The heartbroken parents of a 22-year-old woman who has been missing since her fiancé returned from a trip without her are pleading for help in finding their daughter.
The tearful mother, Nicole Schmidt from Long, Island, New York, gave a heartbreaking interview to reporters as she held a photo of Gabby Petito.
“We are looking for her. We are not focusing on anything else, but finding her,” she said. “I believe she’s gonna come home.”
James, Petito’s stepfather, said: “If anyone else has any information, if anyone has seen her, we ask that they call the tip lines and just please, just give any information you have.
“We just want her home safe with us.”
According to reports, Petito’s fiancé Brian Laundrie hired an attorney and refused to speak publicly about what happened.
Schmidt said that the last time she spoke with her daughter was over the phone on August 25.
“It was just a text. I did not verbally speak to her,” she said. “I can’t say much, but she’s no longer with the van. I don’t want to say anything more than that but for people looking for her, I want them to look for her now, not look for that van anymore.”
The tearful mother said that Petito would contact her several times a week.
“We would FaceTime, call, text, frequently. She kept me updated on this whole trip. The first couple of days [she went missing], I believe she was in a place with no service. It was day 8 and 9 that I really became concerned and figured she couldn’t be off the grid for that long.”
Schmidt went on: “I don’t know if I believe she’s in danger for a particular reason, I just believe she’s in danger because she’s not in touch with us and she could be alone somewhere, she could be stranded somewhere in the wilderness.
“And she needs help. And I know we’re not out there, but I hope everyone’s looking for her.
“I hope that the hikers and the rangers and the campers and everybody has her face and they’re looking for her actively.”
Petito was last seen on August 24 checking out of a hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah, with Laundrie. The next day, she called her family and told them that she and her fiancé had visited the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
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