Search for missing woman with dementia continues

NEWS RELEASE

A still photo of Mrs. Tomassi walking south in South Vero Square

On Friday, March 16, at approximately 5:00 PM, Assunta “Susy” Tomassi was outside of the Quilted Giraffe, the restaurant owned by her and her husband, Patrick Tomassi. Mrs. Tomassi is known to sit outside of the restaurant and read a book or smoke, which is where she told her husband she would be. She also frequently walks to the South Vero Square plaza where she is known to visit the Family Dollar store. Mrs. Tomassi has wandered off before, but Patrick has always been able to locate her. At approximately 6:00 PM, Mr. Tomassi realized Susy was missing and began looking for her. Surveillance video obtained from Wildwood Antique Mall in South Vero Square shows Mrs. Tomassi walking in front of the business at 5:41 PM. The same surveillance video also shows Mr. Tomassi enter the store approximately forty minutes later searching for Susy.

Mr. Tomassi continued to search the plaza, including the Family Dollar store, and the path towards their home in north Ft. Pierce, until 6:48 PM when he placed a 9-1-1 call to the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office. Responding units immediately canvassed the area and the surroundings, including the path to their home in Ft. Pierce. The Indian River County Sheriff’s Office helicopter, Hawk, was called in to provide support from the air. Ground searches continued throughout the night and a full search and rescue team was convened to search the wooded area of the Oslo Preserve. Special operations units including our Special Weapons and Tactics (S.W.A.T.) Team and Agriculture and Marine deputies assisted in the ground search throughout the day on Saturday, March 17th. All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) were used to search Old Dixie Highway South to her home, as well as US Highway 1 south. K-9 Units, including bloodhound Dixie, were also called in to assist with the search.

Indian River County Sheriff Deryl Loar stated, “Based on surveillance video obtained from businesses in South Vero Square, we know that at 5:41 PM, Mrs. Tomassi was walking south through the South Vero Square Plaza. We also believe that she did not enter the Family Dollar store or walk past Publix. It is possible that she may have accepted a ride or exited the plaza another way.” Numerous tips have been called in since Mrs. Tomassi was originally reported missing, but these tips have yet to lead us to any additional evidence. Businesses and homes in the area have been canvassed for surveillance video. Anyone with surveillance video is encouraged review their footage for Friday evening to determine if they may have captured evidence relevant to this case. Sheriff Loar said, “We are asking the public to think back to Friday night. Anyone who may have been in the South Vero Square Plaza at 5:41 PM who may have witnessed Mrs. Tomassi walking is encouraged to contact us. We are hoping to identify where she may have gone.” Deputies continue to conduct a ground search of the area today on foot and with ATVs. Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to call Detective Michael Dilks at  772-978-6120 in reference to case 2018-47014.

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