Brian Laundrie’s Family Tells Police and FBI He’s Missing | New York News
NORTH PORT, Fla. (AP) – Florida Police said they were working with the FBI to locate Brian Laundrie, 23, whose girlfriend went missing while hiking across the country in a converted van.
North Port Police said Friday evening that Laundrie’s parents told them they had not seen him since Tuesday. Police said they spoke with the family at the family’s request.
Laundrie and his 22-year-old girlfriend, Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito, left in July on a trip that took them to the National Parks of the West. She was reported missing on September 11 by her family and is now the subject of a nationwide search joined by the FBI.
Investigators said Laundrie returned in the van to his parents’ home in North Port, Fla. On September 1. They identified him as a person of interest in the case.
The investigation is now a “multiple missing persons” affair, police said, adding that they are not investigating a crime.
Brian Laundrie’s attorney, Steven Bertolino, did not immediately respond to an Associated Press request for comment on Friday night.
Earlier in the week, Petito’s family begged the Laundrie family to tell them where their son last saw her. Petito and Laundrie were childhood sweethearts who met growing up on Long Island. His parents then moved to North Port, about 55 kilometers south of Sarasota.
Police video released by the Moab Utah Police Department showed an officer stopped the van on August 12 after he was seen speeding up and hitting a sidewalk near the entrance to the Arches National Park. Body camera video showed an emotional Petito, who sat inside a police car while officers also questioned Laundrie.
Laundrie says on the video the couple engaged in a minor brawl that began when he got into the van with dirty feet, and said they did not want to bring a domestic violence charge against Petito, that the officers decided to be the aggressor.
He told the police that he was not going to press charges because he loved her. âIt was just a quarrel. Sorry, that must have gotten so public, âLaundrie said on the video.
In the end, Moab Police decided not to lay any charges and instead separated the couple for the night, with Laundrie checking in at a motel and Petito staying with the converted van bed.
The official conversation with the family came shortly after North Port Garrison chief publicly expressed his frustration at Brian Laundrie’s lack of help on Wednesday, begging Laundrie’s lawyer to set up a conversation. âTwo people went on a trip and one person came back! an earlier tweet from the police chief said.
Their trek in the Fort Transit van began in July from New York’s Long Island, where the two grew up. They intended to reach Oregon by Halloween according to their social media accounts, but Petito disappeared after his last known contact with his family in late August from Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, announced. authorities.
Laundrie brought the Ford Transit pickup back to Florida on September 1 only, police said. Petito’s family filed a missing persons report last Saturday with police in Suffolk County, New York.
Petito’s parents on Thursday released a letter through their lawyer to Laundrie’s parents, asking them to help investigators locate Petito, despite their instinct to protect their son.
Bertolino, Laundrie’s lawyer, said the Laundrie family hoped for Petito’s safe return, but he asked them not to speak to investigators.
âWe’re always trying to define geographic areas,â Garrison said recently. âThere is a lot of information that we go through. Our goal is to find Gabby.
In other developments, a Utah sheriff said Friday that detectives determined there was no connection between Petito’s disappearance during the trip and the still unsolved murder of two women who were killed. shot at a campsite near Moab, Utah – the same tourist town where Petito and Laundrie had the brawl in which police intervened.
The bodies of the two women were found on August 18, six days after the traffic stop involving Laundrie and Petito. The two women, Kylen Schulte, 24, and Crystal Turner, 38, had told friends they feared a “scary man” they saw nearby would harm them.
Greater Utah County Sheriff Steven White said without explanation in a press release that the two cases were unrelated.
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