BROOKLYN — A 15-year-old girl with special needs was found at a friend's house Thursday and reunited with her family — nearly three days after disappearing from her Sunset Park high school, police said.
Nashaly Perez, who who suffers mood disorders and was supposed to be monitored full time by a paraprofessional, walked out of Lillian L. Rashkis high school, at 355 37th St., in Sunset Park, about noon Monday, according to her family and police.
She eventually made her way to a classmate's house where the mother realized police were searching for her and called 911, an NYPD spokesman said. She was picked up about 9 a.m. Thursday and brought to the precinct stationhouse, police said.
Perez was taken to the 60th Precinct stationhouse in Coney Island Thursday where she was met by her mother and her mother's boyfriend.
The incident raised red flags in light of last year's disappearance of Avonte Oquendo, a 14-year-old autistic boy who went missing from his school last October and was found dead in January.
The Department of Education vowed at the time to prevent any incident like Oquendo from happening again.
"Anyone who had responsibility is going to feel some consequences because it's just unacceptable that we don't watch out for every child, particularly our children with special needs," Mayor Bill de Blasio said during an unrelated press conference Thursday afternoon.
"This is a moment that we're going to use to get a very clear message across to all our employees that this is unacceptable behavior and it won't be tolerated," the mayor added.
It was not immediately clear how Nashaly managed to leave the school.
Perez's mother, Sandra Rodriguez, said no one notified her of her daughter's disappearance until she went to pick Nashaly up at 1 p.m. Monday for a doctor's appointment. When she arrived, Nashaly's paraprofessional told her, "Your daughter left school," Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said staff in the principal's office "kept working, ignoring her" and told the panicked mother to leave, because "they were done with her." Rodriguez said she had to call 911 to spur the search for her child.
The Department of Education did not immediately respond to requests for comment. However, the principal of Nashaly's school, Joan Antonelli, was reassigned after she went missing, sources said.
De Blasio said the city is moving as quickly as possible to get door alarms installed at all city schools as required under a law passed after Avonte's death.
Even though the school had an alarm it still may not have kept Nashaly from walking out, the mayor added.
"This strikes me as human error. This does not strike me as an equipment problem," de Blasio said. "This does not strike me as a problem of a lack of alarms. This strikes me as people not doing their jobs."
The office for the special commissioner of investigation, which pored over the circumstances of Avonte's disappearance, said Thursday that it was still determining if it would look into Nashaly's vanishing as well, a spokeswoman said.
"Every parent feels a sense of vulnerability when they don't know where their children are," de Blasio said, adding that his heart went out to Nashaly's parents. "It's not acceptable that this happened."
With reporting by Jeanmarie Evelly.