Gabby Petito case hits home for family of missing Cape Coral mom

Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:

The search for answers in Gabby Petito’s death is causing more pain for another family of a high-profile missing persons case in Southwest Florida.

But unlike Gabby Petito’s family, the loved ones of missing Cape Coral mother Lauren Dumolo have no idea where she is, and they haven’t been able to bring her home.

After nearly a year and a half of searching for answers, the Dumolo family is now watching another investigation receive a lot of attention.

The Dumolo family says their hearts go out to the family of Gabby Petito.

Meanwhile, Lauren Dumolo has been missing 476 days, and it’s hard on her family.

“Because you always have that, you know, slim little bit of hope,” father Paul Dumolo said. “When that phone rings, you hope that it’s gonna be your daughter. But it doesn’t happen.”

“And I almost had like a PTSD kind of response to the Gabby Petito case because it brought up all those beginning raw emotions that we felt in the beginning days,” sister Cassie Carey said.

Both Cassie and Paul wish all missing persons cases would be handled with the same priority as Gabby’s.

“I just wish that we had a team behind us that was as aggressive in fighting this battle as they were in Gabby’s case,” Paul said.

Paul fears the outcome of his daughter’s case will be the same as Gabby’s’ case.

“If they ever do find my daughter, I don’t … believe my daughter is still alive,” Paul said. “They have closure. We don’t. They had press conferences. They had so much attention at the very, very beginning of this. We didn’t.”

Paul was referring to national attention, and Paul thinks he knows why.

“For the fact that she had a past, you know, her prior drug history,” Paul said. “And I think, that doesn’t, that shouldn’t matter. My daughter was clean by the way, up until, you know… She was for the last almost two years, she was clean.”

There is no rest for the Dumolo family. Lauren disappeared from her apartment on Coronado Parkway in June 2020. Police say they found her cell phone in her apartment. Cape Coral police told us Friday that finding Lauren is a priority, but detectives need more help. Anyone with information can call the Cape Coral Police Department at (239) 574-3223.

“The first step in all of this healing process will be to first find Lauren and have that closure,” Cassie said. “And then we fight for justice. So I’m grateful that the Petito family has closure because they have their daughter, and they’re able to lay her to rest.”

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