Troopers find Pa. teen who left for Adirondacks
New York State Police found a 17-year-old from southeastern Pennsylvania Monday night, a day after he left home and told his parents he was in the Adirondack Mountains to camp and didn’t want to be found.
The teen was found yesterday and is in the care of state police waiting for his family to pick him up.
Stephen Fiorenza’s mother had seen him around 10 p.m. Sunday night at the family home in the York, Pennsylvania, area, but around 5:30 a.m. Monday she noticed he had left, according to Sgt. Jack Greene of the Southwestern Regional Police Department of York County. Police said Fiorenza left his parents a note saying he was heading to the Adirondack Mountains to go camping — although he has no camping experience, police said.
Fiorenza has already graduated high school and was working, but he is still a minor living at home and his parents wanted him found, Greene said. Greene described Fiorenza as a “normal kid,” a “good kid” and “highly intelligent.”
Greene’s department posted a national missing person bulletin to police agencies, and after talking to the Enterprise Monday he called New York State Police Troop B in the Adirondacks to notify them.
It was a different New York State Police unit that found Fiorenza, well south of the Adirondacks in central New York. At 11:27 p.m. Monday, an officer from Troop D pulled him over in a routine traffic stop on state Route 8 in Brookfield, south of Utica. Fiorenza’s parents went to pick him up.
Fiorenza was driving a family car that Greene said he uses regularly, a silver 2004 Volvo S60.
Fiorenza had sent his mother an email around noon Monday, saying he had arrived in the Adirondacks and planned to camp, although he didn’t say where he was in the 6 million acre state park, according to Greene. Fiorenza told his mother he planned to turn off his cellphone and only turn it back on in case of emergency.
Camping is much more difficult in winter than in summer. Overnight temperatures have been below zero in the northern Adirondacks recently, although Monday night’s low was in the single digits above zero, and daytime highs had risen into the 20s.
Nevertheless, Greene said Monday he didn’t believe Fiorenza was in serious danger because he seemed to have a plan, a car and money from his job.
Asked why Fiorenza left home, Greene said it looked like Fiorenza wanted to go on this trip and knew his parents wouldn’t allow it, so he went anyway.
If Fiorenza was 18, the legal age of adulthood, Greene said police probably would not have gotten involved. Fiorenza turns 18 in four months.
“He can certainly try again come June,” Greene said. “The weather will probably be a little nicer, and he’ll probably have a great time.”