Example: [Collected via e-mail, January 2012]
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
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."
So, here's my epiphany: Mitt Romney simply can't help himself. He sees a problem, and his mind immediately sets to work solving it, sometimes consciously, and sometimes not-so-consciously. He doesn't do it for self-aggrandizement, or for personal gain. He does it because that's just how he's wired.
Origins: On 6 July 1996, Melissa Gay, the 14-year-old daughter of investment firm Bain Capital managing director Robert Gay, took a train from her home in Connecticut to
In the days following Melissa's disappearance, Bain Capital — whose partners and founders included Mitt Romney — all but shut down as the firm mobilized its resources to assist in the efforts to find Robert Gay's daughter. As the
"These are investment bankers, lawyers and accountants, many of whom are out there in jackets and ties and wool suits trying to talk to kids with spiked hair and
Bain Capital's partners closed down the firm and drew on friendships and connections to find volunteers for the search.
Command centers to dispatch volunteers and get in touch with the press were set up at the Marriott Hotel at
Yesterday, in their first day of searching, they pounded the pavement, plastered the city with 200,000 fliers and quizzed
But as of late last night, Melissa Gay was still nowhere to be found.
"Our children are what life is all about," said
But Bob Gay just couldn't sit back and watch.
[H]e walked the streets of Manhattan looking for his blonde daughter, who was last seen wearing a blue or red-striped shirt and baggy tan pants.
Gay, who has worked for Bain for eight years, kept his ordeal to himself, confiding only in Romney.
But Romney decided to tell the other
The executives decided not only to give their time but their money, paying all expenses for the search for the fifth of Gay's seven children.
That night, 16 employees flew to
Another 40 employees caught an early morning shuttle yesterday, and later were joined by about
"Most of us have children," said Stephen Pagliuca, 44, a Bain managing director with four children. "That's the most important thing in our lives. It wasn't even a question. We just decided to do it."
Melissa Gay, 14, met her parents, Robert and Lynette, at the police station in Montville, N.J., at
We haven't really talked to her yet," Mr. Gay said from the Pierre Hotel. "We just gave her hugs and brought her home."
Mr. Gay, a partner in the private investment firm Bain Capital, launched a huge search with the help of business partners to help locate his daughter, whom the family had not heard from since [the previous] Saturday.
Melissa left her parents' home that day, took a train to
The young man, whose name was not released, kept her in the home without his parents' knowledge, the police said. Officers went to the home in response to several telephone calls, but the police would not give further details. The Montville police said no charges would be filed.
"It really overshadowed everything we did from a money standpoint," said Mitt Romney, the Bain Capital founder who won the 1994 Massachusetts Republican Senate nomination partly on his reputation as a venture capital wiz. "The days and nights spent looking for Missy Gay were more valuable than some financial home runs that made the front page of the Wall Street Journal. I mean, money is just money."
The 15 Bain Capital partners chartered a plane to
They didn't find her themselves. She turned up in Montville, N.J. The Associated Press reported at the time that she was dazed from a disorienting dose of a drug taken at a rock concert.
Now back in school and fully recovered, Melissa and her parents are doing well, Romney said.
The partners, however, are still taking stock of their visit to the dark corners of
"It was a shocker," he said. "The number of lost souls was astounding."
Romney said one partner still talks about a runaway he spoke with in search of information about Melissa.
"The girl asked, 'Why are you looking for her?' and he said, 'Because her parents miss her,'" Romney said. "She replied, 'I wish my parents missed me like that.'"
"It was the most amazing thing, and I'll never forget this to the day I die," Gay says. "What he did was literally close down an entire business. He basically galvanized an entire industry that just doesn't do this, and got them all on the streets for
With the Bain partners he brought from Boston and investment bankers they knew in
"I'm not sure we would have gotten her back without him," Gay says of Romney.
Other sources have since suggested that Melissa Gay's disappearance was the intentional act of a runaway girl, that her life was never in danger, and that she was on the verge of returning home on her own when a telephoned tip led police to find her. But even they note "there’s no debate that Romney’s quick and resolute action helped locate the girl."
Last updated: 11 May 2012
Baker, K.C. "Fearful Kin Seek Missing Teen." [New York] Daily News. 12 July 1996. Canellos, Peter S. "Bain Capital Recalls NY Search." The Boston Globe. 8 December 1996 (p. B2). Convey, Eric. "Bain Staff Swung Into Action for Child Search." The Boston Herald. 13 July 1996. Ebbert, Stephanie. "Romney Seeks High Office with Confidence, Pedigree." The Boston Globe. 11 August 2002. Kranish, Michael and Scott Helman. The Real Romney. New York: HarperCollins, 2012. ISBN 0-062-12327-0. Jones, Charisse. "Volunteers Search for Missing Girl, 14, in Party Underworld." The New York Times. 12 July 1996. Leung, Shirley. "Investment Firm Shuts to Help Find Girl." The Boston Globe. 12 July 1996 (p. A25). Nestel, M.L. and Mara Gay. "Mitt's Runaway Tale." The Daily. 16 April 2012. Rhee, Foon and Kelsey Abbruzzese. "No One Could Find Her." The Boston Globe. 20 December 2007. The New York Times. "Missing Teen-Ager Found in New Jersey." 13 July 1996.