COLUMBIA COUNTY, Fla. - The family of a 17-year-old Columbia County girl missing since Sunday is pleading for information about her whereabouts as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement issued a statewide missing child alert.
Deputies and the school district believe Caitlyn Frisina, who plays soccer at Fort White High School, might be with the school's head boys soccer coach.
Authorities believe Frisina left her home of her own accord. Before leaving, she fully erased her cellphone, deputies said.
Deputies believe she could be with 27-year-old Rian Rodriguez, who district officials said has been suspended from his position as head boys soccer coach at Fort White High School, pending the investigation.
Deputies said Caitlyn withdrew $200 from an ATM in St. Marys, Georgia, on Sunday and authorities believe the two could be traveling in a red 2001 Mercury Sable with Florida tag number Z04CSC.
VIEW/PRINT: Missing child alert for Caitlyn Frisina
The Sheriff's Office said Caitlyn has family in Pennsylvania and New York state and Rodriquez has family in Canada. There are no pending criminal charges against Rodriquez, but if located, Caitlyn would be returned to her parents custody in Columbia County.
The teen's mother, Scarlet Frisina, told News4Jax on Monday night that her daughter's disappearance has been devastating for her and her husband. She made an emotional plea, saying she just wants to know her daughter is safe -- wherever she is.
"We don't care why she left. We don't care what's happened," Scarlet Frisina said. "We just want to know that she's safe."
Scarlet Frisina described her daughter as a good, all-American girl. She said Rodriguez coached Caitlyn in the past, and he's a longtime family friend.
"She's intelligent. She's athletic. She has a big heart," the mother said. "We just can't imagine what in the world is going on."
Scarlet Frisina also hoped to get a message out to her daughter.
"We want you to let us know that you’re OK. We want you to let someone know that you’re OK," she said. "We want to hear your voice, baby girl. And we want you to come back home."
The mother said she doesn't believe Rodriguez ever posed a threat.
Anyone with information about Caitlyn's whereabouts is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 386-719-2005.
Columbia County School District Superintendent Lex Carswell released a statement Monday, saying the district is cooperating fully with the investigation, and that Rodriguez will be restricted from any contact with students until the investigation is complete.
@Columbiasheriff Detectives need the public's help in locating a missing 17 year old Caitlyn Frisina. Det D Marszalek at 386-719-2005 pic.twitter.com/h9rTznaf0a — Columbia Sheriff, FL (@ColumbiaSheriff) November 26, 2017
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