A seventeen-year-old Florida high school student has been found in upstate New York after apparently fleeing with family friend and local soccer coach, 27.
The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office confirms that Rian Rodriguez, was taken into custody and charged as a fugitive of justice.
Police believe that the teen, Caitlyn Frisina, willingly left her Lake City, Florida home with Rodriguez nearly a week before police found them almost one thousand miles away.
Rodriguez and Frisina knew each other, since the man is reportedly a boy’s soccer coach at a high school in Fort White, Florida, where Frisina also plays soccer.
A search began when police were informed that Frisina went missing on November 26. Her parents found her cell phone had been wiped clean by a factory reset; items in her bedroom had been moved and it appeared she left through a window. They would later hear of the “blossoming of a potential relationship” between Rodriguez and Frisina.
The arrest warrant states that the teen‘s father uncovered sexual messages in Snapchat that may have revealed “a possible relationship” between his daughter and the soccer coach. Frisina’s mother began questioning friends who led her to believe her daughter had some kind of plans to leave the country with Rodriguez and may have been fearful of resisting his advances.
Spotted on surveillance cameras in gas stations and convenience stores, and tracked by credit card charges and bank withdrawals, police were able to follow the pair’s journey north.
On Friday, officials identified Rodriguez’s 2001 red Mercury Sable driving in Columbia County, New York and pulled the vehicle over in a shopping mall’s parking lot.
According to reports, Rodriguez was detained without incident and initially held on a warrant for interference with child custody. He was later charged as a fugitive of justice.
Caitlyn Frisina was also detained until she could be reunited with her parents.
The teen’s mother, Scarlet Frisina, told reporters at a news conference on Saturday, “We are so thankful to have her back. We are looking forward to a lot more time together and being able to get back home and move forward as a family.”
Officials expect that if there are no additional charges filed against Rodriguez in New York this week, he will be extradited back to Florida.