The family of a Kenmore teenager who has been missing for five weeks is asking for the public’s help Saturday to distribute fliers bearing the girl’s description across Western New York.
Nina Christofaro, 15, a sophomore at Kenmore West High School, has been missing since she slipped out of her house the night of April 7 to meet a man in his mid-20s. Her family believes she became acquainted with the man through Facebook.
From 10 a.m. until noon Saturday at the Mang Park Recreation Center, volunteers are being asked to pick up fliers to post in shop windows, at bus stops and around other high-traffic areas “from Niagara Falls to Rochester,” said Nina’s mother, Rebecca Paul-Christofaro.
“The most important thing is we have to get it out there so everybody knows,” she said. “There has to be a lead out there. Somebody has to know something, even if they think it might be minor. At this point it’s really not.”
Kenmore police have classified Nina’s case as a runaway situation and believe she’s still in the area.
“We’ve been getting some good information recently after her story aired on TV,” said Kenmore Police Juvenile Officer Jim Keleher, who is investigating the case with Detective Joe Vacanti.
“More people are coming forward giving us information.”
Nina is described as white, with nearly waist-length brown hair and brown eyes. She is 5 feet, 3 inches tall and weighs 110 pounds.
A representative from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children will be on hand Saturday to talk about Internet safety for young people.
The Kenmore Parks Department donated use of the recreation center for the event. Inky Fingers Printing and Right-On Printing donated 1,600 fliers and screenprinted T-shirts. BJ’s Wholesale Club donated water and food for volunteers.
Keleher said police are supportive of Paul-Christofaro’s efforts to mobilize volunteers and raise awareness.
“Anytime we can get the community involved in distributing information about a missing person, usually it leads to good tips about where they might be,” he said.
But police and her family hope Nina is found safe before Saturday and there’s no need to hold the event.
“I’m hopeful,” Paul-Christofaro said. “I know I’ll find her. We just have to get the word out there.”
Anyone with information on Nina’s whereabouts is asked to call the Kenmore Police Juvenile Bureau at 875-1414 or the Kenmore police station at 875-1234.