Breaking update: The girl was found unharmed on Oct. 28 inside the Copiague home of an 18-year-old man, police said. The unidentified man was charged with endangering the welfare of the child. Police did not immediately provide details regarding the relationship, if any, between the suspect and the child. Click here for more updates on this case.
RONKONKOMA, NY (PIX11) — When PIX11 News visited the Suffolk County house where a 12-year-old was last seen, there were a lot of trucks and cars parked out front and a large number of children’s bicycles stored in the backyard.
But the woman who answered the door at the Pond Road house in Ronkonkoma said she was the only one home.
“The mother’s at work,” the woman said about the missing child’s mom.
The woman said the girl’s mother is from Honduras and lives in the basement.
Suffolk County detectives said the missing girl left the house around 7 p.m. on Wednesday, and hasn’t returned. Investigators believe she could be somewhere in Brentwood, Central Islip, or Patchogue in Suffolk County, where she has acquaintances.
A missing 12-year-old is never a good scenario. PIX11 News has repeatedly reported on gang members preying on adolescents as young as 12. Many girls who go missing are lured away from home by online predators.
The circumstances surrounding the disappearance of the girl are still largely unknown. But a neighbor who lives diagonally behind her house was troubled by her disappearance.
“I had seen a lot of cars there, but I do not know how many people live there,” Ferhat Fidan told PIX11 News on Monday.
He said he did not recognize the missing girl’s photo.
“I have not seen the girl at all,” Fidan said. “Ever.”
Fidan said he had seen children playing in the backyard but didn’t know how many lived there.
“I’ve seen more cars than usual there,” Fidan said. “But maybe they had guests over.”
PIX11 News also noticed a large, white recreational vehicle parked in the backyard, but no one answered at the RV’s door.