Teen lovers on run after taking parents' SUV
Love can cause people to do foolish -- even dangerous -- things, which is why two Michigan couples are worried about their children.
Braxton Wood, 14, and his girlfriend, Jayden Thomas, 13, are believed to have driven off August 26 in Wood's parents' 2005 black Ford Explorer with about $80 in cash.
No one in Isabella County, located about 160 miles northwest of Detroit, has heard from them since.
Police consider the teens as runaways (they haven't issued an Amber Alert) and say there's no reason to believe they face imminent danger, to the dismay of Jayden's mother.
"Jayden don't know how to drive. Braxton don't know how to drive," Kelly Drinkwine told HLN affiliate WNEM. "It's a cruel world. There's mean, horrible people out there. And they're two babies. Two babies by themselves trying to take on the world."
Braxton's mother Sarah Kiley told HLN's Kyra Phillips she thought the teens had a pretty healthy relationship, though it had been on-again, off-again recently.
"They felt like they were very much in love. And that's intense for 13- and 14-year-olds. But I felt like it was a positive [relationship,]" Kiley said Friday on HLN's Raising America.
While police haven't been able to locate the teens, officers have gathered clues about their journey. Video cameras captured the SUV crossing the Mackinac Bridge last week, and cell towers in Bay City and Saginaw pinged the teens' cell phones.
Kiley pleaded for both teens to come home.
"It's been too long. We know they have to be scared. They're young. They don't have any resources to make it on their own. And if they're scared to come home, please don't be. We'll support them in whatever they need. We just need them home. Life can't go on without them here."
The Isabella County Sheriff's Office said in a statement last week that the teens could be headed to a friend's home in Florida.
Authorities say the Ford Explorer has Michigan license plate BCQ4820. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Isabella County's Sheriff's Department at (989) 772-5911.
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