The search for missing Long Island teens Vincent Abolafia and Kaileigh Catalano, who are believed to be in the run somewhere in New York City, entered its fourth day Monday receiving greater attention but without bringing them home.
They are both 15 years old.
They left behind their cellphones and their vaccine cards and took off after school last Thursday, according to Kaileigh’s mom, Ehrin Catalano.
“Unfortunately there are no updates, but since the news began covering it, police were working much more aggressively,” she told Fox News Digital Monday.
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The case also drew attention from the family of Gabby Petito – whose disappearance in late August made national headlines for weeks and raised awareness about both domestic violence and missing person cases.
“These are just kids,” Petito’s dad, Joe Petito, tweeted Monday morning. “#VincentAbolafia, #KaileighCatalano need to be found. Please, remember what they look like.”
He also shared a poster than includes a Photoshopped image depicting Kaileigh with black hair, the color her mother said she believes the missing teen dyed it.
Kaileigh and Vincent were wearing all black when they hitched a ride after school Thursday to the Long Island Rail Road station in Ronkonkoma, a friend told their parents. He said he was under the impression that they wanted to go to Rockefeller Center to see the Christmas tree.
They were supposed to take a westbound train at 3:11 p.m. but may have missed it, according to Vincent’s stepdad, James Bonasia. He said they were still at the train station after 5 p.m. – but witnesses later spotted them in the city.
Kaileigh likely dyed her hair black, according to her mom, and Vincent recently got “a regular haircut,” according to his stepfather. Vincent may have been carrying a JanSport backpack.
Both kids’ parents reported them missing on Dec. 9.
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The missing couple’s parents say they don’t believe the teens would have headed anywhere besides New York City. However, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s controversial vaccine mandate requires proof of vaccination for everyone age 5 and up to enter indoor dining, fitness and entertainment venues.
The teens may have access to around $1,200 in cash, Bonasia said, but they have no acquaintances in the city.
Bonasia said that neither of the kids has run away before and he was not aware of a motive. The two began dating in September.
Vincent is somewhat familiar with New York’s subway system, his stepfather said, and Bonasia brought the couple to see the Rockefeller tree last weekend, before they went missing. A few days earlier, Kaileigh posted a picture to Facebook that also appeared to show the two of them in New York City.
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Kaileigh’s dad, Joe Catalano, said the city could be a dangerous place for young people on the lam.
“Long Island and the city are two different animals,” he said.
He said he’s very close with his daughter and that the fact that the couple took off without their cellphones took him off guard.
“Their family loves them and misses them, and all we want is for them to come home safe,” Bonasia said Sunday.
Suffolk County police, who are leading the investigation, said they had no new information to release Monday. An NYPD spokeswoman said the department was ready to assist if needed.
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Vincent is 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighs around 110 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes, police said. Kaileigh is 5 feet tall and 118 pounds.
Anyone with information on the teens’ location is asked to call 911 or Suffolk County Police Department’s Seventh Precinct detectives at 631-852-8752.