A Florida teenager who was reported missing and suspected to have been with her 27-year-old soccer coach has been found safe nearly 1,000 miles away in New York. According to the Columbia County, Florida Sheriff's Office, she was found with the coach, who was taken into custody.
The search for 17-year-old Caitlyn Frisina began on Nov. 26 when her parents discovered she was missing from their home, PEOPLE reports.
Police confirmed that the high school senior was with the boys' soccer coach, Rian Rodriguez. The two were believed to be driving northeast in a red Mercury Sable.
Around 4 p.m. Friday, a New York State Police officer spotted the vehicle in Syracuse, New York. The authorities stopped the car and found the two safe.
Rodriguez was taken into custody while Caitlyn was detained. The coach faces charges for interference with child custody, but may also face more charges.
Columbia County Sheriff Mark Hunter was able to deliver the good news to Caitlyn's parents.
"That was one of the best phone calls I've made in my career," Hunter said. "The family was elated, of course. They've been through a lot. They're emotionally drained."
Caitlyn left behind her cell phone when she disappeared, after doing a factor reset on it. She also took out $200 from an ATM in Georgia the day she went missing. She and Rodriguez were later seen on a surveillance video at a food shop in South Carolina, in addition to a pawn shop in North Carolina.
Caitlyn's parents spoke out about their reunion with their daughter in a press conference on Saturday.0comments
"We're looking forward to a lot more time together," her mother, Scarlet Frisina, said. "We had a very beautiful, wonderful, very emotional reunion with her a little while ago, and we are so thankful to have her back."
"It's been difficult," her father, Ward Frisina, said. "I'm glad to have my daughter back, where I know I can protect her and keep her safe, as a father always wants to do."