer, who help lead the investigation to track down Crowley, said public support is routine in missing persons cases—especially if it's a child or teen.
"When we have missing kids, everyone wants to help and get involved," he said. "It's relatively common."
"We're very appreciative everyone wanted to help out," he added.
When a Mohegan Lake teen , Patch's coverage generated less comments than the Crowley saga—but residents voiced support in a different way.
The story was shared on Facebook over 200 times. Readers linked the plea from the teen's family publically, helping to spread the word.
The teen, 18-year-old Kyle Jabusch, was .