Found Deceased IL - Brissa Romero, 17, from Carpentersville, gray 2008 Nissan Rogue, didn't return from a work party at Bowlero, Vernon Hills, 4 Dec 2023

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Police are seeking the public’s help in locating a 17-year-old girl who went missing three days ago and was last seen near a bowling alley in Vernon Hills.

The Carpentersville Police Department said Thursday afternoon they are actively working to locate Brissa Romero.

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The girl is described as being 5-foot and weighing approximately 115 pounds.

Romero has brown hair and brown eyes. A last known clothing description was not released.


A Carpentersville family scoured a wooded area behind a Vernon Hills bowling alley Thursday evening hoping to find some clues about what happened to their missing relative.

The missing girl, 17-year-old Brissa Romero, is believed to have last been near the Bowlero on Monday. Family members reported her missing Tuesday when she did not return from a work party held at the bowling alley Monday evening.

Carpentersville police said an electronic device last pinged near Bowlero Monday night.

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Carpentersville police are working with Vernon Hills police and Homeland Security. Anyone with information is asked to contact Sgt. Alan Webb at (847) 551-3481 or contact QuadCom Dispatch at (847) 428-8784. Tips can also be submitted on the village's website, cville.org.

More at link.
 
missing-teen.jpg

*suburban girl? new description to me…
 
Not much information released so far.

We have no information about this 'work party' or who she may have been with during the party. Did someone give her a ride to the party or drive herself? The MSM report indicates she drives "a gray 2008 Nissan Rogue with Illinois license plate CZ64618" but it's not stated whether she drove herself there. If she drove herself, it her car also missing?
 
Not much information released so far.

We have no information about this 'work party' or who she may have been with during the party. Did someone give her a ride to the party or drive herself? The MSM report indicates she drives "a gray 2008 Nissan Rogue with Illinois license plate CZ64618" but it's not stated whether she drove herself there. If she drove herself, it her car also missing?
The linked Daily Herald article in the original post says that her 2008 Nissan Rogue is also missing.

Also in the article:

Brissa Romero, who works at Raising Cane's in Crystal Lake, planned to attend the work holiday party at Bowlero. The 17-year-old asked if friends wanted to join her, but no one could, so she went by herself, Dulce Romero said.

Police reviewed video footage from Bowlero, but could not determine if Brissa Romero made it to the party, Carpentersville Deputy Chief Kevin Stankowitz said.

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Police can't tell from the video footage if she made it to the party, but surely her co-workers would know if she was there. Her last phone ping was from the area of the party.
 
The Carpentersville and Vernon Hills Police Departments are collaborating closely with Brissa’s family in this investigation.

Brissa Romero’s phone, iPad and social media accounts have been silent since that last ping, older sister Dulce Romero said Thursday..

“We’re going to find her,” said Dulce Romero while she searched the wooded area with a group of 11 family members, including her parents.

Police reviewed video footage from Bowlero, but could not determine if Brissa Romero made it to the party, Carpentersville Deputy Chief Kevin Stankowitz said.

Before heading to the party, Romero hung out with a cousin in Des Plaines. She also called her mother to ask about going to the party, her sister said.

“She was excited and was bragging about what I was going to get for Christmas,” she said.

She described her sister as smart and a “social butterfly,” but said she worried she may have been too trusting of people.

“She’s too nice to people sometimes,” Dulce Romero said. “I’m worried that someone just took advantage of that.”
*why is Homeland Security involved?
 
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The Carpentersville and Vernon Hills Police Departments are collaborating closely with Brissa’s family in this investigation.

Brissa Romero’s phone, iPad and social media accounts have been silent since that last ping, older sister Dulce Romero said Thursday..

“We’re going to find her,” said Dulce Romero while she searched the wooded area with a group of 11 family members, including her parents.

Police reviewed video footage from Bowlero, but could not determine if Brissa Romero made it to the party, Carpentersville Deputy Chief Kevin Stankowitz said.

Before heading to the party, Romero hung out with a cousin in Des Plaines. She also called her mother to ask about going to the party, her sister said.

“She was excited and was bragging about what I was going to get for Christmas,” she said.

She described her sister as smart and a “social butterfly,” but said she worried she may have been too trusting of people.

“She’s too nice to people sometimes,” Dulce Romero said. “I’m worried that someone just took advantage of that.”
*why is Homeland Security involved?
Homeland security has been doing a lot from a technological standpoint in developing tools for missing persons investigations. Based on that, and their experiences in doing investigations into trafficking or child exploitation (not saying that's the case here, just they have experience in that area), local LE has been reaching out to them more in cases you wouldn't think would fit what they normally look it. Its like the FBI getting involved with some cases, local LE knows they have technical resources the locals don't and will simply ask for assistance. Interesting article with some of the stuff they are working on with missing persons tech. https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/lost_person_locator_factsheet.pdf
 
Homeland security has been doing a lot from a technological standpoint in developing tools for missing persons investigations. Based on that, and their experiences in doing investigations into trafficking or child exploitation (not saying that's the case here, just they have experience in that area), local LE has been reaching out to them more in cases you wouldn't think would fit what they normally look it. Its like the FBI getting involved with some cases, local LE knows they have technical resources the locals don't and will simply ask for assistance. Interesting article with some of the stuff they are working on with missing persons tech. https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/lost_person_locator_factsheet.pdf
I was afraid someone might say that, this article was posted on the same Patch page as the article:

 
ETA:
I just read that the last place she was seen was on surveillance video while visiting a family member. I thought she was seen near the bowling alley, I apologize.

