Mount Vernon Elementary School Principal Bertha Dyer reported missing

A Newark elementary school principal has been reported missing after failing to attend several meetings.

Franklin Township police say that Mount Vernon Elementary School Principal Bertha Dyer was reported missing by her sister on Wednesday. 

Dyer was last seen in the afternoon of Tuesday, Aug. 30 at the school in Newark. Dyer was supposed to attend multiple meetings on Wednesday, but did not show up.

A family friend reached out to Dyer's sister, Cherrie Shepherd, who contacted Franklin Township police after failing to find her at home.

Shepherd says that when she checked the house, the lights were on in three rooms, along with the television. She says Dyer's keys and car were gone and her phone goes right to voicemail and there have been no text messages.

"I'm hoping it's not a hostage situation and she's not in any type of danger," Shepherd says.

Dyer has been the principal of Mount Vernon Elementary School for the past 15 years. She was principal in 2007 during the time of the infamous schoolyard killings where three college students were murdered behind the school. Shepherd says she doesn't think her sister's disappearance is related but always told Dyer to avoid parking near the alley where the killings took place.

"[I told her,] wouldn't it be safer to just park on the street and just go through the front door," Shepard said.

Police say that Dyer is 68 years old and is 5 feet, 4 inches tall. She drives a white 2011 Toyota 4Runner with New Jersey license plate U79GXM.

Anyone who might have information about Dyer's disappearance is asked to contact the Franklin Township Police Department at 732-873-2300 or Det. Trevor Wilson at 732-873-5533 Ext. 3161.

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