The desperate dad of a Long Island woman who went missing during a cross-country trip with her boyfriend told The Post on Monday that he is only focused on bringing her home — adding, “All of the crap afterward will sort itself out.”
Gabby Petito, 22, was last known to be in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park in late August after heading out on a road trip a month earlier with her boyfriend, identified on social media as Brian Laundrie.
Laundrie, who has since returned to Florida, has reportedly hired a lawyer and refused to cooperate with authorities.
“I want to keep the focus on finding [Gabby],” Joe Petito told The Post amid questions about what happened to his daughter. “[Laundrie] doesn’t matter. The van [they were in] doesn’t matter.
“Don’t focus on the crap, focus on finding her. I can’t implore that enough. All of the crap afterward will sort itself out. Please find her. I beg you,” the dad said, addressing authorities and the public.
The pair had been making various stops in the van across the country, with her planning to ultimately end up in Portland, Ore., to link up with a family friend around Halloween.
“They converted that camper. She’s traveled before but not with a converted van and being free like that,” her father told The Post.
Petito said that during her travels, his daughter kept in regular contact with the family.
On Aug. 21, she FaceTimed him about losing power during a stop in Salt Lake City.
“Everything was good. She had lost power to wherever she was at. She couldn’t get on the WiFi for whatever reason,” Petito said.
But then last week, his ex-wife, Nichole Schmidt, feared something was amiss when she hadn’t heard from their daughter.
“She was like, ‘Did you hear from Gabby?’ I was like, ‘No, I hadn’t,’ ” he said. “[Her phone] was going right to voicemail, so on Friday, we got pretty alarmed and tried to do the missing-person report.”
He urged people across the country to be on the lookout for anything that seems “fishy.”
“The hard part is that it’s the van life. They can go anywhere they wanted, unfortunately, in this situation. It’s the entire damn country,” he said.
Authorities have since recovered the vehicle the couple was traveling in, a white 2012 Ford Transit van with Florida plates, Newsday reported.
Gabby’s father said he was “familiar” with her boyfriend but declined to comment further about him.
Laundrie did not immediately return a request for comment from The Post. He has lawyered up, according to the Daily Mail.