NEW YORK (CBS 2) — The family of a New Jersey teen who hasn’t been seen since Monday morning is making a desperate plea to the public for help to find the 18-year-old.
Sarah Townsend, a senior in high school, disappeared without a trace. Now a $10,000 reward is being offered in hopes it will lead to information of her whereabouts.
Roy Wayne Townsend, the girl’s father, broke down in tears when speaking to CBS 2′s Christine Sloan.
“I think she’s still out there,” he said. “Please Sarah, if you need help honey, you come home. Everything’s okay.”
Search teams with blood hounds have been combing a park and pond in Burlington Township, where the teenager’s car was discovered Monday morning with her cell phone and bag inside.
“We want her home. If you’re out there Sarah, please make contact with us and let us know you’re safe. If anybody sees her, please call the police even if you think it might have been her. It’s that one person that can make such a difference,” Townsend’s mother, Laurie, said.
Townsend was on her way to school, which is about 20 minutes away from her home in Monmouth County. It was her boyfriend who found the teen’s car.
Authorities also said the bubbly and bright teenager may have been struggling emotionally. Lieutenant Richard Sweeney told reporters there was “ongoing insecurity between her and her boyfriend.” Apparently Townshend felt as though she was more into her boyfriend than he was into her.
Investigators have also removed some items from Townsend’s home, including cell phone records and her computer. Townsend’s mother said her family has been overwhelmed by the community’s response and say their daughter would never intentionally worry them.
“We’ve just been flooded with a lot of love and Sarah if you’re out there, so many people love you and they care,” she said.