Honor student vanishes: New Jersey mystery leaves family and friends on edge

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HILLSBOROUGH TOWNSHIP, NJ (PIX11) – A mystery spanning the entire length of New Jersey and north into Manhattan has a local family on edge, and two communities bracing for the worst.  They’re connected to a promising college honor student who went missing.

Paige Aiello’s car was found Thursday morning in New Brunswick, two days and thirty miles from where the college tennis team captain was last seen alive, preparing to drive away from the campus of The College of New Jersey, near Trenton, and head home to Hillsborough Township in Central Jersey.

Aiello’s purse was found on Tuesday afternoon on the pedestrian walkway of the George Washington Bridge, a full sixty miles away from where she was last seen.  The widespread nature of the mystery of Paige Aiello’s whereabouts has left her family perplexed.

“I don’t get it either,” said her father, Christopher Aiello. “It’s troubling to say the least.”

At her parents’ home, about a dozen friends and family gathered on Thursday, offering support to one another.   Even though the signs point toward the negative, they’re holding out hope.

“Paige, you’ve done nothing wrong,” her father told PIX11 News, hoping that she may be somewhere to see him or hear his voice.  That voice cracked as he continued his plea.  “Just please contact us,” he said.

Hillsborough Township police said that there did not appear to be signs of foul play in Central Jersey, and there was no indication of anything suspicious from the Port Authority, which operates the G.W. Bridge.  However, Christopher Aiello said, he was stunned to learn that the dozens of surveillance cameras on the bridge do not record images they observe, so his family has no hard evidence as to whether or not Paige Aiello jumped from the bridge.  “Something needs to be done about that,” he said, but added that the Port Authority Police Department had scanned the waters surrounding the bridge, in search of his daughter’s body.  The search was negative.

He said that his daughter Paige, 22, was set to graduate with high honors next month, and was in the process of deciding which one of nine law schools into which she had been admitted she was going to attend.  Her father said that the success and drive that his daughter possessed may have came at a price of great stress.  “She had a work ethic,” Christopher Aiello told PIX11 News.  “I hope that work ethic has not been her downfall.”

Thursday is Paige Aiello’s 22nd birthday.

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