LITTLE FERRY, N.J. -- Eighteen-year-old Noelle Forte of Little Ferry was missing for nearly four days -- without vital medication for schizo-affective disorder -- when she saw a Daily Voice story before dawn Tuesday about her disappearance.
"She saw your post on Facebook and went to Penn Station (in Newark) at 3 a.m. to tell police not to look for her anymore," Noelle's extremely relieved mother, Mary Makinajian, told Daily Voice Tuesday afternoon.
"Fortunately, the police convinced her that she needed help," added Noelle's father, Frank Forte. ""They took her to the hospital and called us.
"She told me she's happy now that we found her."
Noelle, whom the former couple adopted in Guatemala when she was 7 months old, ran off before.
This time, she walked away from her room at Overlook Medical Center in Summit around 10 p.m. Friday -- without a coat, cellphone or identification.
Noelle was off her medication "and may be experiencing hallucinations and seizures," Forte said in a Daily Voice story published over the weekend.
The story also noted that she's frequented Penn Station and that loved ones had gone there looking for her.
That line apparently was the key.
"She seems generally fine but bruised up," Forte said after visiting his daughter at University Hospital in Newark, "and a bit sick from being off her meds."
A little over a year ago, Noelle and a girl from Garfield were located in Harrison after police issued an alert.
Two years earlier, her parents turned to CLIFFVIEW PILOT after Noelle ran away from St. Mary’s residential treatment center in Passaic for a second time in several months. She’d been been living with other girls who have similar conditions, her parents said. at the time.
“This isn’t a regular teenaged child who ran away,” Makinajian said then. “Her psychiatrist said she can only be off her meds for two days.
“She’ll start to hallucinate, see things, hear things, taste things,” her mother said. “She’ll feel like things are crawling on her, or that they’re in her head.”
Noelle's July 2013 disappearance ended after she and a friend saw fliers that her father had posted and distributed in Manhattan and New Jersey.
It turned out she’d been scraping by on the streets of Passaic and Paterson for several nights, her parents said.