FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP — A 12-year-old girl who got on a bus during a mall visit remained missing on Monday.

Police said Natalee Perez got on a bus at the Freehold Raceway Mall around 7 p.m. but it's not known where she was headed.

She is 5 feet 2 inches, 180 pounds with brown hair and green eyes.

"Her family loves her dearly and wants her back safe. While she is a 'habitual' runaway she is also an animal lover, fierce protector of special needs children, junior member of the American Legion auxiliary. She has volunteered at assisted-living facilities," Ed Parze, of the Stephanie Nicole Parze Foundation, said. He created the foundation partly to bring awareness to missing people after his own daughter went missing in 2019.

Police asked anyone with information about Perez to call 732-462-7500 or Monmouth County Crime Stoppers at 800-671-4400.

Natalee Perez
Natalee Perez (Freehold Township Police)

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

LOOK: Milestones in women's history from the year you were born

Women have left marks on everything from entertainment and music to space exploration, athletics, and technology. Each passing year and new milestone makes it clear both how recent this history-making is in relation to the rest of the country, as well as how far we still need to go. The resulting timeline shows that women are constantly making history worthy of best-selling biographies and classroom textbooks; someone just needs to write about them.

Scroll through to find out when women in the U.S. and around the world won rights, the names of women who shattered the glass ceiling, and which country's women banded together to end a civil war.

Marijuana legal in NJ: How do the laws work?

Answers to common questions about legalized recreational marijuana in New Jersey and rules about underage use of weed.

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM