While Laundrie has returned to the couple’s home in North Port, Florida, along with the van they were traveling in, Petito has not been heard from since the end of August.
“We have to find Gabby. We have to take her home, says her father, Joe Pepito Fox news.
Asked how he felt, he said: “It’s a feeling you can not describe. That’s the thing. You can feel empathy, I’m sure you can sympathize, I’m sure you can understand how it feels, but you can not describe how it feels if you are not in it, if you are not the parent.
“You just can not describe what that feeling is because you have never felt it before. I pray that no one will ever recognize it. ”
Gary Rider, who said he was an old family friend, created a GoFundMe page to help with the search.
He told The independent which he and Mrs. Petito’s stepfather, James Schmidt, were on their way to Wyoming to look for clues.
He said they planned to go to Grand Teton National Park, which is believed to have been the young woman’s last known location.
“We plan to meet investigators and trace known sites and hope to be able to help verify certain information we have received through tips and investigations,” he said.
“Gabby’s mother is in New York, her father lives in Florida – both areas where this case has an interest. So we each work in the different areas. ”
He said that all the money left over at the end of the search would be returned to people.
“Our motivation is that we pray that we can find and take Gabby home,” he said.
Petito’s mother and stepfather have also appealed to her to contact them.
“At least three times a week, we would faceTime, call, text, often,” Petito’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, told a news conference on Monday at their lawyer’s office. “She kept me updated on the entire trip.”
Mr Schmidt said: ‘Abby, we just want you to come home. Call us, let us know you’re okay. Come home, please. “
Police have stressed that they have no evidence that a crime has been committed, but officials said they thought the circumstances of her disappearance were “odd”. They said Laundrie had refused to speak to them and had asked them to contact a lawyer the family had hired.
Laundrie made a statement through his lawyer on Tuesday.
“I understand that a search for Miss Petito has been organized in or near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming,” he said.
“On behalf of the Laundrie family, it is our hope that the search for Miss Petito is successful and that Miss Petito will be reunited with her family.
“On the advice of a lawyer, the Laundrie family remains in the background at this time and will have no further comment.”