Police in Florida are searching for two missing teenagers believed to have run away together because their families disapproved of their relationship.
Nicole Dones, 17, and Jackson Powell, 18 attended their senior prom on April 16 and disappeared two days later.
The Miami-Dade police, leading the pursuit, do not think the missing teens are in any danger. “We just believe that it’s a modern day Romeo and Juliet,” said Detective Edna Hernandez.
"We never forbid our daughter from seeing Jackson," Nicole's mother Margie Chavez told People magazine. "We just didn't want her to lose focus on school."
Likewise, Powell's father said that he had urged his son to "back off a little bit" from his relationship with Dones and focus on college.
Following his brother's death in a car crash last year, Powell had been in trouble with the law, which may have been behind her family's disapproval. Nicole "would never bring [Powell] around because he was in trouble and couldn’t leave the house. She would drive to his house to see him.” Angel Dones, Nicole's father said.
Despite their families' disapproval, the teens appear determined to be together. "I think there was an intense connection between the two of them that they probably weren't mature enough to handle," Chavez said.
The parents have hired a private investigator and are offering anybody with information about the Palmetto High School students a $5,000 reward. They have also set up a Facebook page called "Has anyone seen Jackson Powell and Nicole Dones?" to solicit information from the public.
"We want somebody who has seen them to let us know," Patricia Powell, Jackson's mother, said.
The pair was last spotted driving a 2006 blue Jeep Cherokee with damage to its right front bumper. They had been due to graduate from high school in the coming weeks.
Anyone with information is asked to call private investigator David Gonzalez at 305-338-3100 and Miami-Dade Police at 305-418-7201 or 305-476-5423.