Parents, Police Search for Teen Couple Believed to Have Runaway Together

PHOTO: Jayden Nicole Thomas, White female, 13-years-old, from Clare, Mich. and Braxton Michael Edward Wood, White male, 14 years old from Mt. Pleasant, Mich. have been missing since they ran away together on Aug. 26, 2013.
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Police in Michigan are looking for a young teen couple who had such an intense relationship, according to their families, that they have apparently run away together.

Jayden Thomas, 13, of Clare, Mich., and Braxton Wood, 14, of Mt. Pleasant, Mich., have been missing since Aug. 26 and have not been heard from, according to their families. Braxton apparently took the family's Ford Explorer during the early morning hours and picked up Jayden before taking off.

"We looked around the house and realized Braxton was missing and we still didn't comprehend it because Braxton hasn't had driver's training. He is a young 14, so no drivers' experience whatsoever…," Braxton's mother, Sarah Kiley, told ABC News.

Kiley immediately called 911 to report her son missing. Meanwhile, in Clare, Jayden's mother woke up to a note left on the mirror with lipstick.

"She wrote, 'I love you so much. Stay happy and beautiful.' So I know she loves me," Kelly Drinkwine said.

Hours before they vanished, Drinkwine told Jayden the six-month relationship with Braxton had become too serious.

"The day that she left I said I no longer support this relationship," Drinkwine said.

But in the weeks and months leading up to the couple's disappearance, both families say they became uneasy watching the relationship grow. Drinkwine's initial concern began after Jayden made a comment during volleyball camp that she couldn't live without Braxton.

"…That's when I thought I had to not necessarily pull the plug on their relationship but try to bring my daughter back to reality," Drinkwine said.

Kiley also became concerned when she noticed Jayden and Braxton alienated friends so they can be together.

"They didn't want to hang out with friends. Their focus was each other and that's pretty intense for 14-year-olds," Kiley said.

The couple was due to start their freshman year at different high schools this week and their parents say they even briefly broke up because of that.

"Braxton told us he was heartbroken. We thought that they had cooled and not seeing each other anymore," Kiley said.

Police say the couple is believed to be driving a black 2005 Ford Explorer with Michigan license plate number BCQ4820. Jayden and Braxton could be headed to a friend's home in Florida, the Isabella County Sheriff's Office said in a statement last week.

Braxton's mom said her son had about $62 when he left and did not leave a note for the family.

It's now been more than a week since the families have heard from their children and police have few leads. "Our worst fear is that they will approach somebody. The wrong somebody," Kiley said.

Michael Cook, private investigator at Center for Search & Investigations, who is assisting in helping to find the pair, said this case is a "unique situation" because two kids missing at the same time is a challenge.

"The fact that they choose to run away verses being abducted makes it much more complicated. You can't use the amber alert system but the families are just as affected as the kids who are abducted," Cook said.

Anyone with information on the missing young teens' whereabouts should contact either the Isabella County Sheriff's Department at (989) 772-5911 or Cook at (616) 466-4274. Tips can also be sent to http://signatureinvestigations.com/

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