- (Photo: Twitter)
Braxton Wood and Jayden Thomas, dubbed the "Romeo and Juliet" teens, have been found safe and sound but will undoubtedly have a new relationship since returning home. The two have been ordered to wear GPS monitoring devices and stay away from one another and may face criminal charges if they fail to do so.
The 13- and 14-year-old boyfriend and girlfriend were upset about their parents' disapproval of their relationship. They were even more upset about having to go to separate high schools this fall. On Aug. 26, Wood stole his mother's vehicle and left Michigan with Thomas, leading to a nationwide search.
A good Samaritan found the broken-down vehicle in Illinois on Sunday and alerted authorities, who brought the teens back home to Michigan. They appeared before a judge on Monday and were sentenced to the GPS monitors and separation. It's unknown if they will face criminal charges but will appear in court next month.
Their parents were very grateful that their children were found unharmed and are also grateful for all those who helped in the search.
"We appreciate the media's response in this case; we appreciate their part in helping us get the kids home," Sarah Wood said at a press conference after the court hearing. "It's a really hard time for us right now. We do want to thank everybody, but we would appreciate the privacy."
One of the search organizers, Chuck Foreman, said that the teens were "very fortunate" to have been found in good condition. "In the area they were found in, for being young kids, it was a very dangerous area. We are glad someone actually spotted their vehicle and made a call in. It's just another reflection of how social media is helping recover kids, along with police and private investigators."
The teens were reportedly living in the SUV and "going to the local Starbucks and enjoying our lakefront," Sgt. Tim Edeling of the Chicago Police Department told ABC News.