2 weeks after NJ teen disappears, friends make emotional plea on video
HAMILTON (Mercer) — Two weeks after Nick Pratico seemingly disappeared from the campus of Mercer County Community College, his friends and family are keeping the faith that he will be found.
"It's been a couple weeks since we heard from you, Nick, and I think it's an understatement that so many people miss you," Trystan Crichton says at the start of an 11-minute video of his friends and family from around the country addressing the teenager who went missing on Sept. 20.
"In fact we made this huge video compilation to show how much we love you and how much we can't wait to see you."
"I love you, your family loves you, this whole community loves you so very much and we're waiting for you with open arms," one female friend says.
"If you're watching this please reach out to somebody let us know you're OK. Can your friends and family who are worried about you," another friend says.
Pratico graduated from Notre Dame High School in Lawrenceville in June. The school's chaplain, Father Jason Parzynski, said that it's been a struggle for his friends and family to keep the faith.
"I think ultimately as Christians we are called to remain in hope and I think that's where we're really seeing this hope found," Parzynski said.
He recalled Hamilton Police Sgt Brian Schroeder's comment at last week's news conference that each day that nothing negative is discovered is another reason to remain hopeful.
"It gives us more hope that he did go somewhere and that he is with somebody. The question is where and why."
Parzynski said he knows many of those in the video and said that together they are reaching out to Nick and let him know it's OK. There is concern that he may actually be intimidated by all the attention.
"They're trying to reach out to him saying whatever is going on, it's OK to come back home, we miss you, we want you to part of our lives and whatever is going on we can get through it all together," Parzynski said.
The case has been frustrating to Schroeder who said there has been very little to go on.
"We are still working off tips generated from the press conference to no avail, unfortunately," he said.
Pratico's sister ends the video.
"You're my little brother and my best friend," she said. "We want you home, we love you, we miss you so much. If you can please just come home of call or reach out to someone and let us know you are safe and you are OK because you are so loved infinitely and immensely and unconditionally. We just want nothing more than to have you back."
Police ask anyone with information about Pratico’s whereabouts to call 609-581-4000.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com
Father Jason Parzynski