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Gabby Petito's Father Asks Public To Look For Two Missing Long Island Teenagers
Vincent Abolafia and his girlfriend, Kaileigh Catalano, both 15, were last seen Thursday at a train station bound for New York City.
The father of Gabby Petito is urging the public to look for two missing Long Island teenagers believed to be somewhere in New York City.
Vincent Abolafia, 15, and his girlfriend, Kaileigh Catalano, 15, were last seen Thursday at the Ronkonkoma train station, where they planned to board a 3:11 p.m. train to Manhattan, according to a statement from Suffolk County Police.
They were reported missing by their families later that night when they failed to return home.
“These are just kids,” Petito’s father Joseph Petito wrote in a plea on Twitter to keep an eye out for the teens, adding that the pair need “to be found.”
“Please, remember what they look like,” he wrote, alongside a missing persons flyer with several pictures of the teens.
Kaileigh’s mom, Ehrin Catalano, told Fox News that both teens left behind their cell phones and vaccine cards. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has instituted a mandate in the city that requires proof of vaccination for anyone 5 years old or older to enter indoor dining, entertainment venues and fitness facilities within the city, making the teens’ decision not to bring the cards troubling for their families.
Kaileigh may have also dyed her hair black, her mom said.
A friend who dropped the couple off at the train station said he believed they were going to Rockefeller Center to see the Christmas tree.
“And they’ve been in the city since,” Ehrin told The New York Post.
Police said the couple “may have been seen together in Times Square” but their exact whereabouts are unknown.
A spokesperson for the Suffolk County Police told Oxygen.com on Tuesday that they are not disclosing whether they’ve received tips about the teens’ location and said authorities “are concerned” because of the pair’s young age.
Ehrin told The New York Post their families are not sure why the couple, who have been dating since September, may have disappeared.
“We have no idea,” she said. “Neither of them left bad notes at home and we have no idea where they could be going.”
Vincent’s stepdad, James Bonasia, told Fox News they may have access to up to $1,200 in cash but did not know anyone in the city.
The weekend before they disappeared, Bonasia said he had brought the teens to see the Rockefeller tree.
"Their family loves them and misses them, and all we want is for them to come home safe," he said.
Ehrin’s partner, Melissa Panasci, described Kaileigh as a high school sophomore who was active on the school’s varsity cheering team.
She said neither teen had any known problems with drugs or disciplinary issues.
“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,” she said. “Nobody can find these kids.”
She said the family is now “panicking.”
“Something’s wrong and they’re not coming home,” she said.
Kaileigh is described as being 5 feet tall and about 118 pounds. Police said she was last seen wearing a black sweatshirt with the words “Lil Peep” on it and black sweatpants.
Abolafia, who is a freshman in high school, is described as being 5’3” tall and 110 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information about the missing couple is urged to call 911 or the Suffolk County Seventh Squad Detectives at 631-852-8752.
Since Gabby Petito went missing in August during a cross-country van trip with her boyfriend Brian Laundrie, and was later found strangled to death in Wyoming, her family has advocated for other missing persons cases to receive the same amount of public attention.
For more on the Petito case, watch “The Murder of Gabby Petito: Truth, Lies and Social Media,” premiering Friday, Dec. 17. on Peacock.