AnnMarie Torres is issuing a plea to her 16-year-old son , who left his Garwood home Sunday night and has not returned.
"Please come home; I'm worried," said Torres. "All I can do is cry."
Bernardo, who is 5'5" and 140 lbs, is believed to be traveling on foot with his girlfriend, Amber, of Cranford. She is also a minor, said Torres who did not give out Amber's last name.
A friend of Bernardo's contacted Torres late this afternoon and said Bernardo is currently in Cranford and "wants to come home but knows he is in trouble."
Bernardo, who had been punished from returning home at 1 a.m. on July 18, left his home Sunday night under the guise of picking up a cell phone he'd left in a friend's car.
"Last night, I wasn't home but he was with his grandmother and he left to get his cell phone," Torres said. "I talked to him on the phone and told him he wasn't supposed to leave the house and we'd talk about it when he got home and he hasn't come back."
Torres said earlier this afternoon her son's friend told her he was in Westfield.
"Now he says someone from Middlesex is picking them up," said Torres. "But I don't know anyone in Middlesex. Friends have only been able to talk to him through his girlfriend."
Torres filed a missing person's report with Garwood police this morning but Bernardo is currently being treated as a runaway since he left of his own free will.
When asked if she had a message for her son, Torres said, "Please just call me so I know you're OK."
Anyone with information about Bernardo is asked to contact Torres immediately at 908-591-5755 or call the Garwood Police at 908-789-1500.