Thursday, July 13, 2006

Audrey Nerenberg now missing 29 years, Brooklyn, New York

Audrey Lyn Nerenberg is featured a lot on missing persons websites but not on the nightly news. She's been gone a long time and her case is full of several different scenarios. She could be alive; she could be dead. Won't you please take a look and see if you remember her? The top photo shows her around the time she disappeared; the bottom one shows what she might have looked like a couple years ago. They came from The Charley Project, along with this info:

Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: July 5, 1977 from
New York City, New York
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date Of Birth: September 24, 1958
Age: 18 years old
Height and Weight: 5'4 - 5'5, 115 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Light brown curly hair,
brown eyes. Nerenberg has an olive complexion. She has freckles on her nose,
cheeks, shoulders, and hands, and a gap between her upper front teeth about
one-sixteenth of an inch wide. She smokes cigarettes. Nerenberg's hair was long,
past her shoulders, at the time of her July 1977 disappearance.
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A blue tube top,
cut-off bleached dungaree shorts or blue jeans, open-toed clear plastic sandals,
and possibly a sweater tied around her waist.
Medical Conditions: Nerenberg
was diagnosed with hebephrenic schizophrenia at age 15, approximately three
years prior to her 1977 disappearance. She was taking the medication Torrozine
and was under a doctor's supervision at the time she was last seen. Nerenberg
has the mental capacity of a fourteen-year-old.

Details of Disappearance
Nerenberg was last seen leaving her family's residence in the 1250 block of
Ryder Street in the Canarsie section of the New York City borough of Brooklyn at
2:00 p.m. on July 5, 1977, one of the hottest days on record. The house was
located near Kings Highway, Flatlands Avenue and Flatbush Avenue. Nerenberg told her mother she was going two blocks away to purchase cigarettes and would be
right back, but she has never been heard from again. She was carrying a small
brown shoulder bag with two dollars inside for the cigarettes at the time of her
Nerenberg's father received a call from an anonymous
individual later during the day. The person claimed he abducted Nerenberg and
instructed her father to collect as much money as possible before he called
back. Her father contacted the Federal Bureau Of Investigation (FBI) and the
agency sent conspicuously dressed officials to the Nerenbergs' home. The agents
left after the caller failed to communicate within three hours. Nerenberg's
father said that it may have been possible his daughter had been kidnapped by
someone in the Flatbush area who watched as the officials entered their house.
Nerenberg had been hospitalized for brief periods of time in several New
York City medical facilities from 1974 to 1977 as a result of hebephrenic
schizophrenia. She has been a patient at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn,
Gracie Square Hospital in Manhattan and Hillside Medical Center in Queens.
Nerenberg was an outpatient at Kingsboro Psychiatric Center in Brooklyn at the
time she disappeared. She was not carrying any identification or medication with
her at the time she was last seen. It is possible that Nerenberg walked out of
her residence while disoriented and did not know her name. However, Nerenberg's
parents say she was doing very well on her medication at the time of her
disappearance and was able to safely go places on her own. She used to attend a
day care center, but the center burned down and so Nerenberg was more often left
to her own devices.
Nerenberg accompanied her family to the borough of
Staten Island during the evening of July 4, 1977, the day prior to her
disappearance. They watched a movie at the former Jerry Lewis Theater on Forest
Avenue in Mariners Harbor on the Island. The theater was close in proximity to a
campsite once used by Andre Rand, a convicted child sex offender. A photo of
Rand is posted below this case summary. Rand, whose birth name is Frank Rashan,
has been charged with the 1981 Staten Island abduction of Holly Hughes.
Authorities suspect Rand may have been involved in the Staten Island
disappearances of Alice Pereia
in 1972 and Tiahease
in 1983. Rand may be connected to several other missing persons'
cases from the Staten Island area as well, but no evidence has been discovered
which may link him to the disappearances. There is speculation that Nerenberg
may have traveled back to the Island on July 5 while disoriented and may have
come into contact with Rand. He has not been linked to Nerenberg's case.
1982, five years after Nerenberg vanished, one of her brother's friends was
sentenced to eighteen years in prison for stabbing a woman. The victim survived.
Nerenberg's father did not like the boy and would never allow him into the
house. He lived a block away from where Nerenberg was last seen and after her
disappearance never asked to go into the house again. After the young man's
conviction the police interviewed him about a possible connection to Nerenberg's
disappearance. They could find no evidence to implicate the individual. He
declined to take a polygraph regarding the case.
Some investigators believe
it is possible that Nerenberg may have been admitted to a psychiatric facility
as a "Jane Doe" (an unidentified female patient) after she vanished in 1977. A
search of medical centers failed to produce any leads as to Nerenberg's
whereabouts. Nerenberg accused a former employee at a Flatbush-area ice cream
parlor of molesting her prior to her disappearance. A large hole has been
cemented over a section of the business's walls after she vanished. It is not
known if the damage is related to her case.
2003, because of the pressure of
Nerenberg's father, a Florida state representative sponsored a bill in Congress
that would require the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
(NCMEC) to assist in locating adults who have the mental capacities of children,
like Nerenberg. Previously the NCMEC is required to help only in cases where the
missing person is under the age of 18. The Protect Act, as the bill was called,
was signed into law in April 2003.
Nerenberg enjoyed shopping, music and
dancing at the time of her disappearance. Her parents moved to Citrus Springs,
Florida in 1985. They have never stopped searching for her. The police
investigation into her disappearance is still active, but her case remains

Investigating Agency
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
New York City Police Department

You can also call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).

Audrey's father also wrote a book about her disappearance, Give Me Back My Daughter Audrey by Milton Nerenberg, that was published in 2003. You can learn about Audrey and the book here.

You can print a poster of Audrey here.

Audrey's website:

To learn more about hebephrenic, or disorganized, schizophrenia, visit

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