A lovestruck Wellington man who launched a campaign to track down a mystery American woman he met in Hong Kong last New Year's Eve says he was "a little naive" in underestimating the traction it would get.
Reese McKee, 25, said if he could have anticipated the reaction to the story he probably would have done things differently.
"It turned into a massive 'let's stalk every Katie in the DC area'. I was trying to get people to stop that, but with 2000 plus people messaging...it got a bit out of hand."
Mr McKee tracked down "Katie from DC" over the weekend, after the story of his appeal was picked up on social media worldwide.
The story received more than 105,000 views on the NZ Herald website and featured on international media sites including the Daily Mail, Gawker and Slate.
Representatives from Facebook, Good Morning America, TV stations and radio stations in Canada and Australia had contacted him with interview requests but he has turned them all down.
"The thing bloody exploded, God, the article went everywhere" Mr McKee said.
Mr McKee told APNZ last week he was walking around Hong Kong admiring the lights when he found the mystery woman crying on the side of the road.
After spending the night drinking and dancing, they departed. Her last words: "Find me", before slipping away into the dawn of New Year's Day.
"Yeah, I'll find you," he said, before realising all he had to go off was her first name, Katie, a photo he found on his phone and the fact she was from "DC".
He has since taken down the Facebook page he used to launch his appeal due to an overwhelming number of responses.
"I'm just looking to settle it down. It was a hell of a lot of pressure, after the second day it sort of dawned on me that if I was going through this much, then there was going to be an incredible wave of pressure slammed into her."
Mr McKee said he was "a little naive" in underestimating the traction of the campaign.
He said he had no idea whether Katie was single or not and was yet to decide whether he would wait for her to get in touch with him, or contact her directly.
"At the moment I'm just waiting, waiting for it to calm down."
Katie had taken down all her public social media profiles "because of the crazy, crazy storm of attention and public pressure", Mr McKee said.
"I suppose she's sort of gone offline for a bit. It's understandably overwhelming."