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 (Freehold Township Police)

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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