CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) – A Coral Gables High School student is missing and her family fears she’s in danger. None of her friends or family members have heard from her since Friday, and they believe she is with an older man.
Every time the phone rings, Samantha’s parents’ hearts jump, but so far the voice on the other end is not the one they are desperate to hear.
In Spanish, through tears, Samantha’s mother Iyamilet Palenzuela told CBS4’s Natalia Zea, “If nothing is wrong, why doesn’t she call me and say ‘mami I’m ok,’ she doesn’t call! Her phone is shut off.
Samantha was last seen at Coral Gables High School when Palenzuela dropped her off Friday. Her mom says she didn’t act any differently than on any other day.
Miami-Dade Schools Police say she is with 20 year old Fabel Escalante. Someone who her friends say she dated in secret. Samantha’s parents believe she did not leave with him willingly, and her cousin says he had threatened Samantha a week ago.
“What I’ve heard from her friends is that one day he called her and told her ‘if you ever cheat on me, or be with somebody else I’m gonna kill you and her.'”
Police say Escalante has a criminal record of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and battery on a law enforcement officer.
Samantha’s cousin, Danaya Delgado says the family has known Escalante since he lived next door for years, but that they would never have approved of Samantha dating him..and not just because of the age difference.
“He’s dangerous. We’re not sure if he would do something to her,” said Delgado.
Samantha’s father Daniel Delgado gave a warning for the young man with his daughter, telling him if he does something to Samantha, many things will happen to him.
Zea spoke with Escalante’s father as well. He says he didn’t know his son was dating Samantha but he believes they ran away together willingly.
He says even despite the law, no one can dictate someone else’s feelings. He added that he believes they are in love.
Police say they have probable cause to arrest Fabel Escalante for interfering with the custody of a child. A private investigator has also lent his services to try to track down Samantha, to help bring an end to this family’s fears.
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