Sarah Lee Stern of Neptune City, New Jersey went missing some time on the evening of December 2 and has not been seen or heard from since.
According to her father, Michael Stern, Sarah, 19, left her family home on that particular Friday evening at around 11:45 p.m., in a 1994 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight Royal, reports NJ.
The empty vehicle Sarah had been driving was found with the keys still inside at about 2:45 a.m. Saturday morning on the Route 35 Bridge in Belmar. According to NJ, authorities note the car was “driveable” when found. The vehicle was determined to belong to Sarah’s grandmother and when her family was contacted, authorities learned the teenager was missing.
An exhaustive search of the Shark River was conducted to determine if Sarah had jumped from the bridge or had fallen into the water below. NJ reports the U.S. Coast Guard, the Belmar Water Rescue Team, the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Dive Team, the Area Network of Shore Water Emergency Responders, and State Police all scoured the waterway but did not find Sarah.
The bridge sees “a lot of activity” on the weekends, Michael said, thus he is hoping someone who may have seen something take place regarding his daughter Sarah will call police with any information, according to NJ.
Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said, “We have lots of federal, state and municipal teams working to try to find her, but we need the public’s assistance,” according to CBS New York.
Gramiccioni further stated, “We are asking everyone to keep an eye out for this young woman and report any possible sightings as soon as possible,” NJ reports.
Sarah’s father has described his daughter as being an “aspiring artist” who attended Brookdale Community College in Lincroft for a year, studying television production and art, NJ reports. He also indicated she knew a large number of people, which is highlighted on her social media accounts which feature photos of many of her friends.
On Saturday, December 10, hundreds of people turned out to engage in an extensive search for Sarah in 14 different locations. Volunteers, as well as State Police and their helicopters, were looking for any signs of the missing teenager in places like Asbury Park, Belmar, Bradley Beach, Long Branch, and Manasquan, New Jersey 101.5 reports.
Despite not finding anything that may aid in locating Sarah, Michael has not lost hope. He told New Jersey 101.5,
“We are gonna keep searching and we are not giving up till Sarah is home. Our hearts are heavy with sadness because Sarah is still missing and everyday she is not found it gets harder to face each day without her. Everyone loves Sarah.”
Asbury Park Press reports that police have not publicly announced what they believe happened in Sarah’s case, while the prosecutor’s office is simply saying it is investigating every possible scenario.
Sarah is described as being 5-foot-6, and weighing about 130 lbs. She has long, dark brown hair, hazel eyes, and a medium complexion. According to a post on the Missing: Sarah Stern Facebook page, Sarah may have been wearing her glasses when she vanished. They are described as having black frames with silver accents on the sides.
Currently, there is a $5,000 reward offered by the Monmouth County Crime Stoppers organization for information that leads to the identification, arrest, and prosecution of any suspect with regard to Sarah’s disappearance.
Anyone with information about Sarah Stern’s case is urged to contact Detective Brian Weisbrot of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 732-431-7160 or Belmar Police Detective John Mahoney at 732-681-1700. Individuals with information who desire to remain anonymous can call the Monmouth County Crime Stoppers tip line at 800-671-4400 or text “MONMOUTH” and along with their tip to 274637 (CRIMES).
[Featured Image by Missing: Sarah Stern/Facebook]