The Clark Police Department can now confirm that the ticket missing teen Kara Alongi bought from Rahway train station was to New York Penn Station.
Alongi's family says it was the 6:47 p.m. northbound train that Kara boarded and last night they provided Patch with a photo obtained from security cameras at the train station. Alongi's grandfather, Paul Alongi Sr., canvassed Penn Station on Sunday night handing out flyers with his granddaughter's photo.
Alongi Sr. says his granddaughter was not acting unusual preceding her disappearance and that she was in a good mood, especially at a family event earlier in the week.
Several people have mentioned to Patch that Alongi was blamed for police breaking up an underage drinking party in the days preceding her disappearance and was on the outs with friends.
"We have heard that, but we can't confirm that that is the reason she left," said Scherb. "The Clark Police Department is investigating all leads in an effort to locate her and return her home. We are talking to the conductors who saw her on the train and we continue to work with New Jersey Transit to review video available at the train stations."
Scherb also told Patch that the department is trying to investigate Alongi's phone and online accounts, but all are password protected. (Scherb also reported that Alongi's phone was intact and not "smashed," as many commenters have suggested.)
Scherb said that police are not sure what Alongi took with her in the large backpack and tote she is seen carrying in the train station photo, but that it was likely clothing.
We asked Scherb if Alongi could have boarded a plane. "Anything is possible, and we would go through the Port Authority to determine that," said Scherb,"but based on how much money we believe she had on her, we don't think she bought a plane ticket."
"We want her to know it's okay to come home," Alongi Sr. told Patch yesterday in a video interview. "We know that she might be embarassed or even fearful with all the words that have been out there, but we know she's got a great life ahead of her. She has her family supporting her, her friends supporting her, and we love her. We just want her to know it's okay. It's okay. Come on home. We just want you, honey."
Alongi is 5'3'', with blonde hair and hazel eyes and weighs approximately 105 lbs. Alongi was last seen at the Rahway train station around 6:30 p.m. carrying a blue Eastpack backpack and brown leather tote bag, wearing blue jeggings, tan suede moccasins and possibly wearing a navy blue "Clark Cougar's" t-shirt with the number 2 and the name "Alongi" written on the back or a blue "Colonia Patriots" t-shirt with the letter "C" on the back. See the train station photo of Alongi in our gallery, right).
Alongi, an Arthur L. Johnson junior, tweeted "There is somone in my hour ecall 911" before vanishing Sunday evening and becoming a social media sensation.
The story of Alongi's disappearance went viral on Twitter, with #helpfindkara trending at number three worldwide and more than 100,000 followers on her Twitter profile (@KaraAlongi). Her tweet was retweeted more than 32,000 times and Clark Police received more than 6,000 calls about her. Clark Police later determined Alongi left voluntarily, calling a cab to drop her at the Rahway train station.
The Twitterverse has responded with vitriol now that Alongi's tweet is suspected to be a hoax, with many tweeting that she should be punished for causing such a stir.
Clark Police, of course, are much more concerned with getting Alongi home.
"Kara might feel that she will be in trouble if she comes home after this scare and causing a panic," said Clark Police Chief Alan Scherb in a news release. "At this point, all everyone cares about is seeing her safe and at her house where she belongs."
Police urge anyone who might know where Kara is to contact the Clark Police Department at 732-388-3434 or send an anonymous tip to Union County Crime Stoppers at 908-654-TIPS uctip.org or text UCTIP plus a message to 274637.