US Gabby Petito fiancé Brian Laundrie 'is not missing, he is hiding,' attorney for her family says
Day 4 of search in Florida park for Gabby Petito's boyfriend
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Search teams fanned out Wednesday at a Florida wilderness park to search for the boyfriend of Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito, who authorities say was killed while on a cross-country trip with him. The search resumed around 8 a.m. Wednesday at the 24,000-acre (9,700-hectare) Carlton Reserve park, North Port police spokesperson Joshua Taylor said. Investigators say Brian Laundrie's parents told them he had gone there after returning home without Petito on Sept. 1.
The search for the now-missing fiancé of 22-year-old Gabby Petito, where 50 officers from five local agencies and FBI agents are scouring the area, according to North Port Police spokesperson Josh Taylor.
During a Saturday news conference, Taylor said Laundrie has an "enormous amount of pressure" on him to provide answers following Petito's own disappearance.
Brian Laundrie's family told police Friday night they have not seen the 23-year-old since Tuesday. Police said at that time Laundrie is not wanted for a crime, and that authorities are working "multiple missing person investigations."
Arrest Warrant for Brian Laundrie Issued in Wyoming Following Gabby Petito's Death
Brian Laundrie, considered a person of interest in Gabby Petito's disappearance, has not been seen since he was reported missing last FridayLaundrie, who has been considered a person of interest in the disappearance of his fiancée, Gabby Petito, was indicted by a federal grand jury for "use of unauthorized access devices" following Petito's death.
Saturday morning investigators were searching for Laundrie at the "vast Carlton Reserve" near Venice, Florida.
Laundrie's family told police he left with his backpack Tuesday and told them he was going to the reserve, Taylor said Saturday. Police believe the vehicle he was driving may have been at the reserve too, but has since been returned to the Laundrie's home.
When asked why Laundrie's family didn't tell police of his whereabouts until Friday, Taylor said, "that's a great question."
"You know we've obviously been trying to reach the family to get answers in this case since (last) Saturday," Taylor said. "The first time that we've had any in-depth conversation with them was yesterday when their attorney called and said the family was concerned about Brian's whereabouts."
Man Heard Gabby Petito Ask Brian Laundrie 'Why Do You Have to Be So Mean?' During Dispute
"Something seemed off" between the couple, the witness told police in Moab, UtahAccording to a recently released written statement, the witness, identified only as Chris, told Moab police he was outside the Moonflower Community Cooperative near Arches National Park when he saw the couple in the middle of "some sort of dispute," KSTU reports.
Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino said Friday that Laundrie's whereabouts "are currently unknown."
Richard Stafford, the attorney for the Petito family, said in a brief statement sent to CNN, "All of Gabby's family want the world to know that Brian is not missing, he is hiding. Gabby is missing."
Search for Petito is now a week old
Law enforcement began investigatingon September 11, when Petito's family reported her missing after they were unable to contact her for several days. Prior to her disappearance, Petito had been traveling with Laundrie on a road trip through several western states.
Laundrie returned to North Port without Petito September 1, according to police. Officials later found the van the couple had been traveling in at the home Petito shared with Laundrie and his parents in North Port.
On Saturday, the FBI said the search for Petito included ground surveys being conducted in Grand Teton National Park with the National Park Service, the Teton County Sheriff's Office and the Jackson, Wyoming, police.
911 Caller Said He Saw Brian Laundrie Hitting Gabby Petito: 'Gentleman Was Slapping the Girl'
Police believe they have found the body of Gabby Petito, and her fiancé Brian Laundrie has gone missing"We drove by and the gentleman was slapping the girl," the caller tells the dispatcher.
"This is an active and ongoing investigation, so we ask the public to maintain distance from any law enforcement personnel, equipment, vehicles, and their related activity for the safety of the public in these remote areas and to protect the integrity of our work," the FBI's Denver field office said in a tweet Saturday afternoon.
In a statement issued to NBC before it was reported Laundrie's whereabouts were unknown, family attorney Bertolino said Laundrie would not speak about the matter because "intimate partners are often the first person law enforcement focuses their attention on in cases like this and the warning that 'any statement made will be used against you' is true, regardless of whether my client had anything to do with Ms. Petito's disappearance."
