Family of Florida teen reunited in Syracuse

Credit: New York State Police

NORTH SYRACUSE, NY (WSYR-TV) – The family of 17-year-old Caitlyn Frisina arrived in North Syracuse early Saturday afternoon to be reunited with their daughter at the New York State Police barracks.

While answering a few questions, the parents thanked law enforcement and the community for help finding their daughter.

Earlier, the Frisina family was greeted by a small group of family and friends at Hancock International Airport .

They had contacted Florida law enforcement last weekend, believing Caitlyn Frisina had climbed out her bedroom window in Lake City, according to ABC News.  Her cell phone had been wiped clean.

Surveillance video later emerged showing Frisina with 27-year-old Rian Rodriguez, a soccer coach from her school, as the pair made their way north in a red Mercury Sable.

There were rumors they could be headed toward the border with Canada and police across New York State had been advised to be on the lookout.

Just after 4 p.m. on Friday afternoon, an investigator from the NYS Police Major Crimes Unit was patrolling local hotels and lots with an agent from an FBI task force, a regular part of their work, when they noticed a red car at the intersection of Taft Road and Route 11 in North Syracuse.

They quickly confirmed the car had Florida license plates and Rodriguez was pulled over in a nearby parking lot. Police say he did not resist their orders.

Rodriguez told troopers he was familiar with Central New York– the Cicero area in particular, after spending some time there as a child.

According to a state police spokesman, it appears that Frisina left with Rodriguez willingly. She does not appear to be physically hurt.

Investigators from Florida were expected to fly into Central New York Saturday. Though, Rodriguez has the right to an extradition hearing if he wants one. He is currently being held in the Onondaga County Justice Center.

The Columbia County, Florida Sheriff will hold a news conference on Monday at 2 p.m.

A spokesman for troopers in New York said the age of consent in this state is 17, but the age of consent in Florida is 18.

During a short conversation with reporters, Frisina’s parents described the moment they got the phone call from investigators letting them know their daughter was safe. Both said they felt joy and relief.

NewsChannel 9 had a crew at the barracks when the family shared their thoughts Saturday afternoon. Tune in at 6pm and 11pm to see what they had to say.

NewsChannel 9 and LocalSYR.com will have updates as they become available.  We will also have much more on NewsChannel 9 at 6:00.

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