Authorities said they found the family of four who had been missing since Oct. 16 after the father displayed “paranoid behaviors” last weekend.
According to the Fremont Police Department, the family was discovered in Wisconsin.
Sunday’s news comes after a confirmed sighting earlier this week in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, though police said they have no idea where they might be going.
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 of Grand Rapids, according to police. According to authorities, both sons have autism.
According to police, the family’s cellphones were all turned off, and they left behind their pets as well as Suzette’s elderly mother, who has dementia and requires full-time care. On Oct. 17, the grandmother, who lives with them, was discovered disoriented in the neighborhood, and police were unable to reunite her with the family. According to Fremont Police Chief Tim Rodwell, she is now being cared for by other relatives.
“They’re all concerned that Tony and Suzette and the boys haven’t contacted anyone,” Rodwell said.
Police have received over a dozen tips since announcing their search for the missing family, Rodwell told reporters Friday. He mentioned a confirmed sighting at a gas station in Gulliver on Oct. 17. According to Rodwell, the gas station manager contacted police after believing she had seen the family, which was corroborated by surveillance footage.
According to police, the four family members were seen in the station shortly before 11 a.m. local time buying food and fuel for the minivan. Rodwell stated that there was no indication of where they might have been traveling.
According to Rodwell, police responded to the Ciriglianos’ home shortly after midnight on Oct. 16 after Tony called 911 to express concern about information he claimed to have about the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
“My officers talked with him for a long time and were only concerned about his mental well-being,” he explained. “They made eye contact with Suzette and examined the two boys to ensure they were okay.”
According to Rodwell, who stated that he is concerned about the family, Tony, and who is self-employed, has no known mental health issues, and police found no signs of foul play, struggle, or violence inside the home to indicate a suspicious disappearance.
“Everyone describes [Tony] as an extremely loving father who is devoted to his family,” the chief of police added. “It’s been an all-hands-on-deck situation for the officers in Fremont.”
Except for an incident involving Brandon last summer in downtown Fremont, the Ciriglianos have no history of run-ins with police, according to Rodwell. However, Rodwell stated that the family was “very cooperative” and that the matter was resolved “amicably.”
“My officers found Tony to be, once again, very loving, caring, and concerned about his child,” he said.
The Ciriglianos’ disappearance was described as “uncharacteristic” by both police and neighbors because the family is known to spend a lot of time at home and doesn’t travel far when they do leave.
Sue Schondelmeyer, a neighbor, said that the Ciriglianos moved into the neighborhood about five years ago. According to Rodwell, the family previously resided in North Carolina.
“They were always pleasant,” Schondelmeyer remarked. “They brought me cookies when I first moved in.”
“When my power went out, [Tony] assisted with the generator to boost my power, refrigeration, and wouldn’t even take money for gas,” she added.
Schondelmeyer stated that the Ciriglianos were always out walking. When her grandchildren came to visit, she said they would frequently hang out with Brandon and Noah.
“I realized I hadn’t seen them all week,” she explained. “It’s frightening to think that an entire family can vanish with nothing.”
Schondelmeyer said she only saw the minivan the Ciriglianos are believed to be traveling in for the first time a few weeks ago. She remembered Tony driving it home and Brandon and Noah inspecting it.
“It was the first and only time I saw it,” she explained. “They usually had regular cars, not vans.”
Josh Brinkman, another neighbor, stated that his family is friends with the Ciriglianos and that he goes to school with the two boys, who he described as having “high-functioning autism.” Brinkman stated that he hasn’t seen Brandon or Noah in a long time, but that the last time he did, about two months ago, everything seemed “normal.”
Brinkman described the boys’ father, Tony, as a “good guy” who has never displayed any unusual behavior despite losing his job a few years ago. When asked if he had any words of advice for the Ciriglianos, he told them to “stay safe” and to let their family and friends know if they were okay.
“We’re concerned about you,” he added.
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