Teens Disappear in a Possible 'Modern-Day Romeo and Juliet'

04/28/2011 at 05:20 PM EDT

Teens Disappear in a Possible 'Modern-Day Romeo and Juliet'
Jackson Powell and Nicole Dones
Courtesy of the Powell family
For the past 10 days, their cell phones have been turned off. They've made no calls to their parents, sent no e-mails or texts, and haven't logged on to Facebook.

Just weeks before their high school graduation, a Miami-area teen couple vanished, leaving their families worried sick.

Jackson Powell, 18, and Nicole Dones, 17, attended their senior prom together on April 16, then disappeared the following Monday. Police believe they left in Jackson's mother's dark-blue 2006 Jeep Cherokee.

"We just believe that it's a modern day Romeo and Juliet," Miami-Dade Police Detective Edna Hernandez tells the Miami Herald. Police say they don't have any reason to believe the teens are in any danger at this time.

Parents Wanted Them to Cool It

Jackson and Nicole had been getting pressure from their parents to slow down their relationship after both showed signs of neglecting their studies. Several weeks ago, the pair were caught skipping school together.

"We never forbid our daughter from seeing Jackson," Nicole's mother Margie Chavez tells PEOPLE. "We just didn't want her to lose focus on school."

Jackson's dad Wayne admits he wanted his son to "back off a little bit" from the relationship and focus on college.

"This is a boyfriend and girlfriend who have run off together," Wayne Powell tells the Herald. "They obviously want to be together without any parental interference."

Jackson's parents add their son has been dealing with recent emotional hardship: He'd been going through trouble with the law after he lost his older brother in a car accident last year.

Meanwhile, the missing teens have no credit cards and their parents believe they may be running out of cash soon.

"Every day that passes without hearing from them is agony for us," says Nicole's mother. "All this uncertainly brings a lot of fear."

Anyone with information on the missing teens should call the Miami-Dade Police Missing Persons Unit at (305) 418-7200.

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