Soccer coach who fled with teen was investigated about relationship months before they disappeared — and her parents knew he was questioned

The former high school soccer coach arrested last week after he drove from Florida to New York with a 17-year-old girl had previously been the subject of an investigation about an inappropriate relationship with her.

CNN reports that Columbia County authorities had investigated a report of a possible inappropriate relationship between the coach, Rion Rodgriguez, and Caitlin Frisina, a student at the high school where the coach, 27, was employed until last week.

Murray Smith, the Columbia County sheriff’s public information officer, announced in a news conference that the investigation was conducted in August, and authorities did not discover anything conclusive to indicate the pair was romantically involved.

“There was nothing seen to be inappropriate,” Smith said, adding that Frisina’s parents were aware of the investigation and the outcome.

“This is an example of how a situation that starts out and doesn’t meet the criteria of a criminal investigation can balloon into something that’s out of control,” he said.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Caitlyn’s parents suspected she was with Rodriguez when she went missing last weekend, after a friend admitted that Caitlyn had sent texts indicating she was in a relationship with the soccer coach. After nearly a week on the run, a state trooper apprehended the pair in Syracuse, New York, after recognizing Rodriquez’s vehicle from police bulletins.

Caitlyn was unharmed, and Rodriguez was taken into custody. According to CNN, the sheriff did not comment on the status of his incarceration or if the suspect had obtained a lawyer.


[Featured image: Columbia County Sheriff]