The 1996 search for a teenager who ultimately was found staying at a home in Towaco is the subject of a Mitt Romney campaign ad that received scrutiny this week.
The ad features a former business partner of Romney's talking about the Republican presidential candidate's role in searching for the partner's 14-year-old daughter.
The teen didn't come home after sneaking off to attend a rave in New York and was found days later staying at a home in Towaco, according to news reports from the time, though the campaign ad doesn't spell out the Montville connection or most other details in the case.
The ad—and a written version of the story circulating in email chains and on Facebook—were featured on a fact-checking website this week. On Monday, the day before the Florida primary, which Romney won, PolitiFact reviewed the ad and email chain and found they were accurate.
When the ad was airing in 2007, another blogger wondered about the details that were left out.
Robert Gay, the partner in the ad, picked up his daughter, Melissa, from the station around 2:30 a.m. on July 12, 1996, capping the search, the New York Times reported at the time.
In the ad, Gay credits Romney, a founder of Bain Capital where they worked, with helping save his daughter. Gay said Romney suspended Bain's operations so employees could help look for her.
Romney commented on the search as it was underway in 1996, telling The Boston Globe:
Our children are what life is all about. Everything else takes a back seat.
The break in the case came when someone, after seeing TV news reports about the search, called police and asked about a reward. They hung up, but police traced the call, which led them to her location in Montville Township, news reports said. No charges were filed.