In July 1996, the 14-year-old daughter of Robert Gay, a partner at Bain Capital, had disappeared. She had attended a rave party in New York City and gotten high on ecstasy.
Three days later, her distraught father had no idea where she was. Romney took immediate action. He closed down the entire firm and asked all 30 partners and employees to fly to New York to help find Gay's daughter. Romney set up a command center at the LaGuardia Marriott and hired a private detective firm to assist with the search. He established a toll-free number for tips, coordinating the effort with the NYPD, and went through his Rolodex and called everyone Bain did business with in New York, and asked them to help find his friend's missing daughter. Romney's accountants at Price Waterhouse Cooper put up posters on street poles, while cashiers at a pharmacy owned by Bain put fliers in the bag of every shopper. Romney and the other Bain employees scoured every part of New York and talked with everyone they could, prostitutes, drug addicts, anyone.
That day, their hunt made the evening news, which featured photos of the girl and the Bain employees searching for her. As a result, a teenage boy phoned in, asked if there was a reward, and then hung up abruptly. The NYPD traced the call to a home in New Jersey, where they found the girl in the basement, shivering and experiencing withdrawal symptoms from a massive ecstasy dose. Doctors later said the girl might not have survived another day. Romney's former partner credits Mitt Romney with saving his daughter's life, saying, "It was the most amazing thing, and I'll never forget this to the day I die."...
Gay says Romney helped "save" his daughter, though previous reports have differed on the condition she was in. The line in the retelling now circulating -- that doctors told Gay she might not have lived another day -- comes from a Boston Globe report in 2002.It's of no matter whether she was close to death or in 'fairly good condition,' since no one knew that until she was found. The point is that this was a damn decent thing to do. I'm going to rescind my absolute objection to voting for Romney on the basis of this, the story checking out as it appears to do. It's a fit way for a man to have behaved toward his fellows, and it provides an answer to a question that has bothered me. I think we now know whom he takes for his brother.
Newsday, for its part, reported in July 1996 that "Melissa's parents said she was physically unharmed though she appeared 'very fragile.' The family's doctor had examined the girl and pronounced her in fairly good condition. ..."
"She was not harmed," Robert Gay said at news conference after she was found, according to the New York Daily News. "She was in tears. We just gave her hugs and brought her back home."
He's still not my candidate, on account of positive reasons to prefer Mr. Santorum, and other objections to Mr. Romney's approach that I reserve. Nevertheless, such work should be rewarded, and it would be wrong not to recognize where a man has done a worthy thing.