The Clark teenager whose disappearance sparked an intensive search last year has admitted to using social media to make it appear that she had been abducted and later lying about it to investigators, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Thursday.
Kara Alongi pleaded guilty before state Superior Court Judge Robert Kirsch to a third-degree charge of creating a false public alarm and a fourth-degree charge of making false reports to law enforcement authorities. Under the terms of a plea agreement, she received a disposition of 12 months of probation, a six-month suspension of driver’s license, $2,000 restitution and 40 hours of community service.
Alongi vanished on the evening of Sept. 30, 2012, around the same time she posted a message on Twitter: "There is somone in my hour ecall 911." Alongi's tweet sparked a frenzied search across the Twitterverse, with #HelpFindKara trending worldwide just hours after she disappeared.
Detectives quickly uncovered evidence contradicting that account, however, and the case subsequently was investigated as a report of a missing person.
Local investigators fielded thousands of phone calls as Alongi’s disappearance made international headlines, and she was found unharmed at a New Jersey Turnpike service area two days after she went missing.
Alongi subsequently told the Clark Police Department, the Union County Prosecutor’s Office and New Jersey State Police that an unknown male entered her home on the night she disappeared and ordered her to pack some belongings and leave the area, according to the investigation.
Alongi's 911 call reveals that the teen still insisted she had been abducted, stating a black man came into her home and told her she had to take a cab and meet someone. Listen to Alongi's 911 call in our video, above.
In the call, a State Trooper asks Alongi when she was taken.
She responds: "A few days ago I was inside and some guy came and made me go. ... I was in my house and some guy came in and told me that I had to do all this stuff. And I was on a bus and now I’m here....I don't know his name, but he was black and he said he was, like, 28."
When the officer asks her to explain what happened, Alongi says, "He told me I had to go into a cab and I had to meet someone, but I don’t remember where I was."
He asks where they went from there. Alongi responds, "There was a cab at my house and I went in and then I went into the train station and then I don’t remember where I was. ... And I woke up today in, I don't know, somewhere, it was like the country [muffled], and now I’m here."
Alongi later says her abductor eventually put her on the bus that took her to the rest stop and also told her that he would come after her if she tried to get away or call anyone. Alongi also tells the officer she tried to reach out to her family while she was gone, saying she sent her mother an email but wasn't sure if she received it.
Alongi further claimed that she had no memory of the following 46 hours, stating that she awoke in an unknown residence surrounded by three males, including her alleged abductor.