The mother of missing Long Island woman Gabby Petito reached out last week to her daughter’s boyfriend and his family in efforts to track her down — but said she got no responses to her desperate texts, according to a report.
“I texted Brian’s mom that I was trying to get in touch with Gabby. I also texted Brian. I got no replies,” Nicole Schmidt told the Daily Mail.
“I knew something was wrong. I felt something was off and I needed to get her reported missing immediately,” added the distraught woman, who said she had reached out to Brian Laundrie’s mother, Roberta.
Schmidt, who had not heard from Petito, 22, since Aug. 25, told the news outlet that police blew her off at first when she reported her daughter missing Friday after she tried to reach the Laundries.
On Saturday, she filed a missing-person report with the Suffolk County police on Long Island.
Schmidt and Petito’s father, Joe Petito, have both pleaded for her return, saying in a statement that the family is “going through the worst moments of their lives.”
“Brian is refusing to tell Gabby’s family where he last saw her,” their statement said. “Brian is also refusing to explain why he left Gabby all alone and drove her van to Florida. These are critical questions that require immediate answers.”
Brian, who continues to evade cops, has broken his silence, saying through his lawyer that he would “remain in the background” as the search, which gained national attention, continues for the missing woman.
“The Schmidt and Petito family beg the Laundrie family to not ‘remain in the background’ but to help find who Brian referred to as the love of his life,” the parents’ statement added. “How does Brian stay in the background when he is the one person that knows where Gabby is located.”
Laundrie and Petito, who lived together in Florida, left on the coast-to-coast trip in July and were due to wrap up the trip at a friend’s home in Portland around Halloween.
But Laundrie returned home to Florida in the 2012 Ford Transit van they were traveling in on Friday — without Petito. He has since retained an attorney and refused to cooperate with police — who also were rebuffed by Laundrie’s parents.
Schmidt told the news outlet that Laundrie’s sister Cassie is the only member of his family who has spoken to investigators.
“It’s a very mysterious situation. We don’t understand why he’s doing this. Everybody’s assuming the worst and thinking he’s guilty of this, but I don’t want to believe that. I want to believe she’s just in need of help out there and that everybody needs to keep searching,” the mother told the paper.
Schmidt said that Roberta Laundrie loved Petito “like a daughter” and was “so excited” about the couple’s engagement.
Petito has described her beau as her fiancé in social media, but Schmidt told the paper that her daughter and Laundrie decided to call of their engagement because they felt they were too young to tie the knot.
“I think they kind of put that on hold just because they felt it was a little fast. They were excited at first, but then they were like, ‘Let’s just wait, we’re very young.’ So they were really just boyfriend and girlfriend,” Schmidt said.
“Maybe the relationship wasn’t what I thought,” she added.