Twelve-year-old Autumn Pasquale left her home at 12:30 PM Saturday to ride her bike to friend’s house. She hasn’t been seen since. Her parents, upon realizing she never arrived at her friend’s house, reported her missing around 9:30 PM.
Several agencies have been collaborating to find the girl, who was last seen riding her white Odyssey BXM away from her Clayton, New Jersey home. Pasquale’s father, Tony, is disheartened. “It’s not like her,” the distraught father told The Huffington Post. “She would have been home 11 o’clock this morning if she slept over a friend’s house.”
Search and rescue dogs were brought in to search the woods near the girl’s home, and volunteers have been warned to keep the area clear so as not to interfere with any scents the dogs may pick up.
“People have been out searching all day everywhere,” Michelle Connell, who knows the missing girl, noted. “All over town, every little park, railroad parks, and school buildings. Every place we can think of. She’s a good kid. She’s a sweet girl; everyone is upset.”
While police have not officially labeled Pasquale’s disappearance as suspicious, they must investigate any time a minor goes missing. Police have not said that they suspect foul play, but it remains a mystery as to why the FBI is involved, notes The Christian Post.
The FBI have indeed joined city and state police, and hundreds of local volunteers, in the search for the girl since she was reported missing. Her phone is either off, or has run out of power, investigators reported. Searchers have put up fliers, and a Facebook page has been created to spread word of the missing girl. She is described as a 5-foot-2 blonde weighing 120 pounds. She was last seen wearing navy blue shorts under navy blue sweatpants, topped with a yellow T-shirt reading “Clayton Soccer” on the front. She was wearing bright blue high-top sneakers.
Paul Spadafora, Pasquale’s uncle, is optimistic that his niece will be found. He said that it is unlike Autumn to miss curfew, noting that “she’s the kind of kid who normally check in with family if she’s going to be late.” When she missed her 8 PM curfew, her parents became increasingly worried. Autumn will celebrate her 13th birthday next week.
Clayton Mayor Tom Bianco asked volunteers to line the intersections of the small town to hand out fliers with Autumn’s information. “The more people who see us the better,” the mayor said.Kelly McHugh’s children attend Clayton middle school with Autumn. “She’s a really nice girl,” said McHugh, who is helping in the search. “It’s so scary, I hope they find her.”
“As time goes by we want this to be the happiest ending here,” Spadafora said.
The girl’s disappearance comes at a disconcerting time, with the recent disappearance of Starbucks barista Whitney Heichel. Heichel’s body was found Friday after a short disappearance. Hopefully, Autumn’s disappearance will follow the storyline of the four teens who decided to run away from home last week, and were found safe and soun and returned to their families.
Authorities are asking anyone with information that may help them find the girl to call police at 856-881-2300.