Search Underway for Teens Believed to Have Run Away Together
(NEW YORK) -- Police in Michigan are looking for a young teen couple who had such an intense relationship, according to their families, that they have apparently run away together.
Jayden Thomas, 13, of Clare, Mich., and Braxton Wood, 14, of Mt. Pleasant, Mich., have been missing since Aug. 26 and have not been heard from since, according to their families. Wood apparently took the family's Ford Explorer during the early morning hours and picked up Thomas before taking off.
"We looked around the house and realized Braxton was missing and we still didn't comprehend it because Braxton hasn't had driver's training. He is a young 14, so no drivers' experience whatsoever…," Wood's mother, Sarah Kiley, told ABC News.
Kiley immediately called 911 to report her son missing. Meanwhile, in Clare, Thomas' mother woke up to a note left on the mirror with lipstick.
"She wrote, 'I love you so much. Stay happy and beautiful.' So I know she loves me," Kelly Drankwine said.
Hours before they vanished, Drankwine told Thomas the six-month relationship with Wood had become too serious.
"The day that she left I said I no longer support this relationship," Drankwine said.
But in the weeks and months leading up to the couple's disappearance, both families say they became uneasy watching the relationship grow. Drankwine's initial concern began after Thomas made a comment during volleyball camp that she couldn't live without Wood.
"…That's when I thought I had to not necessarily pull the plug on their relationship but try to bring my daughter back to reality," Drankwine said.
Kiley also became concerned when she noticed Thomas and Wood alienated friends so they can be together.
"They didn't want to hang out with friends. Their focus was each other and that's pretty intense for 14-year-olds," Kiley said.
The couple was due to start their freshman year at different high schools this week and their parents say they even briefly broke up because of that.
"Braxton told us he was heartbroken. We thought that they had cooled and [were] not seeing each other anymore," Kiley said.
Police say the couple is believed to be driving a black 2005 Ford Explorer with Michigan license plate number BCQ4820. Thomas and Wood could be headed to a friend's home in Florida, the Isabella County Sheriff's Office said in a statement last week.
Wood's mom said her son had about $62 when he left and did not leave a note for the family.
It's now been more than a week since the families have heard from their children and police have few leads.
"Our worst fear is that they will approach somebody. The wrong somebody," Kiley said.
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