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People visit a makeshift memorial near the site of a warehouse fire Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. The death toll in the fire climbed Monday with more bodies still feared buried in the blackened ruins, and families anxiously awaited word of their missing loved ones. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Facebook found a lost photo for the girlfriend of an Oakland fire victim and we're crying


Sometimes people on the internet can come together and help each other out in a beautiful way. And that's exactly what happened when a grieving girlfriend asked Facebook users to help her track down a long lost photo of her boyfriend who died in the Oakland warehouse fire on Dec. 2. 

On Dec. 4, Saya Tomioka put out a call for help on Facebook, asking users to try and find a picture of her kissing her boyfriend, Griffen Maddens, that was taken when the two were in New York. 

In her post, Tomioka said she and Maddens had just finished watching a performance of "The Book of Mormon on Broadway.

"I remember tears swelling my eyes because the city was so beautiful and amidst all the lights, I got to look at the brightest light of all, my sweetie," she wrote. "I cried, and we kissed. Some random photographer captured this very moment, this very kiss." 

Tomioka said the photographer showed her the snap, but she never got his name to get a copy. 

"Maybe some facebook miracle could happen," Tomioka wrote in her post. 

Just four days and hundreds of shares later, the post reached New York photographer Arker Aven. 

He told ABC News that after multiple people reached out to him about the photo he decided to check on his hard drive. After searching through thousands of photos, he finally found the one everyone was looking for. 

He posted the photo in a comment on Tomioka's post and wrote "Miracles happen, Saya." 

Here's the beautiful photo. 

In his post with the photo, Aven said it was the only beautiful picture he took that evening. 

"And I actually remember the moment, young lady was holding a pretzel in her hand and young man had lipstick on his cheek. What a beautiful nd adorable couple i thought at that moment and seen them kissing."

Tomioka made the photo her profile picture, and has since written a touching letter to Maddens on Facebook. 

You can read her letter here. 

"To my friends, family and strangers, thank you," Tomioka wrote. "There are no words that could even begin to explain my gratitude for you all. Every message, every share, every comment mean the world to me." 

Maddens was one of 36 who were killed when a warehouse in Oakland, Calif. known as the "Ghost Ship" burned down. 

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