Family looks for missing St. Petersburg 16-year-old girl

Published October 15 2018

ST. PETERSBURG — A 16-year-old girl from St. Petersburg went missing Oct. 8 and her family has ramped up a social media campaign to find her.

Nandi Rosero was last seen when her father dropped her off at Lakewood High School at about 6:30 a.m. The family believes she is under the influence of an adult whom she met on the online messaging app Snapchat, according to Rosero’s aunt, Fran Morales-Neufeld of St. Louis. She declined to reveal additional details about this online activity.

St. Petersburg Police Department spokeswoman Yolanda Fernandez said the case is classified as a runaway, not a missing person.

"We’ve looked at that case very carefully. While we think it’s great the family is making its own efforts, we have reason to believe it’s a runaway," Fernandez said.

Morales-Neufeld, 35, said she and other family members feel the police aren’t looking for her niece aggressively.

"She’s never run away before, she’s a straight A student, she was recently awarded a scholarship," Morales-Neufeld said. "We’re really concerned right now that the police aren’t doing enough."

The family has heard from people who have reached out and said they last spotted Rosero on Thursday at a Tropical Smoothie Cafe in St. Petersburg, getting into a black car, she said.

Family members have been posting on social media, and have set up Facebook and Go Fund Me pages to create awareness and continue their efforts. Morales-Neufeld said the family also hired a private investigator.

Rosero’s father, Robert Rosero Sr., has been plastering the area with missing person fliers, including at her school.

"It’s just so out of character for Nandi. Time is of the essence. We need to find her," Morales-Neufeld said.

The family asks that anyone with information call the St. Petersburg Police Department at (727) 893-7780.