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Gabby Petito’s fiancé Brian Laundrie “isn’t missing, he’s hiding,” her family’s lawyer says

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The FBI is involved in the investigation and search for the laundry, 23, North Port police said on Friday evening in a statement that expressed frustration that his family did not speak with investigators for nearly a week about Petito’s disappearance.

“We understand the frustration in the community, we are also frustrated. For six days, the North Port Police Department and the FBI begged the family to contact investigators regarding Brian Gabby Petito’s fiancée. ‘They spoke with investigators in detail,’ the statement said.

“We’ve been trying all week to talk to his family, to talk to Brian, and now they called us here on Friday, we went home, and now they say they haven’t seen their son,” North Port Police spokesman Josh Taylor told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Friday night. “So we’re working on those details as we speak. That’s another twist on this story.”
Law enforcement began investigating Petito’s disappearance after his family reported his disappearance on September 11 after being unable to contact them for several days. Prior to his disappearance, Petito had traveled with Laundrie on a road trip through several western states, CNN reported.

The laundromat returned to North Port without Petito on September 1, police said. Authorities then located the van the couple were traveling in at the home Petito shared with Laundrie and his parents in North Port.

Police had already visited the house, but the family refused to speak and instead gave authorities the information for their lawyer, Taylor said earlier this week.

Friday’s statement said the laundry was not wanted for a crime and law enforcement was now working on “several missing person investigations.”

In a statement Friday night to CNN, Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino said Brian’s whereabouts “are currently unknown.”

Richard Stafford, the attorney for the Petito family, said in a brief statement sent to CNN: “Gabby’s whole family wants the world to know that Brian hasn’t gone missing, he’s in hiding. Gabby is missing.”

Petito’s stepfather: “I don’t know what to believe”

Petito’s stepfather said on Friday he was happy Laundrie’s parents called the 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 to authorities, saying he didn’t even have time to digest.

“All that matters is finding her and bringing her home,” Schmidt said.

“We’re always trying to get the word out and try to find that person who might have details that we need,” Schmidt said. “I’m just trying to go out and find this person and hope she can help us with anything that brings 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 have analyzed everything as much as possible, and your mind has gone. packs in a million different directions when you try to put something like that together and that’s – we’re always trying to get a full understanding of the big picture. “

Schmidt urged members of the media to “keep spreading the word”, adding: “Some different photos, not just the ones that have been released, maybe that triggers something in the audience that someone didn’t. recognized before and keep getting that word out there and keep it fresh in the media so it will continue until we find it. “

The FBI has released a new missing person poster, asking for help in the search for Petito.

Campsite reviews seem to show the couple this summer

Prior to their disappearance, Petito and Laundrie appeared to have left reviews on an online community camp app called The Dyrt.

An account linked to the couple lists campgrounds in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Washington, Wyoming and Utah, along with reviews left of campsites where Petito was last seen.

Campsites in Grand Teton National Park have been registered on the profile.

According to a timeline of events provided by Petito family attorney Stafford on Friday, Gabby FaceTimed with her mother on August 24, saying she was leaving Utah and heading to the Tetons.

A photo of the couple was posted on The Dyrt two months ago and tag their social media accounts.

Their most recent review concerns Arches National Park in Utah in July, in the same county where Moab police interacted with Petito and Laundrie two weeks later.

At the time, officers from the City of Moab 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 disorder.” altercation ”.

Officers who responded to the incident suggested that Laundrie and Petito go their separate ways for the night, according to the report, and no charges have been filed.

One of the officers who responded to the scene wrote in the police report that Laundrie said the couple had been traveling together for “the past four or five months.”

CNN’s Paul P. Murphy, Kaylene Chassie, Christina Maxouris, Aya Elamroussi, Andy Rose, MiSeon Lee and Deanna Hackney contributed to this report.

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