The FBI accuses Brian Laundry of debit card fraud
North Port, Fla. — Brian Laundry stole Gabby Petito’s credit card and used it to go home, where he returned in early September, “and then ran away from the police,” a spokesperson for Petito’s family said Tuesday during an interview .
Petito’s family member and family lawyer and spokesman, Richard Stafford, sat down with Dr. Phil McGraw for a 30-minute interview on his self-nominated show. It was the parents’ first interview since authorities announced on September 21 that 22-year-old Petito had died. Homicide. The cause of his death has not been disclosed yet.
Police had previously named Petito’s fiancé, Brian Laundry, as a person of interest in connection with his disappearance. On September 23, the FBI issued an arrest warrant for Laundry alleging bank card fraud.
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Authorities alleged at the time that he used an unidentified person’s Capital One card and personal identification number to charge or withdraw more than $1,000 between August 30 and September 1, during which time Pettito was still missing. Neither investigators nor a spokesperson for Petito’s family would confirm whether the card belonged to Petito.
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But speaking of Laundry’s “state of mind,” as illustrated by Laundry’s actions, Stafford described how Laundry “stole his credit card.”
“He used his credit card to get home and then ran away from the police,” Stafford continued. “It’s going to show a lot of what he was thinking at the time.”
Steven Bertolino, a lawyer for the Laundry family, declined to comment.
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The couple set off for a cross-country trip in mid-June with plans to visit the national parks in a converted white Ford Transit van. They began dating years ago after meeting at their local Long Island, New York, high school and moved to North Port, Florida to live with Laundry’s parents.
Laundry, now a fugitive, returns to the North Port home in the couple’s van without Pettito. He has not been seen since September 14 and was absconding till Tuesday afternoon.
Petito was not reported missing until September 11, when his mother notified police in Suffolk County, New York. The officers later confiscated the van from the laundry house.
His body was found on September 19 near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue found in his initial determination that Pettito was the victim of a murder, the FBI’s Denver field office announced Sept. 21.