Have You Seen Missing New Jersey Teen Neilina “Nelly” Tolentino?

The last sighting of her was between July 2020 and October 2020. Police believe Nelly was spotted with an unknown adult male several times in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

June 02, 2021
Both photos shown are of Neilina Tolentino. She was last seen on May 26, 2020. [via National Center for Missing and Exploited Children]

Both photos shown are of Neilina Tolentino. She was last seen on May 26, 2020. [via National Center for Missing and Exploited Children]

Both photos shown are of Neilina Tolentino. She was last seen on May 26, 2020. [via National Center for Missing and Exploited Children]

By: Michelle Sigona

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On May 26, 2020, Neilina “Nelly” Tolentino vanished without a trace from Reading, Pennsylvania. She was only 14 years old at the time of her disappearance. One year after Nelly went missing, her mother Cathilina Padilla spoke to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) about just how difficult the last year has been for her family and how desperate they are to find Nelly.

On the day her daughter went missing, Padilla said, “I woke up to her not here.” Since then, Nelly missed the holidays, her 15th birthday in March with her family, she missed spending Mother’s Day with her mom, and her siblings have been heartbroken.

Nelly’s disappearance has taken a tremendous toll on everyone who knows her. Padilla wants everyone to know the hardest part of a child going missing is, “having a part of me out there, not knowing where she's at, if she's okay.” Padilla also added another incredibly tough piece of this puzzle: “I don’t know if she’s safe. I need to know if she’s safe.”

Clues to find Nelly

It’s possible Nelly could be or have connections to Atlantic City, New Jersey and Philadelphia. The last sighting of her, according to NCMEC, was between July 2020 and October 2020. Police believe Nelly was spotted with an unknown adult male several times in Atlantic City.

Reading Police lead Criminal Investigator Steve Valdez will follow up on any tip that is sent into the hotline. Valdez believes in this case, “no detail is ever too small to follow up on.”

Nelly stands 5 feet tall and weighs 120 pounds. She has brown hair and brown eyes. She is known to sometimes wear glasses and her ears are pierced. She’s seen in previous photos wearing larger hoop earrings. NCMEC created a video about Nelly, a little more than one minute long.

Nelly’s mother said this in the video message:, “I miss everything we did together. I miss your smile, I miss your laugh.” Padilla added, “Your sister misses you, your brothers miss you, everyone misses you and wishes that you would just come home.”

Contact NCMEC with your leads on this case

Padilla wants to reach her teen daughter and she especially wants her to know:, “I love you very much, and I pray that you’re okay.”

If you know anything about this case or where Nelly could be, please contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children directly: 800-THE-LOST

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