INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Deputies are urging residents to take a close look at a photo of a white truck seen picking up a person around the same time frame Assunta ‘Susy’ Tomassi wandered away from the Quilted Giraffe in March 2018.
Indian River County deputies said it appears someone got into the passenger side of the truck on March 16, 2018. The grainy video quality makes it difficult to identify the passenger.
Anyone who remembers seeing a white truck in the area of South Vero Square around the time of Tomassi’s disappearance should contact sheriff’s Detective Greg Farless. Residents who also know of someone who frequented the area and no longer does should also contact Farless.
“This will hopefully help us get a new lead and the public is urged to contact law enforcement with anything they feel is relevant to the investigation,” said sheriff’s Detective Michael Dilks, the co-leading detective on the case. “The case has taken a toll on the family and myself. We would all like to develop a lead that brings the person responsible for this to justice.”
Tomassi was 73 when she vanished. The disappearance of Tomassi, who suffered from dementia, launched a multi-agency search throughout Florida and other states on the east coast.
The woman’s family previously said they were offering a $15,000 reward for Tomassi’s safe return and a $5,000 reward for anyone who has information leading to an arrest.
Deputies said Tomassi walked away from the Quilted Giraffe about 5 p.m. March 16, 2018. The eatery was located at 500 U.S. 1, south of Vero Beach and north of St. Lucie County.
Deputies said Tomassi was known to walk to South Vero Square plaza and go to the Family Dollar store. Deputies said Tomassi had wandered off before, but that her husband, Patrick, 58, was always able to find her.
Sheriff’s deputies used patrol and K-9 units, a helicopter, SWAT team, agricultural and marine units and all-terrain vehicles to try and locate the woman.
Assunta and Patrick Tomassi have been married for at least 37 years and live in Fort Pierce.
Assunta and Patrick Tomassi owned the Quilted Giraffe for more than seven years. In August 2018, Patrick Tomassi closed the upscale cuisine restaurant, which was in operation for at least 17 years.
“It’s just not the same,” Patrick Tomassi previously said. “It’s not the same positive energy to entertain anybody.”
Photo provided by Indian River County Sheriff’s Office