LAKE CITY, Fla. – Columbia County Deputies said a 17-year-old high school soccer player who believes he escaped with a 27-year-old trainer was found safe on Friday in Syracuse, New York, reported sister station News 6, WJXT.
Caitlyn Frisina and Rian Rodriguez were the focus of a nationwide search that ended after 4 p.m. On Friday, when a New York State police officer stopped them, they saw the red Mercury Sable in which they were believed to be traveling, authorities said.
Rodriguez was arrested on charges of interference in the custody of the children and Caitlyn was arrested, agents said.
Jessie Mykietyn told WJXT he was surprised that a story as big as Caitlyn's ended up in his neighborhood.
"I was standing here working with my client and I just looked around and saw that there were several patrol cars surrounding a vehicle," Mykietyn said. "It's amazing," said Mykietyn. "I mean, you know you hear about this great story and you never think that something like this will come to your own neighborhood and backyard."
Caitlyn's mother, Scarlet Frisina, told WJXT that she is "excited" to know that her daughter is fine. She said her family is packing in case they need to go to New York to pick up Caitlyn.
The missing child alert from the Department of Law Enforcement issued on Tuesday for Caitlyn was canceled after it was found.
Until Friday, Caitlyn and Rodriguez's last sighting was at a pawnshop in Fayetteville, North Carolina, but authorities said they believed the two had continued north. Caitlyn has a family in the state of New York, the agents said.
"I really do not remember what day it was that we could actually see those surveillance images, but my first reaction was that it seemed to be perfectly fine, and that was a great … OK, it's okay." "Frisina said on Friday before they found her daughter.
Columbia County deputies thanked the New York State Police and the US Marshals Service for their help, saying the Marshals were "instrumental in locating the couple" and tracked clues that led them to be found.
Sheriff Mark Hunter said Wednesday that authorities did not believe Caitlyn was in danger, but was with a man who is 10 years older than her and who is still legally underage.
The couple was seen in Georgia and South Carolina before being seen in Fayetteville.
The road trip cost Rodriguez his job.
The former Fort High School children's soccer coach was fired by the Columbia County School Board on Wednesday for "not showing up for work."
According to the missing person's report, a friend told investigators that Caitlyn sent her a text message, stating that there could be a relationship between the 17-year-old and Rodriguez.
Authorities believe that Caitlyn slipped out of her bedroom window in the middle of the night.
His mother discovered that he had left on Sunday morning. After realizing that his car and cell phone were still in the house, they called family and friends and then reported that he had disappeared into the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.
The agents said that the bedroom window was open, that the window screen was off and that the prints that were leaving Caitlyn's house indicated that she was alone when she left.
The deputies said that Caitlyn cleaned up her cell phone by returning it to the factory setting before leaving sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning.
Frisina said Friday before her daughter found Rodriguez was the only person who did not respond when she and her husband were calling trying to find Caitlyn on Sunday morning.
She said that until that time they never considered that Rodriguez and Caitlyn could have developed an inappropriate relationship. The two knew each other from their high school football clubs and teams, and the mother described Rodriguez as a trusted family friend.
"Because he's younger, there's always that camaraderie and back-and-forth jokes and different things, but nothing we felt was strange or strange to a coach-player relationship." It all seemed very normal to us ", He said. "We felt we knew who he was."
Frisina said that nothing of Thanksgiving holiday weekend seemed unusual or unusual for her family.
"Everything seemed wonderful (to spend) time with the family together, and it became the most horrible dream," he said. "I kept thinking," When am I going to wake up and discover that not everything is true? "
Frisina said her daughter has the potential to play football in college, and her family does not understand what would take her away from that.
"It makes us think and think that there was something he had about her or that he had about her or that he had convinced her, obviously, he had lied to her to take such a drastic step and measure," she said. .
The circumstances surrounding the couple's journey north are not yet clear.
This article is courtesy of WJXT-TV.
Copyright 2017 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.