AirTag Leads to Girl Missing for 5 Days

A 12-year-old girl from Brooklyn, who had been missing for five days, was found safe and reunited with her family on Sunday. The girl, known as Tori Perozo, had not returned home from her school in Queens on April 9, prompting her sister and legal guardian, Eliana Perozo, to report her missing.

Eliana had been tracking Tori’s movements through an AirTag attached to her keys. The device indicated that Tori had traveled to Manhattan, rather than returning to their home in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, after her classes at The Baccalaureate School for Global Education had ended.

Eliana, who became Tori’s legal guardian due to their mother’s absence, had last seen her sister on the morning of her disappearance as she left for school. The night before, the two had a disagreement, leading Eliana to believe that Tori had run away.

“I believe she’s a young girl who has experienced a great deal of loss,” Eliana said. “She has a lot of support and access to mental health services, and there are many people who love and care for her. But I don’t think she sees it that way, which is why she ran away.”

Eliana had confiscated Tori’s smartphone after discovering her in communication with an older boy, replacing it with a flip phone. However, Tori was not answering calls, and the AirTag showed her moving in the opposite direction of their home.

Eliana and a friend traced the AirTag to an apartment complex in the Bronx. A man at the location claimed to have found the device on the ground near 134th Street and St. Anne’s Avenue, but he had not seen Tori.

Later, police informed Eliana that Tori had been seen on security footage in the East Village early Thursday morning. She was seen boarding the N/R subway line at the NYU-8th St. stop around 5:45 a.m.

Eliana expressed her hope that this incident would not define Tori’s life. “She’s a really great kid,” she said. “A lot of people are working hard to find her, and she’s really loved. I don’t want this moment to be a defining moment in her life.”