NORTH PORT, Florida, Sept. 18, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Police in North Port, Florida, are expressing frustration after learning Brian Laundrie, the person of interest in the disappearance of his 22-year-old girlfriend, Gabby Petito, has vanished from his parents’ home.
In a statement posted on social media Friday night, the North Port Police Department issued the following statement:
“North Port Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are currently searching for 23-year-old Brian Laundry, of North Port. The attorney for the Laundrie family called FBI investigators Friday night, indicating the family would like to talk about the disappearance of their son. The family now claims that they have not seen Brian since Tuesday of this week.
“We understand the community’s frustration, we are frustrated too. For six days, the North Port Police Department and the FBI have been pleading with the family to contact investigators regarding Brian’s fiancee, Gabby. Friday is the first time they have spoken with investigators in detail.
“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 working a crime investigation. We are working a multiple missing person’s investigation.
“North Port Police Department is actively looking for Gabby, Brian and any information surrounding the case. Please continue to utilize 1-800-CALL FBI.”
An attorney for Brian Laundrie and his family released a statement Friday night confirming his client’s disappearance.
“Be advised that the whereabouts of Brian Laundrie are currently unknown. The FBI is currently at the Laundrie residence removing property to assist in locating Brian. As of now, the FBI is now looking for both Gabby and Brian.”
A group of protesters gathered earlier in the day outside the home where Brian Laundrie and “Gabby” Petito had been living with his parents. The crowd, wanting Brian to tell the police what he knows, shouted “Where is Gabby?”
Investigators believe Petito last communicated with her family on August 25, when she said she and Brian were headed for Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park.
Local law enforcement agencies confirm they are conducting multiple searches but would not specify where.
On Friday, the Grand County, Utah, Sheriff’s Office released a statement saying there was no connection between Petito’s disappearance and the murder of a married couple found shot to death near a campsite outside Moab in mid-August. Rumors had swirled since it was confirmed earlier in the week that police in Moab had encountered Petito and Laundrie about the same time as the murders, after they were reported to be involved in a domestic altercation in a Moab parking lot.
While the deputies decided not to file criminal charges in the incident, saying a tearful Gabby appeared to be the aggressor, they ordered the couple to accept counseling services, which would force them to separate for a day.
The couple continued on their travels, including stops in northern Utah, before heading to the Grand Tetons outside Jackson, Wyoming, when Gabby’s family said they exchanged their last texts August 25.
On Sept. 1, Brian Laundrie showed up at his parents’ North Port home, alone and driving Gabby’s van, police say. Laundrie then hired an attorney and refused to speak with investigators. It was believed he was staying at his parent’s home until Friday night’s bombshell disclosure that he hadn’t been seen since Tuesday.
The Petito’s family attorney, Richard Stafford, responded to the development early Saturday morning, saying, “All of Gabby’s family want the world to know that Brian is not missing, he is in hiding. Gabby is missing.”