Blog: 'Runaway' teens leave worried, upset families

10:07 PM, Jan 29, 2013   |    comments
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Medina and Cleveland police are looking for two couples who most likely have run off to be together. They have left behind worried mothers and fathers and worried friends.

So many young girls -- like Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus -- have gone missing from Cleveland in the past 10 years and their stories do not have "Romeo and Juliet" overtones. They are truly "missing" and likely taken against their will.

Such is not the story with these two couples.

It was about five days ago that we heard about the first couple. We learned Medina police are looking for a 15-year-old girl who may have run off to Miami, Florida with a 22-year-old man.

Police say Jessica Kollar, 15 was last seen by her family Jan. 17. She has talked with friends and says she is OK but did not say where she was. Her family thinks she may be with Maxwell Leibsla, 22, and that they may be in Miami.

Know that there is now an arrest warrant out of Medina Municipal Court for Leibsla for interference with custody. It's a misdemeanor warrant unless he has taken Jessica across the state line, which appears likely.

Crossing state lines makes the interference a felony.

On Tuesday, we learned Cleveland police are asking for the public's help in locating two missing teenagers from Cleveland's west-side.

Anna Candella and Alfredo Figueroa were both reported missing by their mothers and were last seen on Sunday at Broadview Road Grace Church. The two are boyfriend and girlfriend and are believed to be together.

Numerous checks with friends, family members and neighbors, as well as area hospitals and a search of the area, have failed to turn up any signs of the missing teens.

Now, both of these couples appear to have run off togther to be "together." They were not whisked off the street by a stranger.

Don't they realize that the collateral damage from their leaving is how terrified and worried their parents are?

While they may think running off is very romantic -- as is the case with both couples, according to police -- do they even think of the heartache they have left behind?

Maybe their parents don't approve of the relationship, as is more likely with the 22-year-old running off with a 15-year-old. I remember falling in love as a teenager and that boy, to this day, remains the most intense love of my life.

Late Tuesday night, reports were confirmed that Anna and Alfredo have both been returned home. I was glad to hear that.

If you or someone you know can supply information as to Jessica's whereabouts, please call the Medina police at (330) 725-7777.

I hope both couples soon realize what they have done and that they won't cause that kind of heartache again.


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