Police in New Jersey believe a tweet purporting to be from a missing school girl is a hoax.
Kara Alongi, 16, a junior at Arthur L. Johnson High School, was last heard from Sunday evening when she allegedly tweeted "There is somone in my hour ecall 911." It is assumed the message was intended to indicate someone was inside her house and that she wanted authorities notified.
Officers from the Clark Police Department responded immediately and K-9 units tracked the young woman's scent from the back door of her home, through a neighbor's yard and around the corner. But then the scent went cold.
According to Clark Police Chief Alan Scherb, investigators later received information leading them to believe the Twitter message was a hoax.
"It was discovered that a person called a local taxi company asking for a car at Alongi's address around the same time the Twitter message was posted," Scherb said. "Later, the driver positively identified Alongi as the fare he picked up and said he drove her to the Rahway Train Station, dropping her off a few minutes later."
KARE ALONGI PHOTOS: (Story Continues Below)
Because of the circumstances, there has been no activation of the Amber Alert system. The case is being treated as a missing runaway juvenile, police said.
"Kara might feel that she will be in trouble if she comes home after this scare and causing a panic. At this point all everyone cares about is seeing her safe and at her house where she belongs," Scherb said.
According to Clark-Garwood Patch, Alongi's grandmother, Toni Alongi, described the teen as respectful and sensitive, and said it is not like her to run away.
There have been no updates posted to Alongi's Twitter account since the supposed cry for help. She has, however, amassed more than 98,000 followers in less than 24 hours. The hashtag "helpfindkara" is trending, but reactions have been mostly negative since police indicated her disappearance is likely a hoax. Some examples follow:
@PatBaker12: Whilst looking for Kara I found, my lanyard, 2 bucks, a soda in the fridge, and the last donut. #Success #HelpFindKara
@IAmJossh: After reading her tweets, I'm just sitting here like #helpfindkara some manners.. She was kind of rude.
@ZACHARYDUPUIS: I really do hope this girl is found but tweeting #helpfindkara is about as useful as tweeting "There is someone in my hour ecall 911"
@TheScottyAdams: If #helpfindkara is the girl who cried wolf, karma is going to have its way with her...
@frankcalcutta: @CaseyAnthony: #helpfindkara" OH NO YOU DID NOT JUST TWEET THIS
Anyone with information about Kara Alongi's whereabouts is asked to contact Clark Police at 732-388-3434.