New appeal in search for NJ girl who vanished in 1996

Friday, September 15, 2017
New appeal in search for NJ girl who vanished in 1996: Nora Muchanic reports on Action News at 5:30, September 15, 2017

WILLINGBORO, N.J. (WPVI) -- There is a new appeal for answers in a decades-old cold case involving a missing child.

Celina Mays was just 12-years-old when she disappeared from her Burlington County home.

Today she would be 33.

"To me it would be better to know her state of being, if she was with us or not with us," said her sister, Noreal Mays.

Mays disappeared from her home in Willingboro in 1996.

She was nine months pregnant at the time and had not reveal the identity of the baby's father.

Willingboro police have released an enhanced photo showing what she might look like today at age 33. They are hoping the image will kick-start the case.

"The hope is it keeps her face in the public view. Somebody will see it, somebody will remember something," said Lt. Chris Vetter.

Vetter says his department is making use of social media to get Celina Mays' photo out there. And even though it's been more than 20 years since she disappeared, investigators are still working the case.

"Our detectives are constantly looking at different avenues on social media whether it's Facebook or Twitter. We're looking for any references to her, where she's mentioned. We're looking for photos that would match how she looked now," said Vetter.

Police say at the time of her disappearance Celina's family and the strict church they attended in Mount Holly were less than cooperative.

To this day authorities don't know what happened.

"If you are 12 and nine months pregnant there's not so many things you can do," said Noreal. "The family is split on it. Some believe friends of her family helped her escape, and then some of the family believes she was murdered."

"Just weird because it's like, I know I have another sister but I never really got to meet her, got to know her the type of person she is or would have been," said sister Cerita Mays.

Police say until they find out what happened they will keep releasing age-enhanced photos and won't give up.


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