Family of missing Suffolk County woman tell boyfriend ‘do the right thing’
The stepfather of a missing New York woman who traveled to Wyoming to search for her desperately begs her boyfriend and travel companion to come forward and tell authorities where she is.
Gabrielle Petito, 22-year-old Long Island resident of Blue Point, who was last known to be in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming in late August, was reported missing to Suffolk County Police on Saturday September 11 by his mother after being last heard on Monday August 30.
Her stepfather, James Schmidt, traveled to Wyoming on Wednesday, September 15 to assist authorities in their efforts to locate Petito just hours after her boyfriend Brian Laundrie, 23, was named a person of interest in the investigation by authorities in North Port, Florida, where the couple lived temporarily and returned home with the white “Gabby” van in which they were traveling.
Since Petito’s disappearance, Laundrie has hired an East Islip lawyer and refused to speak to the police, the FBI, or family about his plight.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Schmidt said: “Our family is aware of the statements of his lawyer,” Schmidt said forcefully. ” This is unacceptable. It is unacceptable to us. We deserve more. Gabby deserves more information.
âThe more they don’t, the longer it will take to get her home. And we need her home now. So they have to do it. It’s not about just sitting around. must come forward, for Gabby, for all people. “
Laundrie’s attorney, Steven Bertolino, told Daily Voice that the fact that Laundrie is a “person of interest” does not change their position of not speaking.
“This formality has not really changed the circumstances in which Mr. Laundrie is the focus and attention of law enforcement and Mr. Laundrie will continue to remain silent on counsel’s advice,” the lawyer said. Bertolino press release.
In the meantime, the Grand County Sheriff’s Office in Utah and the City of Moab, Utah Police said they were looking into everything, including an incident that occurred on Thursday August 12 between the two during where a witness said the couple were arguing over a phone and the incident turned physical, prompting the witness to call police.
Moab Police have released reports and body camera footage of the incident that show their interaction with the couple when they pulled their white van outside of Arches National Park in Moab on August 12.
In the footage, obtained by ABC 7 NY, Petito was sobbing as he spoke to an officer.
âI have a really bad OCD,â Petito told the officer. “I apologized to him saying I’m sorry for being so mean.”
âWe fought all morning. He wouldn’t let me get in the car before. â¦ He told me I had to calm down.
The officer took Petito to sit in his police car before returning to talk to Laundrie.
âShe gets mad sometimes, I try to distance myself from her. I locked the car,â Laundrie told the officer.
âI said, ‘Let’s take a break. She had her phone. I was trying to push her away to say, ‘Let’s take a step back,’ âhe said, adding that Petito hit him with his phone.
Laundrie also told Officer Petito that he grabbed the wheel of their van to make it stop as police followed them.
Petito reportedly told officers she suffered from severe anxiety and other redacted medical conditions, and police classified the incident as a “mental / emotional health break” rather than a domestic assault, the station reported. Press.
The two told the police they did not want to press charges and were fired by the police.
Back in Florida, North Port North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison spoke about the case Thursday, September 16, on “Good Morning America.”
âTwo people went on a trip and one person came back. And that person isn’t talking to us,â Garrison said.
He added Laundrie, “has the puzzle pieces we need to be able to find Gabby.”
Petito’s Instagram account, which had been deleted, is now back. It includes a link to an eight minute YouTube win titled “VAN LIFE: Beginning Our Van Life Journey”.
The FBI has set up a national hotline to receive tips. 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324).
To date, they have received hundreds of tips, North Port police said.
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