My original post:

I want to make sure I am clear on this - we know she was seen “near” the bowling alley but no one at the party itself saw her, right?
If that’s the case, I wonder if she arrived and someone caught her outside before she went in and asked her for a “quick ride to get something“ before attending the party. If that makes sense? Or where was she was seen near the bowling alley? And by whom?

I need to go back and read everything again. I feel like I am missing something.

I sure hope this beautiful girl is found safe.
 
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I'm really worried about this girl. What could have happened? She wasn't seen at the party, but her phone pinged in the area and this YouTube ABC7 video says that a license reader identified her car in the area. The video also has the surveillance video from her cousin's house (she left from there to go to the party) and has comments by her sister.

She seems to be a lovely and responsible young woman. She graduated from high school last year a year early, and is a student at Hunter College studying to be an ultrasound technician. She has a loving family and her sister says that she has two jobs.

 
ETA:
I just read that the last place she was seen was on surveillance video while visiting a family member. I thought she was seen near the bowling alley, I apologize.
It sounds like from the Carpentersville updated report that her electronic devices last pinged in that area rather than a sighting.

Good they searched nearby waterways, with a car missing that's often the likely culprit. There's water in the area, but I can't think of places where it's easy to accidentally end up in it, especially looking at the treeline in satellite view.

The area surrounding Bowlero is very built up and it's right near Hawthorn Mall, however there are pockets of more "deserted" areas. Bowlero itself is kind of set back in an industrial park and it definitely feels more isolated. I can see it being difficult to find, especially at night and with the presumption she's not familiar with the area. She could have pulled into a myriad of empty isolated parking areas to check directions.

Then just up the road is a huge forest preserve with the Des Plaines River running through it.

There are major intersections all around the areas though, would have to think the car is on camera somewhere. Hope she is found safe soon.
 

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“One thing about our family, we all share our locations with our parents,” Brissa's sister said. “She called my mom at 6:55 p.m. and said she was on the way over here, and my mom kept looking at her location, and she was heading over here, but around the time that she arrived, she did not call my mom.”

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Jocelyn Rubi Romero said they lost her sister’s location after 8 p.m.

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Police used drones for their search on Friday and surveyed the local ponds for her vehicle. It is described as a gray 2008 Nissan Rouge with Illinois license plate number CZ64618. They also patrolled other nearby areas and hotels for any signs of the teenager.

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Police said Romero was last seen on surveillance video while visiting a family member in Des Plaines. Authorities said she doesn’t have a history of mental health challenges or running away from home. Police were working to review her social media accounts.
 
Stankowitz said Romero was last seen on surveillance video while visiting a family member in Des Plaines.


Romero had left and was believed to be on her way to a holiday work party that was taking place Monday evening at Bowlero, 316 Center Drive in Vernon Hills.

License plate readers were checked for any recent detections of Romero’s vehicle and the Illinois Tollway Authority checked for IPASS transponder activations
 
Very concerning. I'm assuming Bowlero doesn't have outside CCTV cameras? I'm curious if her car ever even pulled into the parking area. My first thought was she did arrive at the bowling alley, parked, and someone accosted her/forced their way into her vehicle and told her to drive. That would account for her device pinging near there but her not making it into the party. Its possible the assailant turned off or destroyed her phone which is why she wasn't tracked going somewhere after.

My other thought was, I noticed on Google Maps a Casey's nearby, which has gas. I wonder if she stopped to fuel up her tank and something happened there. I'm assuming LE is investigating all nearby businesses that might have cameras, which most gas stations and convenience stores do. It might be near enough the bowling alley that would account for her device pinging "in the area." However, I would think that early evening on a Monday at a gas station nearby several businesses would be a very conspicuous place to abduct someone, so I still am leaning towards the bowling alley parking lot MOO.
 
I was afraid someone might say that, this article was posted on the same Patch page as the article:

The "sting" involved men soliciting undercover police officers posing as prostitutes for sex. Prostitutes can be victims of trafficking, but the headline is a bit misleading IMO as it implies a human traffic operation active in the area. Generally speaking, victims of trafficking are usually coerced over time, "groomed" you might say, and often are runaways, or from broken home environments or homes with abuse. They are rarely just snatched off of the street.
 

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