MIAMI (CBSMiami) — As families are gathering for post holiday celebrations, another family is searching for a missing member.
Sixteen year old Samantha Delgado, a Coral Gables High School student, went missing last week. She is believed to be with 20-year-old Fabel Escalante who she was dating in secret.
On Friday, both parents held a press conference to beg them to come back, promising no one will face charges.
Both families have known each other for at least six years. They are neighbors, who say they didn’t know their children were dating.
“If you’re watching this, I ask you with love to return. If you’re in love with Samantha, you needed to have talked to us about it,” said Delgado’s mother Iyamilet Palenzuela.
Delgado was last seen on December 19th when her mother dropped her off at school. Her mom said she didn’t act any differently than on any other day.
Family and friends believe she may be with Escalante who she’s been secretly dating for the last three or four months but they may have recently broken up.
Samantha’s parents believe she did not leave with him willingly, and her cousin says he had threatened Samantha a week before her disappearance.
Meantime, Personal Investigator Joe Carillo said he has conducted his own investigation, separate from the law enforcement investigation.
Although Escalante has been in trouble with the law before, they don’t believe he is armed and dangerous.
“As far as him being a dangerous individual, from what we know, we don’t think that problems he had as a juvenile remotely raise to the point where he has been described,” said Carillo.
His family has joined forces with Delgado’s family. His mom is also pushing back on the idea that her son is dangerous, even though the Miami-Dade Schools Police Department said they can arrest him for interfering with the custody of a child.
“I don’t watch the news. I don’t care what they say. He’s my only son and I love him. All I can do is ask them to come home,” said Escalante’s mother Zulilla Oliveros.
Police said Escalante has a criminal record of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and battery on a law enforcement officer.
Police said he is known to drive a 2003 black Audi Station wagon.
Both families said they have legal representation waiting for both Delgado and Escalante.
Delgado’s family said they don’t intend to press charges if she is safely returned.
If you have any information on the case, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471- TIPS.
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