The father of a 22-year-old woman who went missing on a cross-country road trip with her fiancé is asking for the public's help in finding her.
"What I need from everybody here is help, because the goal is still not met," Joe Petito said at a press conference Thursday in North Port, Fla. "And that goal is to bring Gabby home safe. ... There is nothing else that matters to me now."
Gabby Petito and her fiancé, 23-year-old Brian Laundrie, had spent months visiting national parks in their converted 2012 Ford Transit van, documenting the trip on social media.
Her family said they lost contact with her in late August and reported her missing by last week after Laundrie returned home to Florida in the van without her.
Police seized the van and named Laundrie a person of interest in Petito’s disappearance. In a statement, North Port Police said Laundrie had declined to share "any helpful details." The FBI is assisting with the investigation.
"I'm asking for help here. I'm asking for help from everyone at home," Joe Petito said. "I'm asking for help from the parents of Brian. And I'm asking for help from the friends and family members of Brian."
A separate press conference, a lawyer for the Petito family read aloud a letter to Laundrie's parents urging them to help find their daughter.
"We understand that you are going through a difficult time and that your instinct is strong to protect your son," their letter read. "We ask you to put yourself in our shoes. We haven't been able to sleep or eat and our lives are falling apart."
"We believe you know the location of where Brian left Gabby," they added. "We beg you to tell us ... Tell us where Gabby is located. Tell us if we are even looking in the right place. All we want is for Gabby to come home."
Their appeal came a day after police in Moab, Utah, released body camera footage of an officer responding to a report of a "domestic problem" between the couple outside a natural food store on Aug. 12.
The officer separated them after pulling over their van. The video shows a visibly distraught Gabby Petito wiping away tears while telling the officer that the couple had been fighting and that she was struggling with her mental health.
"I'm sorry," she told the officer. "We've just been fighting this morning. Some personal issues."
A witness told police that he saw Petito slap Laundrie in the parking lot of the natural food store. But the couple told the officer that neither wanted to press charges and that they loved each other. No charges were filed.
Petito is believed to have last been seen in the area of Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park.
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