Gabby Petito and Brian Laundry embarked on a cross-country road trip in early July, but Pettito has been missing since late August.
The family of missing New York woman Gabby Pettito issued a scathing statement Tuesday night to tell her fiancé Brian Laundry where he last saw her in Wyoming.
Petito, 22, and Laundry, 23, were road tripping across the US in their white Ford Transit van, which police have recovered as part of their disappearance investigation. According to police, she was last seen in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park in late August, and was reported missing over the weekend after her parents hadn’t heard of her in a week.
He drove his van back to Florida without her, hired a lawyer and did not publicly explain why. Search efforts are underway in Wyoming in which he is not participating.
Gabby Petito missing: Fiancee’s lawyer says search en route to Grand Teton after returning to Florida
“Brian is refusing to tell Gabby’s family where he last saw him,” the family alleged in a joint statement. “Bryan is also refusing to explain why he left Gabby alone and drove his van to Florida. These are important questions that need immediate answers.”
Laundry has not been charged with a crime or of playing a role in Pettito’s disappearance. Police in North Port, Fla., called the case “strange” and told the New York Post that his parents refused to make him available to speak with investigators.
“The Schmidt and Petito family ask Brian to come forward and at least let us know if we’re looking in the right area,” the statement concluded.
Earlier on Tuesday, laundry attorney Steven Bertolino said the fiancé’s family hoped Petito would be reunited and reunited with her parents.
The Schmidt and Petito families are going through the worst moments of their lives. Their beautiful twenty-two-year-old daughter is missing and a man helping her find Gabby refuses to help. Brian Laundry was traveling with Gabby to the Grand Teton-Yellowstone area. They were traveling together in Gabby’s 2012 Ford Transit van. This is where we believe Gabby was last seen.
Brian refuses to tell Gabby’s family where he last saw her. Brian also refuses to explain why he left Gabby alone and takes her van to Florida. These are important questions that need immediate answers.
Schmidt and the Petito family plead with the Laundry family not to “stay in the background” but to help out, referring to Brian as the love of his life. How does Brian stay in the background when he’s the only person who knows where Gabby is located?
The Schmidt and Petito family ask Brian to come forward and at least tell us if we’re looking in the right area.
“On behalf of the Laundry family, it is our hope that the search for Miss Petito is successful and that Miss Petito is reunited with her family,” said Bertolino. “On the advice of attorneys, the Laundry family is in the background at this time and would not comment further.”
Petito’s family statement urged the laundry to do the opposite.
Florida police call missing woman case ‘strange’
“The Schmidt and Petito families beg the laundry family not to ‘stay in the background,’ but to help them, referring to Brian as the love of their life,” he said. “How does Brian stay in the background when he’s the only person who knows where Gabby is located?”
The family believes that petito was last seen in the Grand Teton or Yellowstone areas.
Laundry returned to his parents’ home this week, where police confiscated the van as evidence in the missing person’s case.
Petito’s native Suffolk County, NY, and Laundry’s North Port, Fla., as well as the FBI’s police investigation.
Officials described the missing petito as white and about 5 feet, 5 inches tall, weighing about 110 pounds. She has blonde hair and blue eyes, and several tattoos, including one on her finger and one on her forearm that read “Let it be.”
Petito and Laundry began their journey on July 2, and the missing woman’s mother said during a news conference on Monday that they were in regular contact until the last week of August.
“The last message I got from him was on August 30,” Pettito’s mother, Nicole Schmidt, said. “I don’t know if she was messaging me or not.”