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‘The Best Christmas Gift:' Teens Missing In NYC Found Safe
Vincent Abolafia and Kaileigh Catalano were found safe in New York City following a plea for help from Gabby Petito's father Joseph Petito.
Vincent Abolafia and Kaileigh Catalano, both 15, were reported missing after they were last seen Thursday at the Ronkonkoma train station on the suburban island, where they planned to board a 3:11 p.m. train to nearby Manhattan, according to a statement from Suffolk County Police.
Catalano’s father, Joseph Catalano, located his daughter and her teen boyfriend sitting on a bench on a subway platform in Manhattan following a tip from the authorities, he told the New York Post.
“I couldn’t f—king believe it,” the father told the outlet. “I ran over to them and hugged them and then screamed bloody murder for help.”
Following his scream, four NYPD officers who were stationed close by came to his assistance.
The teen couple from Manorville were reportedly found unharmed. The Suffolk County Police Department has not immediately responded to Oxygen.com's request for comment.
“It’s a miracle, man,” Joseph Catalano told the Post. “It is the best Christmas gift forever, absolutely.”
Kaileigh’s mom Ehrin Catalano told the outlet that the pair, who have been dating for about three months, were “dirty but OK.” She said she is not yet sure what they did during their time in the city.
She had previously told Fox News that both teens left behind their cell phones and vaccine cards behind on Long Island.
The two were found one day after Gabby Petito’s father Joseph Petito pleaded on Twitter for the public to help find the pair.
“These are just kids,” he wrote.
Joseph has been using his platform, following the high profile disappearance and murder of his daughter, to shine a light on other missing persons cases. He recently pushed for more focus on finding a Long Island mother of four who has since been found dead.
His daughter Gabby Petito, 22, was murdered while out on a cross-country trip with her boyfriend Brian Laundrie, 23, who returned to his parents’ home in Florida without her. Her remains were found in Wyoming on Sept. 19 and an autopsy revealed that she had been strangled to death. Investigators determined that Laundrie died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after his remains were found in Florida in October. Gabby and Laundrie met as teens in Long Island where they both grew up.
For more on the Petito case, watch “The Murder of Gabby Petito: Truth, Lies and Social Media,” premiering Friday, Dec. 17. on Peacock.