HOLYOKE - The FBI, federal border patrol agents and local law enforcement are looking for a 22-year-old female Holyoke school teacher and a 15-year-old male student who are believed to have run off together, officials said.
The teacher, identified as Lisa Lavoie, of Ludlow, works at the Maurice A. Donahue Elementary School, and the 15-year-old student, whose name was not released because of his age, is an 8th grade student there.
The boy's parents filed a missing persons report with Holyoke police on Feb. 16, according to Holyoke Mayor Michael J. Sullivan.
Lavoie was reported missing to Ludlow police by her parents on Sunday.
Sullivan said authorities are investigating suspicions that the two went off together.
"There is no direct suggestion of anything untoward," the mayor said.
The Holyoke and Ludlow police departments are doing separate probes and the district attorney's office is coordinating efforts. The FBI and federal border patrol officials are also involved, Sullivan said.
"The police are really trying to make heads and tails of this," Sullivan said.
There have been alternating reports that the pair are headed to Canada or Mexico, Sullivan said.
The mayor said authorities do not believe the boy is in any imminent physical danger.
His parents first raised concerns about an improper relationship between their son and the teacher on Feb. 13, Sullivan said.
He was reported missing three days later.
Ludlow police said Monday that Lavoie's parents reported her missing on Sunday. The department is conducting a missing person investigation.
Police referred all inquiries about the missing 15-year-old to the Holyoke police.
Sullivan said school administrators followed the proper protocol and began to investigate the allegations of a relationship.
The situation has been complicated by the fact that schools were closed last week for vacation, Sullivan said.
Lavoie did not report to work Monday, the mayor said.
Sullivan said this is Lavoie's first teaching job.
Lavoie, a graduate of Minnechaug Regional High School, majored in elementary education at Elms College where she was on the Dean's List.
Holyoke school department and police officials referred all inquiries to Sullivan's office.
The Maurice A. Donahue Elementary School is a K-8 school located on Whiting Farms Road.
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