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Cops: East Moriches group home resident, fiance, found safe

 Suffolk police said Marie Villanti, 21, of East

 Suffolk police said Marie Villanti, 21, of East Moriches, and her fiance, Heriberto "Eddie" Perez-Medrano, 17, of Bayport, were found safe Friday at Penn Station after they were reported missing in February. Credit: Independent Group Home Living Program home

A 21-year-old resident of an East Moriches group home for the intellectually disabled and her teenage fiance who went missing last month have been found safe in Manhattan, Suffolk police said Sunday.

The missing woman, Marie Villanti, was last seen at the Independent Group Home Living Program home on Pine Street at 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 22. At 10 p.m. the next night, Villanti’s 17-year-old fiance, Heriberto “Eddie” Perez-Medrano, was reported missing from his parents’ Bayport home.

Villanti’s sister, Priscilla Olsen, 40, of West Islip, said the couple was found about 4 a.m. Friday after Perez-Medrano called his father, who picked the couple up at Penn Station.

“They had been hanging out in Penn Station the whole time,” Olsen said in a telephone interview Sunday. Perez-Medrano “had gotten beaten up . . . [by strangers] who took their money and their cellphones. He called his dad because I guess they were hungry, tired and had no money.”

Olsen said she was pleased the two were safe, although Villanti was without her medication. Olsen said her sister was being treated at Stony Brook University Hospital “to get her lungs back on track.”

The couple have intellectual disabilities and Villanti also has cystic fibrosis, Frank Lombardi, assistant to the chief executive of the group home’s program, said after the couple went missing.

Villanti left the group home, where three other residents live in a round-the-clock supervised setting, through a bathroom window while she was supposed to be taking a shower, Lombardi said.

Once the two were reported missing, police, group home staff and community members began searching for them, Lombardi said.


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