How iPhone’s ‘Find My Friends’ App Helped Find The Body Of A Missing College Student

Haley Anderson’s quick-thinking friends at Binghamton University in New York used their phones to find the young woman after she went missing in 2018.

February 14, 2023
Haley Anderson, pictured here smiling, was murdered on March 8, 2018 by fellow student Orlando Tercero.

Haley Anderson’s quick-thinking friends at Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York, used their phones to find the young woman after she went missing in 2018.

Photo by: Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc. (Screenshot from "48 Hours On ID")

Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc. (Screenshot from "48 Hours On ID")

Haley Anderson’s mother didn’t immediately realize her daughter was missing on Thursday, March 8, 2018. She typically talked to Haley on Sundays, so it was still another three days before she would have even thought to worry.

Haley’s sudden absence was noticed immediately by her roommates at Binghamton University. The group had spent the evening of March 8 together, but Haley was gone when everyone awoke on March 9. Concern grew as the day wore on and Haley, a senior in nursing, still hadn’t come back to her apartment.

According to CBS News, her worried roommates turned to the Find My Friends app on an iPhone to see if they could find their missing friend.

Find My Friends is an app that allows Apple users to share their exact location with friends of their choosing. The user can also decide whether to share their location for a short period of time or all the time. Because Haley had shared her location with her friends, they were able to open the app on their own phones and see a blue dot where Haley’s phone was at any time.

On March 9, the blue dot sent them to the home of Haley’s on-again-off-again boyfriend, Orlando Tercero, a fellow Binghamton student. Haley and Tercero had met one another in the nursing program and dated off and on for several months.

While Haley had called it quits with Tercero, the young man had not taken the break up well. According to reports, Haley’s roommates would find him sitting on their porch smoking a cigarette and waiting for Haley to come home. On another occasion, Haley’s tires were slashed. Her friends and mother told reporters that they believed Tercero had done it, but Haley declined to press charges because she didn’t want Tercero to be expelled from nursing school.

Finding Haley

Haley’s roommates went to Tercero’s house immediately, but nobody answered as they knocked on each exterior door. Eventually, the roommates forced a window open and climbed inside. Once inside, they found Haley dead in Tercero’s bed. She’d been strangled to death, and Tercero was nowhere to be seen.

Through the course of an investigation, police learned that Haley had met up with Orlando early in the morning on March 8, and he had come and gone from the apartment several times before packing a bag and leaving. The young man was on a plane back to Nicaragua more than 12 hours before Haley’s roommates found her dead in his bed. When authorities searched the home, they reportedly found a suicide note in Spanish stating that he was sorry for what had happened. Officials believe Tercero attempted suicide but was unsuccessful before he fled to Nicaragua.

Tercero, who is a dual citizen of the United States and Nicaragua, landed in Managua and reportedly hid out for a few days. American authorities informed authorities in Nicaragua that Tercero was a wanted man, and he was taken into custody and charged with femicide — the killing of a woman with whom you are romantically involved. Nicaragua declined to extradite Tercero back to America and instead held a trial there, where he was found guilty and sentenced to 30 years in prison. American authorities have said he will be charged here if he ever returns to the United States.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic violence, stalking, or abuse from a romantic partner, you can visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline website, call 1.800.799.SAFE or text START to 88788 for help. Advocates are available 24/7 to help callers talk through their situation and connect them with local resources. There is no charge to reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

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