Police, FBI are searching for Brian Laundrie, fiancé of missing Gabby Petito

News

Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito. Picture courtesy of North Port Police

(CBS) – Police and the FBI are now searching for Brian Laundrie, a person of interest in the case of his missing fiancé, 22-year-old Gabby Petito. The attorney for Laundrie’s family contacted the FBI on Friday night indicating they wanted to talk about their son’s disappearance. They said they have not seen him since Tuesday, police in North Port, Florida, said overnight in a statement.

“For six days, the North Port Police Department and the FBI have been pleading with the family to contact investigators regarding Brian’s Fiancé Gabby Petito,” police said. “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,” police said. “We are not currently working a crime investigation. We are now working a multiple missing person investigations.”

More than 50 officers and FBI agents searched for Laundrie in the Carlton Reserve, a 24,000-acre county park in Florida’s Sarasota County, on Saturday. They suspended the search at sun down.

“Our search of the Carlton is being called this evening due to darkness. Nothing found. Efforts will begin again Sunday morning,” the North Port Police Department tweeted Saturday evening.

Authorities went to the reserve Saturday after Laundrie’s family told them they believed “he entered the area earlier this week,” police said.

“There’s an enormous amount of pressure, I’m sure, on him to provide answers in what’s going on here,” police spokesman Josh Taylor said Saturday.

The FBI was at the Laundrie residence in North Point on Friday “removing property to assist in locating Brian,” the attorney for Laundrie’s family said in a statement to CBS News. “Be advised that the whereabouts of Brian Laundrie are currently unknown,” attorney Steven Bertolino said.

Police described 23-year-old Laundrie as a 5′ 8” white male with brown eyes and brown hair. He was last seen wearing a hiking bag with a waist strap.

Petito’s family released a statement after authorities announced Laundrie’s whereabout were unknown, saying, “All of Gabby’s family want the world to know that Brian is not missing. He is hiding. Gabby is missing.”

Meanwhile, the FBI confirmed Saturday afternoon that they are also “conducting ground surveys” in Wyoming.

“The #FBI and our partners at the National Park Service, Teton County Sheriff’s Office & Jackson Police Department are currently conducting ground surveys in areas of Grand Teton National Park that are relevant to the investigation into Gabrielle Petito’s disappearance,” the agency tweeted. 

“When we have any updates or requests for assistance from the public, we will share that information in a timely manner. We appreciate your cooperation and support as we work to bring Gabby home. #FindGabby,” they said in a subsequent tweet.

Laundrie’s fiancé Petito went missing last month while the couple was on a cross-country trip they started in July. They intended to reach Oregon by Halloween, according to their social media accounts. 

On September 1, Laundrie drove their Ford Transit van back to Florida alone, police said. Petito’s family filed a missing persons report with police in Suffolk County, New York, last Saturday.   

Petito’s last known contact with family was in late August, and she was in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming at the time, authorities said. Petito is now the subject of a nationwide search, and her parents have pleaded for Laundrie and his family to cooperate with authorities.

“What I want from everybody here is help,” Joe Petito, Gabby’s father, said earlier this week. “Whatever you can do to make sure my daughter comes home, I’m asking you to help. Nothing else matters right now.”

Police video released Thursday shows Petito and Laundrie had an emotional fight in Moab, Utah, weeks before she was reported missing.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage
Download Our App

Don't Miss