Missing NJ teen was set to begin school at prestigious arts academy; family desperate for answers

A talented, high-achieving New Jersey teen has been missing for over a week, as his family becomes increasingly fearful and desperate.

NJ.com reports that Nick Pratico, 18, of Hamilton, has been missing since September 20. Practico is a freshman at  Mercer County Community College, and was last seen at an orientation event there. In January, the student described as “an incredibly talented kid” was set to begin studies at the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts in New York City.

Initial search efforts focused on the community college campus and surrounding areas, and police later searched the area of Manhattan near the conservatory where Practico was to begin taking classes in January.

According to NJ.com, police have heard conflicting reports that Practico boarded a New Jersey Transit bus on the day of MCCC orientation.

Practico’s family told police that the teen has no psychological or substance abuse issues, and that it’s out of character for him to be out of contact for any significant period of time.

The family’s priest spoke about the missing teen at a press conference on Thursday.

“The family is very concerned, his grandmother, in particular has been overly distraught by this,” Father Jason Parzynski said. “As well as countless friends of his that want to know that he is fine and he is safe.”

“Nick is an incredibly talented kid. He was a really good kid, a very kind kid.”

Pratico is 6-feet 1-inches tall and 155 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair.

A Facebook page has been launched to share information about the missing teen.

Anyone with any information is urged to call Hamilton police at 609-581-4000 or Detective Frank Burger at 609-581-4010.


Feature photo: Facebook/Find Nick Pratico