Florida teen missing near Brian Laundrie manhunt

The North Port, Florida, Police Department on Thursday reported 16-year-old Desirae Malava-Ortiz missing.,

The North Port, Florida, Police Department on Thursday reported 16-year-old Desirae Malava-Ortiz missing.

The 16-year-old left her residence on Roxbury Circle earlier this week by “unknown means of travel,” wearing ripped jeans, a sweatshirt and white shoes.

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Police did not find Malava-Ortiz at her boyfriend’s house nor her place of work.

“Family indicates she was recently in the Venice/ Nokomis area” of Florida, police said in a statement posted Thursday evening.

Desire Malava-Ortiz (Credit: North Port Police Department)

Desire Malava-Ortiz (Credit: North Port Police Department)
(North Port Police Department)

Police also suggested the 16-year-old may be with an 18-year-old named Tyler, who drives a gray, two-door Honda sedan.

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The alert comes nearly a month after 22-year-old Gabby Petito’s family reported her missing on Sept. 11 when she did not return to her. Her remains were later found in Wyoming. Petito’s fiance, fugitive Brian Laundrie, returned to their North Port home on Sept. 1 in Petito’s van without her after the two embarked on a cross-country road trip over the summer.

North Port police are still trying to track down Laundrie after he, too, was reported missing on Sept. 17, though his family last saw him on Sept. 13.

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Authorities are asking anyone with information about Malava-Ortiz’s whereabouts to contact 941-429-7335 or kveigel@northportpd.com.

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