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Search for Missing Toms River Teen Widens

A Toms River 18-year-old who hasn’t been seen by her family since leaving the house on August 11 is the object of a search by township police.

Kayla Tufaro (Toms River Police Department)
Kayla Tufaro (Toms River Police Department)

Kayla Tufaro’s mother had previously begun seeking help in finding her daughter, creating a Facebook page that has been a center for unfiltered information. Several apparent sightings indicate that she is in good health, but police said they haven’t confirmed them.

Other speculation regards a decision to leave school and loss of a job as contributing factors.

Police said they entered Kayla’s data into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) when her mother reported her missing on August 12 at 1:18 PM, nearly 24 hours after she left home.

Kayla told her mother she was “leaving and wanted to do her own thing” at about 4 PM on August 11, with the warning “Don’t look for me, I don’t want you to,” police said.

Her visits to online dating sites drew her family’s concern over the character of those she’s met, police said.

Neight Kayla’s age nor her situation influence priorities or protocols, police said in a prepared release:

“Although Kayla is 18, and legally free to be on her own if she chooses, we make no judgments about her age or the circumstances of her departure in the investigation of this case.  We will leave no stone unturned in our attempts to verify her safety and are using every investigative outlet available.This is an active case involving multiple resources and will remain open until we determine that she is safe.”

Detective Jennifer Grob is leading the search and can be reached at 732-349-0150, or at the Toms River Police Facebook page.

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