Missing NY teen found safe; alleged abductor in custody
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – A missing teen from upstate New York and her alleged abductor were found Tuesday, police said.
An Amber Alert was issued Monday night for Joanna Coates, 14, of Rochester, and was canceled Tuesday afternoon.
Linda Hollaert, Joanna’s mother, said investigators called her and said her daughter was found in New York City and is being treated in a Manhattan hospital. Robert Gonzalez, who was suspected of taking Joanna is in New York Police Department custody, Hollaert said.
“She’s safe and she’s headed to the hospital,” said Hollaert. “I’m relieved. I just want to see my baby girl.”
Rochester Police Investigator Jacqueline Schuman said she had no additional immediate details about where Gonzalez and Joanna had been found. She said police were working to get them back to the Rochester area.
Gonzalez, who allegedly took Joanna sometime over the weekend is a thrice-convicted felon who last served time at the Orleans Correctional Facility in Albion.
Hollaert said she has known Gonzalez for decades, but that her daughter only met him a few months ago. Gonzalez formed a romantic relationship with her daughter that Hollaert described as “disgusting.”
“She believed it to be a relationship, he had her so brainwashed,” Hollaert said. “I want him to go to jail and pay for what he’s done to my family. He took her youth. He took everything that was important to her.”
Police believed Gonzalez was possibly en route to New York City with the 14-year-old and said the circumstances of her abduction could put her at risk of serious harm or death.
In an earlier interview with NBC-affiliate WHEC-TV in Rochester, Hollaert said Gonzalez repeatedly tried to spend time with the girl over the summer and alleged he “sells drugs” and “pimps girls out.”
“I know that I carried a little girl under my heart for nine months and I don’t know where she is right now,” Hollaert told Spectrum News. “I don’t know if my daughter has eaten, or if she is safe, or if someone is hurting her, but I know he is not entitled to keep her.”
According to state records, Gonzalez was convicted in 1997 of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon in Kings County and was released on parole after nearly four years at Gouverneur Correctional Facility.
In 2003, he was convicted of fifth-degree attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance and sentenced to two to four years in prison. He served the maximum sentence at Chateaugay Correctional Facility.
And, in 2008, Gonzalez was convicted of fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and sentenced to 2 ½ years in prison.
Records show he was last released from state custody in 2011.
This article originally appeared on Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: Missing New York teen found safe in New York City; alleged abductor in custody
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