FREMONT, Mich. (WOOD) — Investigators are looking for a Fremont family, worried that no one has seen them for four days and about recent erratic behavior from the father.
No one has seen nor heard from Anthony, Suzette, Brandon and Noah Cirigliano since Sunday, police said Thursday.
“We don’t see any signs of violence, we don’t see any signs of foul play right now. There’s no signs of struggle inside the home,” Fremont Police Department Chief Tim Rodwell told News 8. “But everyone we’ve talked to … they all describe this to be extremely abnormal behavior from Tony and Suzette.”
Tony Cirigliano had spoken with his mother around 4 p.m. on Sunday. On Monday, she couldn’t reach him.
The family left behind Suzette Cirigliano’s mother, who has dementia and needs full-time care. She was found walking around the neighborhood around 9 p.m. Monday, Rodwell said. Neighbors called police. That’s when the search began.
The home’s doors were locked and the family’s minivan was gone. Pets were left behind. There’s no sign of Tony Cirigliano’s cellphone, though relatives told News 8 that his wife’s was still in the house. Police said the family’s phones were off.
STRANGE 911 CALL
“Tony was exhibiting some signs of paranoia” shortly before the family vanished, Rodwell said.
The chief said Tony Cirigliano called 911 just after midnight Sunday and two officers went to his home. In the 911 call provided to News 8, he can be heard talking about the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. He said he wanted to speak with someone he said worked with the Fremont Police Department and wanted to talk to U.S. authorities.
“Yes, everyone is OK, but I need the Fremont Police Department … I need some police protection immediately,” he told the 911 operator.
He told the 911 operator it was “a vital national interest.”
“It is related to September 11th and people want to erase me from the face of the Earth. I am not crazy. (Fremont police sergeant) knows me, I am a Christian, I just need some help, and then the U.S. government will take it from here,” he said. “I know this sounds crazy, you don’t have instructions for this. Please send someone that knows (Fremont police sergeant) and can talk to the U.S. authorities, please.”
The 911 operator asked him if he had any weapons, and he said he had none. When she asked for a phone number, he answered, “We have no landline.”
The operator told him she’d send police to his address.
“OK. Can they come with their lights off and not to frighten my children please?” he asked.
“Yup, definitely,” she said.
“OK, I’ll look for them, and knock on the door, and — who, please try to send (Fremont police sergeant), even if he has to be woke from his sleep, it’s that important.”
Listen to the 911 call from Tony Cirigliano in the player below. Editor’s note: About 30 seconds of the recording is silent.
“It’s not normal behavior or normal interactions we have with the community,” Rodwell said.
The officers spent about 45 minutes to an hour talking to Tony Cirigliano and his wife to make sure everyone was safe and “that mental illness wasn’t putting anybody in jeopardy,” Rodwell said. He said the two were told they should call police again if they were concerned about anything.
Relatives told News 8 they do not think Tony Cirigliano would hurt his family and rather believe that he may be trying to protect them. They said he was troubled over the weekend and said “bad things” were going to happen.
The two sons were homeschooled and the family kept to themselves, relatives told News 8.
Becca Bergren, a neighbor of the family, said she found out they were missing on Facebook. She said the community is in shock.
“The two boys were always out walking with I think a grandma. Super friendly boys, they waved to everybody when you drove by. Super nice,” she said. “We had talked to them and the grandma at one point. They walked by and we were outside playing with our kids, and they came by and talked with us and they were a super sweet family.”
CHIEF ASKS FAMILY TO CALL
Asked if he was hopeful about the Ciriglianos being found safely, Rodwell replied, “I am.”
But police have no idea where they may be — whether they are still in West Michigan or the Midwest or somewhere else. The chief said he hopes Tony or Suzette Cirigliano will see news reports and call police or their family.
The Ciriglianos have lived in Fremont for about four years.
Tony Cirigliano, 51, stands 5-foot-6 and weighs around 180 pounds. He has brown hair and is clean-shaven. Suzette Cirigliano, also 51, is 5-foot-9 and 120 pounds with blonde hair and glasses. Brandon Cirigliano, 19, is 5-foot-8 and about 120 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes. Noah, 15, is 5-foot-6 and about 120 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. Both Brandon and Noah have autism, police say.
The family may be in their silver 2005 Toyota Sienna minivan with Michigan license plate DJL1982.
Rodwell said investigators are conducting searches, going through the family’s finances and trying to ping their cellphones. Michigan State Police have been called in to help.
“The biggest thing right now is trying to get ahold of anybody that has information that would help us locate this family,” Rodwell said.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Fremont Police Department at 231.924.2400, Silent Observer at 231.652.1121 or 911.
Rodwell explained the case does not meet the state’s criteria for an Amber Alert: The parents are believed to be with Noah and there’s no indication of an abduction or violence.
Suzette Cirigliano’s mother is now safely in the care of other family members.
Fremont is about 40 miles north of Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is home to about 4,500 people.
—News 8’s Susan Samples and Kyle Mitchell contributed to this report.