Gabby Petito’s Family Responds After Brian Laundrie Reported As ‘Missing’
Gabby Petito’s family have responded after it emerged her fiancé Brian Laundrie had also been reported missing.
The search continues for Petito, a 22-year-old from Long Island who was reported missing on September 11, 13 days after her parents had last heard from her. She was last known to be in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park with Laundrie, 23, in late August, one month into a cross-country trip.
During their holiday, police responded to a 911 call reporting a domestic incident between the two. On September 1, Laundrie returned home alone and refused to cooperate with investigators, although police have stressed this is not a crime investigation.
Petito’s family are sceptical over claims he’s missing. Her stepfather, Jim Schmidt, only heard about Laundrie’s disappearance while talking to CNN last night, September 17. ‘It’s the first time we’re hearing it. I am very caught off guard about hearing what we just heard,’ he said.
The law office of Richard B. Stafford, which is representing the Petito and Schmidt families, has since issued a statement, ‘All of Gabby’s family want the world to know that Brian is not missing, he is hiding. Gabby is missing.’
Laundrie is considered a key person of interest in Petito’s disappearance, but his parents said he was ‘unavailable to talk’ prior to him being reported missing. His lawyer, Steven Bertolino, said his family hopes for Petito to return home safe and well, but he also asked them not to talk to police or the FBI.
North Port Police have also released a statement. ‘We understand the community’s frustration. We are frustrated too. For six days the North Port Police Department and FBI have been pleading with the family to contact investigators regarding Brian’s Fiancé Gabby Petito,’ it reads.
‘It is important to note that while Brian is a person of interest in Gabby’s disappearance, he is not wanted for a crime. We are not currently working a crime investigation. We are now working a multiple missing person investigations.’
An FBI hotline has been set up for anyone who has information on Gabby Petito. Call 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324).
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