My heart is aching as I write this story.

Anyone who knows me knows my affection and love for turtles, so hearing this story makes me so sad.

A Toms River turtle owner posted a missing sign to social media stating that their turtle went missing after he (or she) was chilling in an outdoor playpen.

Phili, a three-toed box turtle, is not native to New Jersey and can't handle rapid fluctuating temperatures as Fall approaches.

Even worse, he (or she) could disrupt the Eastern Box Turtle population if they mate together.

The heartbroken family explains in their flyer that Phili has been with their family for over a decade; 16 years! The turtle also has a medical condition and needs to have his regular treatments to stay healthy.

Phili was last seen in the area of Lakehurst Road and Mount Vernon in Toms River.

Anyone with any information on the whereabouts the shelled escapee should contact Mikey at 732-300-1050. A reward is being offered.