NBC Brain Thompson
The disappearance of Kara Alongi, 16, from her home in Northern New Jersey blew up social media sites, but now it appears to be a hoax. NBC's Brain Thompson spoke with people who tried to answer the teen's call for help.
Police say the New Jersey girl who tweeted that someone was in her home and asked her followers to call 911 left her house voluntarily.
Kara Alongi gained tens of thousands of followers after asking people on Twitter to call 911 Sunday because an intruder was in her home and then apparently disappearing. People re-tweeted her message and #helpfindkara trended on the social network.
A preliminary investigation suggested that no foul play was involved in her disappearance. Investigators later discovered that someone had called a local taxi company at about the time the Tweet was posted.
Police say the driver who responded to the Alongi home positively identified the 16-year-old girl as the fare he picked up. He told police he drove her to the Rahway train station.
Police Chief Alan Scherb said Alongi's apparent disappearance remains a missing person's investigation.
"Kara might feel that she will be in trouble if she comes home after this scare and causing a panic," Scherb said in a statement. "At this point, all everyone cares about is seeing her safe and at her house where she belongs."
Twitter users worldwide tweeted messages of good will @KaraAlongi overnight as her initial post asking for help circulated. Many said they were frightened to think about what could have happened to her.
Others were skeptical about her pleas for help, pointing out a Tweet that allegedly popped up on Alongi's account that said: "Why is everyone saying I'm missing? I was jkin haha" and was deleted a short time later.
The investigation is ongoing.
When NBC 4 New York called the missing girl's home, someone quickly answered "no comment" and hung up. No one answered the door.