Oakdale man uses Facebook to connect with friend's widow

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It has been five decades since John Mahlan, of Oakdale, has seen the wife of his childhood friend, NYPD officer Jimmy Cosgrove. It has been five decades since John Mahlan, of Oakdale, has seen the wife of his childhood friend, NYPD officer Jimmy Cosgrove.
BETHPAGE -

An Oakdale man turned to Facebook as his last resort to reconnect with the widow of his childhood best friend.

It has been five decades since John Mahlan, of Oakdale, has seen the wife of his childhood friend, NYPD officer Jimmy Cosgrove.

In 1966, Cosgrove was struck by a vehicle while performing a traffic stop. He died five days later at the age of 26, leaving behind his wife, Carol, and their four young children. 

"They don't know their father and it's so sad because he loved them," Carol says. 

Determined to reconnect, John spent years trying to get in touch, searching the phone book, asking police contacts, but with no results.

Then, four years ago, he discovered a new tool to help him.

"In 2013 I got an iPhone," he says. "I was reluctant to do that but my kids were like 'dad you are living in the dark' so I got this iPhone and I went searching." 

Mahlan turned to Facebook to help him with that search. 

"The first person I found was Jimmy Cosgrove, the son," he says. "I clicked onto his profile page and I looked up his friends and there was Carol Friscio Cosgrove" 

This past December, Mahlan was finally able to correspond with Carol.

Saturday's reunion included sharing stories and pictures with Carol and her family.

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