A worried Florida father asked for any help to find his daughter who went missing while on a cross-country trip with her lover on Sept. 13.
“I want to keep the focus on finding [my daughter,]” Joe Petito said according to the New York Post. “Do not focus on the crap, focus on finding her … please find her, I beg you.”
Following a month-long road trip with her boyfriend, Gabby Petito was last seen in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park during late August. The couple were on their way from Ogden to Yellowstone National Park, north of Grand Teton when the 22 year-old last posted to Instagram on Aug. 25.
The woman and boyfriend Brian Laundrie had traveled to numerous destinations in their van. Their final destination was originally planned to be Portland, Oregon some time around Halloween. They had intended to meet with a friend of the family.
Gabby kept in touch with family on a daily basis, and FaceTimed her father on Aug. 21. They discussed a blackout in Salt Lake City.
“[She is] very, very free spirited,” Petito said according to the Daily Mail. “Clothes did not impress her, cars did not impress her, experiences–that is what impressed her.”
When mother Nichole Schmidt did not hear from their daughter she knew something was wrong.
Schmidt allegedly phoned her daughter for the last time on Aug. 25.
“[Her phone] was going right to voicemail, so on Friday, we got pretty alarmed and tried to do the missing-person report,” Petito said according to the New York Post.
Authorities have since found the couple’s white 2012 Ford Transit van.
The father is “familiar” with Gabby’s partner but refused to comment further.
Laundrie is said to have legal representation and refuses to cooperate with investigators. He has already returned to the Sunshine State.
On YouTube and Instagram, the couple filmed their work on converting the van into a camper. They regularly posted to their social network page named “Nomadic Statik.”
Suffolk County Police Department confirmed launching an investigation after Schmidt reported her daughter missing on Sept. 11.
Petito’s family has set up a GoFundMe page, which has already raised more than $30,000 at the time of publication. They also launched a Facebook campaign dubbed “Find Gabby,” in which a number of national park tourists have identified the couple’s van.