Thomas Kolding - New Jersey Missing Teen

Thomas Kolding, 15, is seen in these undated photos. A nationwide search is underway for the missing New Jersey teen. 

(Meredith) -- A missing 15-year-old boy grabbed a backpack and $1,000 of his own savings before he disappeared the day before Halloween, according to authorities in New Jersey. 

Thomas Kolding left his cellphone behind along with a handwritten note explaining that he did not want to be found, the Morristown Daily Record reported.

The teen's father, Nicolai Kolding, told the newspaper he worries an argument about grades may have pushed his son over the edge. The 15-year-old is a freshman at Mountain Lakes High School and enrolled in honors math and science classes.

"The argument about his grades may have been the trigger. I was trying to motivate him and get him to live up to his potential," his father said. "I think he was feeling pressure at school, and I want to believe that some strange part of him needed to get away for a while."

Authorities believe Thomas Kolding rode his bike to the Denville train station on Oct. 30, where he purchased a ticket to the Broad Street station in Newark. From there, he may have traveled by train to New York's Penn Station, according to the Morris County Prosecutor's Office. 

"His location is unknown from that point. However, the investigation revealed that Kolding had a strong interest in traveling to California," the prosecutor's office said in a news release

A nationwide search for the boy is underway, authorities said.

"He's a wonderful, amazing kid, and we want him home. He's never been any trouble, and we're so impressed and in awe of him and his ambition," his father told the Daily Record. 

Kolding is 5 feet, 3 inches tall and weighs approximately 120 pounds. He was last seen wearing a camouflage jacket, gray skull cap and carrying a large black backpack.

Anyone with information about his whereabouts is urged to call Mt. Lakes Police at (973) 334-1413, the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Missing Persons Unit at (973) 285-2900 or email Detective/Supervisor Leah Atterbury at

Copyright 2018 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. 

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