Two 14-year-olds who ran away together Tuesday were found safe a day later at a McDonald’s restaurant on U.S. Route 422.
Police in Liberty and Girard and the teens’ distraught family members were looking for Taylor Davies and Nate Sop. Taylor is an eighth-grader at W.S. Guy Middle School in Liberty. Nate is home-schooled.
Taylor did not come home from school Tuesday, and Nate was last seen on a security camera leaving his residence about 2:40 p.m. carrying a duffel bag, according to a Liberty police report.
The two were spotted at a Dollar General store in McKinley Heights and then at a nearby McDonald’s. Someone recognized the pair as the runaway teens, and police found them at the restaurant about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
“I’m glad my son is safe,” said Tricia Worrell, Nate’s mother. “I’m relieved he was found. It’s like a ‘Romeo and Juliet’ thing. They want to be together, but they’re going about it in the wrong way.”
Nate was at St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown late Wednesday with Worrell saying she wants to get him into a facility to have him evaluated and to keep him confined.
Taylor’s mother, Tonya Davies, and her fiance, John Buck, searched for the teens, who are boyfriend and girlfriend, and spotted them in Churchill Park about 4 p.m. Tuesday, Davies said Wednesday. They called to the pair, who fled into the woods. The duffel bag, containing food, clothes and a blanket, were recovered.
“It’s been crazy and more than stressful,” Buck said after the two were found. “I don’t know what they were thinking.”
Several possible sightings of the teens were reported in the Girard and Liberty area before they were found.
Nate didn’t have his cellphone with him, and Taylor has a phone that used to belong to her uncle, who tried to reactivate it.
Liberty Detective Sgt. Tom Couche said before the two were found that he tried to trace pings coming from what he thought was Taylor’s phone in Hermitage, Pa., but the phone number was not correct.
Before the two were found, Worrell said she couldn’t help but worry because they have no provisions and no money. “These kids have nothing now,” she said.
Davies was no longer allowing Taylor to talk to Nate, she said, because he appeared to be obsessed with her.
Contributor: David Skolnick