VERO BEACH – On Friday, March 16, 2018, at approximately 5:00 PM, Assunta “Susy” Tomassi departed the Quilted Giraffe restaurant on foot towards the South Vero Square Parking lot.
“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,” Maj. Eric Flowers, the spokesperson for the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office, told Sebastian Daily.
Flowers said Tomassi has wandered off before, but her husband has always been able to locate her.
At approximately 6:00 PM Friday, Patrick 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,” Flowers said.
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.
“Our detectives have followed up on leads as far north as North Carolina and as far south as Miami. We conducted an exhaustive search throughout the weekend and into this week from her last known point far into St. Lucie County. Much like her family and friends, we are anxious and concerned for Mrs. Tomassi’s well being. We know that many family members, friends, and the public have shown an interest in searching for Susy. We would encourage you to be careful searching for her,” Indian River County Sheriff Deryl Loar said.
Anyone participating in a search party is encouraged to use caution including reflective vests on the side of roadways and protective clothing. Please ensure that others know your location and are working in pairs.
If anyone searching finds anything they believe may be related to this case, please contact the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office at 772-978-6240 in reference to case 2018-47014.