US & Canada

US police catch teenage fugitives in Florida

Cheyenne Philips and Dalton Hayes Image copyright AP
Image caption The couple had been dating for three months before they ran away

Florida police have caught a teenage couple who have been on the run for two weeks across the southeastern US.

Thirteen-year-old Cheyenne Philips and her 18-year-old boyfriend Dalton Hayes were arrested in the early hours of Sunday in Panama City Beach.

The two teenagers are facing charges including burglary, theft and criminal trespassing, police said.

The couple had eluded police in several states after vanishing from their homes in western Kentucky.

Authorities believe their travels took them to South Carolina and Georgia before they were finally surrounded in Florida as they were sleeping in a stolen pick-up truck.

Panama City Beach Police said that both teens were taken into custody without incident.

The couple were believed to have stolen several vehicles and passed stolen cheques, said police.

Image copyright AP
Image caption The two teenagers had evaded police in multiple states before they were caught in Florida
Image copyright AP
Image caption The pair allegedly stole several vehicles and passed stolen cheques

Earlier, Dalton Hayes' parents had asked them to surrender and "face the consequences".

His mother Tammy Martin said that the teenagers had been dating for about three months before they ran away.

She said that Mr Hayes and the family had believed the girl to be 19.

By the time her son realised she was only 13 years old, "he was already done in love with her", Ms Martin said.

Mr Hayes had already been in trouble with the law when he ran away. He had been facing charges of burglary and theft, the Associated Press reports.

Kentucky Sheriff Norman Chaffins told the news agency he was relieved at how this had ended.

"I think me and the family and many other law enforcement agencies were not getting a good feeling about how this was going to turn out," he said.

Dalton Hayes is due to appear in court on Monday morning, but Cheyenne Philips will be summoned before a juvenile court later.

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