Florida soccer coach kidnaps player

by Thomas Petroff

People Editor

Two weeks ago on Nov. 26, 27-year-old Rian Rodriguez disappeared with 17-year-old Caitlyn Frisina, a teenager from Columbia County in Florida. The nationwide search for Frisina ended on Friday, Dec. 1, when authorities found Frisina and Rodriguez near Syracuse in upstate New York. Investigations are ongoing as officials from a variety of states are attempting to understand the situation.

Rodriguez was the soccer coach for Frisina’s high school team who decided to head north with her in late November. Prior to the disappearance of the pair, there were allegations that Rodriguez and Frisina were involved in a relationship that began in August. Additionally, after their daughter went missing, Frisina’s parents found several Snapchat messages shared between the two that raised questions about a possible relationship.

Friends also released information that Rodriguez actually wanted to leave the country with her. They confessed that “she didn’t know how to get out of it. She said she was scared and she didn’t know what to do.” Unsure of the situation, authorities are wondering whether the problem was between the two of them or solely Rodriguez.

Officials found visual evidence on surveillance cameras of the two spotted in Saint George, South Carolina and Fayetteville, North Carolina, until they were eventually discovered by a New York police officer. The news of a missing teenager caused authorities throughout the coastal states to call for assistance in investigating the issue.

Frisina safely reunited with her mother and father back home in Lake City, Florida. On Dec. 4, Frisina showed up to a press conference with her parents who were open to responding to the situation. At the end of the conference, Scarlet Frisina, Caitlyn’s mother, stated, “We are so thankful and blessed to have our beautiful daughter … back with us. We’re looking forward to a very merry Christmas.”

Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick stated how they questioned Rodriguez for possible convictions of custodial interference and even kidnapping. However, the case will now be brought back to Florida as investigators continue to seek an answer to the crisis.

Several of these allegations are yet to be confirmed, but what is confirmed is Fisina’s return to Florida. The disappearance lasted for nearly a week, and now the process has narrowed down to what Rodriguez’s motives were at the time and what happened during the disappearance.

(Sources: CNN, ABC, FOX, WTSP)

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