The couple, both 15, were last spotted definitively at the Ronkonkoma train station at around 3 p.m. on Dec. 9, Suffolk County police told reporters. Authorities believe the teens boarded the train, but they have not returned home or answered their phones since then.
According to their parents, neither teen has a history of running away, and they did not leave notes or otherwise indicate that they intended to disappear.
Suffolk County police said they are working with the NYPD to track down the missing teens and bring them back to their homes in Manorville.
Kaileigh Catalano and Vincent Abolafia Missing
Kaileigh’s mother Ehrin Catalano told the New York Post Monday that her daughter and Abolafia were dropped off by a friend at Ronkonkoma train station on Thursday just before 3 p.m.
“And they’ve been in the city since,” the concerned mom said. “And they do not have their phones.”
Catalano, a sophomore, and Abolafia, a freshman at Eastport-South Manor Junior-Senior High School, have been dating since September, Ehrin said. She believes the couple is “definitely still together” and still in New York City, but their exact whereabouts are a mystery.
“We have no idea” where they are, the mother said. “Neither of them left bad notes at home and we have no idea where they could be going.”
Since she and her boyfriend disappeared Thursday, Kaileigh Catalano was reportedly seen near the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurant in Times Square, though investigators could not verify the sighting.
Parents Puzzled by Teens’ Disappearance
Ehrin told the Post that her daughter’s behavior since Thursday is “absolutely not” typical of the 15-year-old. “They’re two 15-year-old naïve kids and my daughter does not know the city well — and they’re babies,” she added.
Ehrin’s partner Melissa Panasci said the family was “completely blindsided” by Kaileigh’s disappearance.
“This makes no sense to any of us as to why she would go and leave,” she said.”“At this point, we’re assuming they wanted to leave and play in the city and have a good time, but this has turned into them not coming back. Nobody can find these kids.”
“Their family loves them and misses them, and all we want is for them to come home safe,” James Bonasia, Vincent Abolafia’s stepfather, told Fox News on Monday. Adding that his stepson is an “amazing kid,” Bonasio said that Abolafia has no known connections in New York City, but “may have” access to $1,200 cash to keep himself afloat.
Runaways or Foul Play?
A Suffolk County detective told the Post that investigators believe the teens intentionally ran away, speculating they “might not even realize that we’re looking for them at this point.”
Their families have considered the possibility, as well. Panasci noted that the couple had just gone to New York City the weekend before their disappearance to see the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree with Abolafia’s family. It’s possible, she said, that they simply wanted to go back.
Still, both have noted that neither teen seemed upset. They reportedly did not behave unusually before their abrupt disappearance last Thursday. Everything that’s happened since is “completely out of character,” Panasci said.
“Something’s wrong and they’re not coming home.. … We’re panicking.”
Police said Vincent Abolafia is 5 feet 3 inches tall, weighing 110 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. Kaileigh Catalano is 5 feet tall, weighs 118 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes, and was last seen wearing a black ‘Lil Peep’ sweatshirt with black sweatpants.
The Suffolk County Police Department is asking anybody with information on their whereabouts to call (631) 852-8752.