The media were already publishing articles about females being sexually harassed at comic-book conventions when a 17-year-old cosplayer (going by the cosplay name of Milly Makara) was found unconscious and injured in the early-morning hours of July 26.
It was first reported that Makara was found on the roadside near the convention center, but the location changed to the pool area of the San Diego Marriott Marquis and Marina hotel.
The Polygon website quoted Justin Kalior, a 29-year-old cosplay photographer who was with Makara at the hotel, as saying, “I just wanted to call it a night and take her home to her parents and be on my way." Kalior, who was later arrested by San Diego Harbor Police, said Makara was upset with him and that he had asked security personnel about her after she ran off.
Kalior denies that he knew Makara's real age until her purse was searched by police. On the Facebook page of Jill Weyer (Makara's mother), she contradicts his story that he thought Makara was 20 years old. She suggests that Kalior indicated he knew her true age by giving her "a stuffed llama for her 17th birthday” (whether this was written in a card or text is not made clear).
Kalior was arrested when police reportedly found evidence of a sexual relationship between him and Makara. A police report mentioned by the Polygon website states, "A consensual search of Kalior's cellphone revealed a break-up text dated 7/15/14 in which he used her nick-name...and he referenced their dating relationship. A short time later, [the girl] woke up in the hospital and confirmed she and Kalior have been in a sexual/dating relationship."
Makara's parents have been criticized for allowing their daughter to date someone so much older than her. On Facebook, Weyer addresses the age difference: "And NO we did NOT know his age as we were told he was 20 by several of her cosplay friends who also knew him as 20."
When Kalior's arrest was first publicized, many people online assumed that his arrest was because he had allegedly attacked Makara. Police later stated that what happened to Makara was probably an accident: "Her injuries, and physical evidence at the scene, were consistent with a fall from the distance of approximately six feet."
After the Harbor Police statement, Weyer expressed disagreement with their investigation. "Saying my daughter fell over a gate 4 feet tall (she is 5'11) as the detective demonstrated in my living room, holding his hand to his waist saying the gate with this high..... Does not explain the injuries she sustained."
Weyer subsequently posted photos to show her daughter's injuries. "This is not a fall from a 4 foot gate..... You do not feel the pain and the bruising between your legs and inside your body that is there from sliding/or being pushed over a gate."
The media has reported that video footage was one of the things on which police based their conclusions. However, Weyer writes on Facebook, "There is no video tape of the fall…[the] detective and District Atty Office yesterday stated the case is still ongoing it was just a hypothesis."