Missing Michigan family of 4 seen at gas station: Police

Police in Michigan are searching for a family of four who went missing after the father exhibited “paranoid behavior” last weekend.

A confirmed sighting last placed them in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula earlier this week, though police said they have no indication of where they may be headed.

The family — Anthony “Tony” John Cirigliano, 51, his wife Suzette Lee Cirigliano, 51, and their two sons, Brandon Michael Cirigliano, 19, and Noah Alexander Cirigliano, 15 — “unexpectedly” left their home in Fremont, about 45 miles north for Grand Rapids, on Oct. 16, police said. They are believed to be traveling in a silver 2005 Toyota Sienna LE minivan with Michigan license plates, according to the Fremont Police Department, which is leading the investigation, and the Michigan State Police, which is assisting. The sons both have autism.

The family’s cell phones have all been turned off, and they left behind their pets as well as Suzette’s elderly mother, who has dementia and requires full-time care, police said. The grandmother, who lives with them, was found disoriented in the neighborhood on Oct. 17, and police were unable to reunite her with the family. She is now being cared for by other relatives, according to Fremont Police Chief Tim Rodwell.

“They’re all very concerned that Tony and Suzette and the boys haven’t been in contact with anybody,” Rodwell told Grand Rapids ABC affiliate WZZM.

Since announcing their search for the missing family, police have received more than a dozen tips, Rodwell told reporters Friday. That includes a confirmed sighting at a gas station in Gulliver on Oct. 17, he said. The gas station manager contacted police and said she thought she had seen the family, which was confirmed by surveillance footage, Rodwell said.

The footage captured the four family members at the station buying food and fuel for the minivan shortly before 11 a.m. local time, police said. There was no indication of where they might have gone, Rodwell said.

PHOTO: Suzette Lee Cirigliano and her husband Anthony "Tony" John Cirigliano is pictured in this undated photo released by the Fremont Police Department.

Suzette Lee Cirigliano and her husband Anthony “Tony” John Cirigliano are pictured in this undated photo released by the Fremont Police Department.

Fremont Police Department.

The search comes after police responded to the Ciriglianos’ home shortly after midnight on Oct. 16 after Tony called 911 and expressed concern about information he said he had about the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to Rodwell.

“My officers spoke to him at length and were just concerned about his mental well-being,” he said. “They contacted Suzette and looked at the two boys to make sure they were okay.”

Tony, who is self-employed, has no known mental health issues, and police found no signs of foul play, fighting or violence inside the home to indicate a suspicious disappearance, according to Rodwell, who told WZZM he is concerned for the family.

“Everyone describes [Tony] as an extremely loving father, dedicated to his family,” the police chief added. “It’s really been an all-hands-on-deck for the officers in Fremont.”

Rodwell said the Ciriglianos don’t have a history of run-ins with police, other than an issue involving Brandon that occurred last summer in downtown Fremont. But Rodwell said the family was “very cooperative” and the matter was resolved “amicably”.

“My officers found Tony to be very loving and caring and concerned about his child again,” he noted.

PHOTO: Noah Alexander Cirigliano and Brandon Michael Cirigliano are pictured in this undated photo released by the Fremont Police Department.

Noah Alexander Cirigliano and Brandon Michael Cirigliano are pictured in this undated photo released by the Fremont Police Department.

Fremont Police Department.

Both police and neighbors described the Cirigliano family’s disappearance as “uncharacteristic” because the family is known to spend a lot of time at home and typically does not travel far when they travel.

A neighbor, Sue Schondelmeyer, told WZZM the Ciriglianos moved to the neighborhood about five years ago. Previously, the family lived in North Carolina, according to Rodwell.

“They were always friendly,” Schondelmeyer said. “When I moved in, they brought me cookies.”

“When my power went out, [Tony] helped with the generator to increase my power, my cooling and wouldn’t even take money for the gas,” she added.

Schondelmeyer told WZZM she would always see the Ciriglianos out walking. Her grandchildren often hung out with Brandon and Noah when they visited, she said.

“I realized I hadn’t seen them this week,” she added. “It’s kind of scary to think that a whole family can just disappear with nothing.”

PHOTO: A silver 2005 Toyota Sienna LE minivan is pictured in this undated file photo released by the Fremont Police Department.

A silver 2005 Toyota Sienna LE minivan is pictured in this undated file photo released by the Fremont Police Department.

Fremont Police Department.

As for the minivan the Ciriglianos are believed to be traveling in, Schondelmeyer said she only saw the vehicle for the first time a few weeks ago. She remembered Tony driving it home and Brandon and Noah checking it out.

“It was the first and only time I’ve ever seen it,” she told WZZM. “They usually just had regular cars, not a van.”

Another neighbor, Josh Brinkman, told WZZM that his family is friends with the Ciriglianos and that he goes to school with the two boys, who he described as “high-functioning autism.” Brinkman said he hasn’t hung out with Brandon or Noah in a while, and that the last time he did about two months ago, everything seemed “normal.”

As for the boys’ father, Brinkman said Tony is a “good guy” and has never shown any strange behavior, despite losing his job a few years ago. When asked if he has a message for the Ciriglianos, he urged them to “be safe” and let their family and friends know if they’re okay.

“We care about you,” he added.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Fremont Police Department at 231-924-2400 or call 911.

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