The North Port (Florida) Police Department held a press conference on Thursday September 16 regarding the disappearance of Blue Point resident Gabrielle Petito. The North Port Police became the lead agency in the missing persons case on Wednesday September 15.
During the press conference Petito's father Joseph Petito asked for help from anybody who may have information on his daughters disappearance.
"What I need from everybody here is help," Joseph Petito said. " The goal is still not met. That goal is to bring Gabby home safely. I'm asking for help from everyone here. I'm asking for help from everybody at home. I'm asking for help from the parents of Brian [Laundrie] and I'm asking for help from family members and friends from the Laundrie family as well."
The disappearance of Blue Point resident, 22-year-old Gabrielle Petito, was officially declared by Suffolk County Police Department in a public information press release on Sunday, Sept. 12, sent out at 8:50 p.m.
Since then, the Public Information Office has been inundated with press inquiries from around the country.
The young woman was reported missing by her mother, Nichole Schmidt, on Sept. 11 at 6:55 p.m.
Petito, known to family and friends as Gabby, was embarking on a cross-country journey with her boyfriend, in a white, 2012 Ford Transit van with Florida license plate QFTG03, that has since been found.
She was last officially sighted at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming on Aug. 25.
A FaceTime call with Schmidt occurred on Aug. 23 or 24. Subsequent texts were received from Petito’s phone until Aug. 30.
According to NBC News, Schmidt could not confirm if the text messages were indeed sent by her daughter.
Local residents of Sayville, Bayport, and Blue Point were quick to share a Facebook page, Find Gabby, detailing updates and news reports of Petito’s disappearance on social media, with most asking for prayers and imploring the public for assistance.
At time of print, the Facebook page, which had only been started Sunday, had over 4,500 Likes.
A GoFundMe page was set up by a friend of the family over the weekend.
Members of the media had come to Petito’s home in Blue Point to take pictures outside of the residence on Monday, Sept. 13.