Update June 28, 2022: The missing girl has been located. Read more here.
THE BRONX (PIX11) — The mother and stepfather of a missing high school honors student spent Monday morning posting flyers in their Bronx neighborhood.
“It’s like a nightmare,” the girl’s mom, Crystal, told PIX11 News through tears. “It’s a nightmare.”
The parents said they hopped in the family car with the teen last Thursday morning before the 15-year-old student was supposed to take the physics Regent at The High School of Fashion Industries on West 24th Street in Manhattan. The mother then left the car to catch a train to her job at Mount Sinai in Manhattan.
“I took her to school that morning on Thursday for the Regents,” the stepfather, Christopher, said. “I saw her get out of the car, I spoke to her, ‘Good luck, you got this, there’s nothing to be scared of.'”
The girl’s mother remembered her daughter was nervous about the exam.
“She was saying she was a little frightened of taking the test,” the mother recalled. “She said it was hard.”
The mom said she had encouraged the girl to study and prepare.
“She’s a principal’s list student,” the mother said. “I knew that she had it.”
But Crystal said after the teen finished the test at 11 a.m., the girl was last seen on a northbound No. 2 train in the Bronx, when several other students from her school got off at Simpson Street. The teen stayed on the train.
“Someone said she was going to visit a friend,” the mother recalled, telling PIX11 she didn’t know if her daughter was going to meet a boy or a girl.
The teen had been doing extremely well in school and also participated in the NYPD Explorers program.
“She wanted to be a cop,” the mother said. “She’s extraordinary.”
When asked whether there was any tension in the household, Crystal replied, “Teenage stuff, you know. We found out she had a boyfriend. She left school early a couple of times to hang out with friends.”
The mother told us her daughter had reconnected with a middle school boyfriend through Instagram last winter, and that’s when the mom took action.
“That account was taken away from her,” the mother said. “So I don’t know if she created any social media.”
Crystal said her daughter left her cellphone at home Thursday morning, so it’s not clear how the teen made arrangements to meet anybody.
Teachers and the assistant principal at the girl’s high school have been reaching out to other students, the mother said.
The girl’s mother said she spoke to the teen’s recent boyfriend and his mother after her daughter’s disappearance and told PIX11, “I know she’s not with him.”
The mom has written heart-wrenching messages on Instagram to her daughter, pleading with her to come home.
“I know I’m strict,” the mother posted Saturday. “But it was always to protect you for a better life.”
The mother hoped PIX11’s coverage of the case would find its way to her daughter or someone who knows where she is.
“… just please come home,” the mother pleaded, as her voice broke. “We love you. We miss you.”