Police spokesman Josh Taylor told CNN’s Randy Kaye on Thursday that police in North Port, Fla., were surveying Gabby Petito’s fiancé Brian Laundry because they could legally be missing.
Laundry returned alone to his family’s North Port home on September 1, following a trip the two were taking to the American West. Petito’s parents, unable to contact him or the laundry, reported his disappearance 10 days later. About two weeks after he returned, the laundry went missing, his parents told police.
CNN also learned that officers had never spoken to Laundry prior to his disappearance, even though they had an eye on him. Taylor told CNN that when police went to North Port’s home on September 11, he did not show up and had no chance to speak with him.
On September 19, Petito’s remains were recovered in Wyoming, where the couple was last seen together, and a coroner determined she died of murder, the FBI said. Laundry has not been charged with his death, although he is the subject of a federal arrest warrant For unauthorized use of another person’s debit card in the days after Petito last spoke with his family.
Officers don’t have the phone the couple had on their trip to the laundry, nor do they have Petito’s phone. Taylor told CNN that there were no phones in Petito’s van, which Laundry took back to Florida.
As the search for laundry continues at a vast Florida nature reserve, Taylor also confirmed that investigators did not find the campsite during those attempts. The confirmation came after a source close to the Laundry family told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that he was informed by investigators that police had conducted a search at Florida’s Carlton Reserve.
The source insisted Thursday that the laundry family was told a campsite had been found.
“Is it possible that they thought there might be a campsite or something they saw from the air, but it didn’t come out when they landed? Certainly, I think it’s a possibility, Taylor said. “The bottom line, is that investigators are telling me no campsites were found there.”
Family lawyer Steven Bertolino told CNN that on Thursday Laundry’s father, Chris Laundry, visited 24,565 acres of woods near Laundry’s family home for several hours to help with the search. Bertolino said the father showed the police the routes and places where he and the laundry had come and went again and again.
“There was no discovery but the effort was useful to everyone,” said Bertolino. “It appears that the water in the Preserve is receding and some areas are more accessible to search. The entire Laundry family is grateful for the hard work of the dedicated members of law enforcement who have been searching the Preserve for Brian over the past few weeks .Hopefully sees Brian soon.”
The abandoned vehicle was recovered near the reserve
In recent days, investigators have uncovered new details about earlier movements of laundry in the reserve.
North Port Police confirmed that a notice was placed on an abandoned Ford Mustang belonging to the Laundry family outside Mykahatchi Creek Environmental Park on September 14. The park serves as a gateway to the Carlton Reserve.
The family’s attorney, Bertolino, told CNN that upon further communication with the FBI, “we now believe that the day Brian hiked the protected area was Monday, September 13.” His parents had earlier told the authorities that he had left on September 14.
Bartolino told CNN on Wednesday that Chris Laundry went to look for his son on the night of September 13, when he did not return from the park.
The next day, Brian’s parents returned to the area to look for Brian and saw the citation on the car, Bertolino said. The parents returned again the next day, September 15, to retrieve the vehicle.
“The laundry was based on the date that Brian recalled certain events. Upon further communication with the FBI and confirmation of the Mustang being at the laundry residence on Wednesday, September 15, we now believe that the day that Brian protected There was a hike in the area. Monday was September 13,” Bertolino said.
CNN asked Bertolino if Brian’s parents believe he is in the reserve or some other area. “No, they don’t believe he is in any other area. They believe he is protected,” he said.
‘I want to see her in a jail cell for the rest of my life’
Pettito’s body was found on the border of Bridger-Teton National Forest, near the entrance to Grand Teton, a five- to 10-minute walk from where his van was last seen, according to his mother Nicole Schmidt and stepfather. was found on Jim Schmidt, during the second installment of an exclusive Interview with “Dr. Phil” show that aired Wednesday.
Jim Schmidt said that Gabby’s body was in a clearing and right in front of the remains of a ring of fire. “You can see where the rocks were moved to form the ring of fire,” he said.
“It is certainly not an area where there has been heavy smuggling,” he said.
Jim Schmidt left a memorial and sunflowers at the site, CNN has previously reported.
Gabby’s father, Joe Pettito, and his wife, Tara Pettito, along with their lawyer, Richard Stafford, joined Schmidts for an interview with host Phil McGraw.
Joe Petito said he wants Laundry to be found alive so that he can spend his life behind bars.
“I’ve wanted to see him for the rest of my life in a prison cell where – he’s an outsider – in that concrete cell and he can’t go to see and hug those trees – and smell that kind of fresh air,” Petito said.
“I want to look him in the eye,” said Nicole Schmidt.
Bertolino declined to comment on Wednesday’s “Dr. Phil” interview.
In late September, Laundry’s parents, through their attorney, issued a statement saying, “Chris and Roberta Laundry do not know where Brian is. They are concerned about Brian and hope that the The FBI may find him. Speculation in the public and some press that the parents helped Brian leave the family home or evade arrest on a warrant issued after Brian was already missing for several days. It was wrong.”