EDGEWATER, N.J. — When a suicide jumper leapt to his death at Edgewater Marina Tuesday night, Los Angeles resident Komal Shah's phone started ringing off the hook.
Local residents knew Shah could tell them all about the police activity at the marina, despite the fact that she was 2,800 miles away.
This, Shah said, comes with the territory when you run the popular community website " Life In Edgewater ."
"I invested so much in Edgewater and have such deep roots there that people come together around this platform I have created," said Shah, 38, who lived in Edgewater for six years before recently moving to Los Angeles. "I find it amazing that I can provide this service to Edgewater."
Shah started "Life In Edgewater" while she was still living there in November of 2014 as a way to inform residents of news, events and deals at local businesses. She also wanted the site to be a platform where residents could connect with each other and discuss important issues in town.
"There was no place where you could find everything that is going on so instead of complaining about it I decided I should just create it," said Shah, who works as a freelance market researcher.
Life In Edgewater received a massive boost a few months later when a fire destroyed the Avalon apartment complex.
"Everyone was scrambling to find out what was going on and I had this website and Facebook page where people could share information and find ways to help," Shah said.
Shah received 25,000 pageviews on her site in one day from the fire, and since then, Life In Edgewater has managed a steady 1,000 hits per day.
Even though she now lives in Los Angeles, Shah said she has no intention of giving up on the site. She still updates it 10-12 times a day, and is looking to monetize Life In Edgewater by forming partnerships with local businesses to distribute coupons on the site.
"The world is getting smaller because of the internet so I don't think it matters where I run the site from," Shah told Daily Voice."I love Edgewater and I am not letting go of something that is so close to my heart."