Alleged sexual Snapchat messages between Caitlyn Frisina and Rian Rodriguez indicate a possible relationship between the recently found Florida teen and her assistant soccer coach, according to new information obtained from police documents by First Coast News.
The 17-year-old girl was found along with Rodriguez, 27, in Syracuse, New York by state police on Friday during a traffic stop. Both were detained without incident.
Upon her return, Frisina's parents addressed the media. "We are already taking steps toward rebuilding our lives after such an emotional week, " mother Scarlett Frisina said.
Caitlyn's mother says some of those steps are already in motion including conversations and counseling.
Caitlyn Frisina clenched her father's hand and laid her head on his shoulder as her mother addressed the media, but she did not address the media at a press briefing Monday.
Rodriguez faces a felony charge of interfering with the custody of a minor. On Monday, Rodriguez waived his right to an extradition hearing. Columbia County Sheriff's Office has turned the investigation over to the 3rd Circuit State Attorney's office. The State Attorney's office will decide if any additional charges will be filed.
Florida authorities have two weeks to remove him from New York, according to WSYR in Syracuse.
Police first learned of the girl’s disappearance on Sunday, when the girl’s parents said Caitlyn had exited her room through her bedroom window without her parents’ permission. The parents were able to follow footprints from the home to a nearby road, but lost track of her after that, according to a newly released arrest affidavit by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.
Caitlyn’s mother later learned that $200 had been withdrawn from her bank accounts from an ATM in St. Marys, Georgia. The parents also found their daughter’s cellphone in her room and it had been reset to factory settings.
Frisina’s father was able to recover alleged messages that his daughter and Rodriguez had exchanged on Snapchat. Those messages, sexual in nature, allegedly discussed Rodriguez’s genitals, according to the affidavit.
Columbia County Sheriff's Office confirmed there were indicators a relationship had started between Rodriguez and Frisina in August or September. Prior to that, law enforcement, her parents and school looked into the matter, but didn't find anything suspicious.
"There was nothing that seemed inappropriate. Our investigators talked with numerous parents, so there was just no way to predict this, " Sergeant Murray Smith said. Smith would continue adding, "But this is an excellent example of something that starts out and doesn't meet the criteria of the investigation and can quickly balloon into something."
Rodriguez was believed to be driving a 2001 Red Mercury Sable and was considered a person of interest in Caitlyn’s disappearance.
The affidavit also states that a school resource officer reached out to either the sheriff’s office or the parents about a rumor that circulated around that Caitlyn and Rian had been in a relationship in August right after school started. The investigation into this rumor ended after it was deemed false and the boy who brought up the rumor recanted his story, according to the arrest affidavit.
The Sheriff's Office confirmed Frisina did contact a friend about Rodriguez wanting to leave the country with her and that she didn't know how to get out of the situation.
An off-duty New York State Trooper would spot them Friday in a parking lot.
Columbia County is left with a simple message for parents:
"You need to be involved in your kids, you need to know who they're talking with, who they're hanging out with. I've spent time with this family and they seem like a very solid family and if it can happen to them, it can happen to anyone, " Sergeant Smith said.
Stay with First Coast News as we continue to follow this developing story.
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