Missing New Jersey Teen Sarah Townsend Found Dead

PHOTO: The family of missing teen Sarah Townsend are setting up a billboard, handing out flyers at train stations and offering a $10,000 reward for their daughters safe return.
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New Jersey authorities found missing New Jersey teen Sarah Townsend's body in a pond this afternoon.

The body was found in Sherman's Pond at Green Acres Park in Burlington Township. The pond is near where Sarah's running car had been found Monday.

Officials told ABC affiliate WPVI that a canine unit led authorities to Sarah's body and that her family has been notified.

Authorities believe that Sarah, 18, may have wanted to harm herself because of a note that was found in her car.

"There was an indication that this young lady, Sarah Townsend, was possibly going to harm herself," Burlington Township Police Director Walter Corter said Thursday.

On Thursday, Sarah's family denied those claims.

"Sarah was planning on going to two proms. She bought her dress and was talking about how she was going to do her hair. That's somebody that was planning on something," said Laurie Townsend, Sarah's mother.

When Sarah left for school Monday morning, the family said she seemed fine.

"She put her shoes on and said, 'Bye, Mom and Dad, love you,' and was out the door rushing to school and she hasn't been seen since," Laurie said Thursday.

Sarah's boyfriend, Matt Welsh, called 911 after finding her car, cellphone and purse at the park Monday.

The family had put up a billboard, handed out flyers at train stations and offered a $10,000 reward for their daughter's safe return.

Sarah was set to graduate from high school next month. She was thinking about attending nursing school or becoming a flight attendant.

"It's every parent's worst nightmare and it is coming true before our eyes," Townsend said Thursday.

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