North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison told CNN's Don Lemon earlier in the week that Laundrie had invoked his Fifth Amendment right, which generally means a person cannot be forced to make statements they feel might be negative or used against them.
Taylor toldFriday night Laundrie's disappearance is "another twist in this story."
Gabby Petito: Search for Brian Laundrie continues as FBI seeks out new evidence and authorities comb through 25,000 acres of swampland
As authorities continue their second week of searching tens of thousands of acres of swampland for Gabby Petito's fiancé, Brian Laundrie, they are also seeking out new evidence in the investigation. © North Port Police Department/AP In this photo provided by North Port Police Department, law enforcement officials conduct a search of the vast Carlton Reserve in the Sarasota, Fla., area for Brian Laundrie on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. Laundrie is a person of interest in the disappearance of his girlfriend, Gabrielle "Gabby" Petito.
Police previously visited the home but the family refused to talk and instead gave authorities the information for their attorney, Taylor said this week.
Petito stepfather: 'I don't know what to believe'
Petito's stepfather said Friday he is happy Laundrie's parents called police, but said, "I don't know what to believe."
Jim Schmidt told CNN's Cuomo he was "caught off guard" by the news shared moments earlier that Laundrie's family spoke with authorities, saying he hadn't even had a moment to digest it.
"All that matters is finding her and bringing her home," Schmidt said.
"We're still trying to get the word out there and try to find that one person that might have some details that we need," Schmidt said. "Just trying to get out there and find that person and hopefully they can help us with anything that will bring her home."
When asked if there was anything from the last few times he contacted Gabby that would be helpful now, Schmidt said, "I'm not sure. We've been analyzing everything as much as we can, and your mind races in a million different directions when you're trying to put something like this together and it's -- we're still trying to get a full grasp on the entire situation."
Schmidt asked for the media to "just keep getting the word out," adding, "Some different photos, not just the ones that have been out there, maybe that sparks something in the public that somebody didn't recognize before and just keep getting that word out there and keep this fresh in the media so it keeps going until we find her."
Cops Who Pulled Over ‘Van-Life’ Couple Were Told Fiancé ‘Hit’ Gabby Petito
Police officers in Moah, Utah, responding to reports of a dispute between doomed “van-life” couple Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie, who is now a person of interest in her homicide, were told by dispatch that Laundrie had reportedly hit Petito during the Aug. 12 argument, newly released audio reveals. “RP [reporting party] states a male hit a female,” the police dispatcher says over the radio. “Domestic. He got into a white Ford Transit van. Has a black ladder on the back. Florida plate… The female who got hit, they both—the male and the female—both got into the van and headed north.
The FBI has released a new, asking for help in the search for Petito.
Campsite reviews appear to show the couple this summer
Before they vanished, Petito and Laundrie appeared to have left reviews on an online camp community app called
An account linked to the couple lists campgrounds in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Washington, Wyoming, and Utah, as well as left reviews of campsites where Petito was last seen.
Camping spots to the Grand Teton National Park were saved on the profile.
According to a timeline of events provided Friday by Petito family attorney Stafford, Gabby FaceTimed with her mother on August 24, saying she was leaving Utah and headed to the Tetons.
A photo of the couple was posted on The Dyrt two months ago and tags their social media accounts.
Their most recent review is about Arches National Park in Utah in July, in the same county where Moab policewith Petito and Laundrie two weeks later.
At the time, officers with the Moab City Police Department responded to reports of disorderly conduct involving Petito and Laundrie, which ended with a report describing them as having "engaged in some sort of altercation."
The officers who responded to the incident suggested Laundrie and Petito should separate for the night, according to the report, and no charges were filed.
One of the officers who responded to the scene wrote in the police report Laundrie said the pair had been traveling together for "the last four or five months."
'Gator and Snake Infested Swamps': Inside the Search for Missing Brian Laundrie .
Brian Laundrie, 23, is a person of interest in the disappearance of his fiancée, "van life" vlogger Gabby Petito, 22, whose body is believed to have been found in Wyoming Sunday, say police"Please be aware, the Carlton Reserve is a vast and unforgiving location at times," North Port Police PIO Josh Taylor said in a release Tuesday morning announcing that authorities were returning to the sprawling reserve to search for Laundrie, 23, who is a person of interest in Petito's disappearance.