OAKLAND (CBS SF) – Amid her mourning for a love lost in Oakland’s deadly Ghost Ship warehouse fire, a grieving woman reached out on social media hoping to locate a photographer who captured a special moment in her romance with one of the fire victims.
It was from a time of smiles and joy and happiness for Saya Tomioka and her boyfriend, Griffin Madden: a visit to New York, a walk in Times Square, a night of laughter at ‘The Book Of Mormon.”
Tomioka remembered someone had snapped their picture as they warmly embraced on a New York City street. She turned to social media in the hours since the tragic fire and posted a note of hope and a prayer that she could find the photographer and the photo.
• Continuing Coverage: Deadly Oakland Warehouse Fire
On Thursday, Tomioka was back on Facebook, posting a loving letter to Griffin, saying her prayer had been answered.
The photographer – New York-based Arken Avan — had contacted her. The photo was a part of his New York faces series.
“I have been hoping for a miracle, a glimpse of your light back into my life. With the infinite help from our families, friends, and strangers, I finally found you,” she wrote in the post.
“I sobbed when I saw this photo in Thom’s arms, and then, I immediately laughed uncontrollably,” she wrote. “Life is so strange. I’ve lost you, but I’ve never felt stronger in my life. Through our many years of love and growth, I learned how to be strong from you.”