Police announced late Friday that officers were looking for Brian Laundry, the fiancee of Gabby Petito, who is missing. The couple left for a cross-country road-trip in July, but only to do the laundry, returning to their parents’ home in North Port, Florida on September 1. Says the police.
Police named Laundry a person interested in Petito’s disappearance, but he declined to speak to police. Police said no charges have been filed and the case is still a missing person’s case.
Laundry’s family told officials on Friday that they had not seen him since Tuesday, According to a statement from North Port, Florida Police. Police said Friday was the first time officers had spoken in detail about the matter with Laundry and the family had requested a meeting.
Laundry’s family filed a missing report at around 5 p.m. Friday, said North Port Police spokesman Josh Taylor. told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, which is part of the USA Today Network.
Lawyers for the Petito family issued a statement saying the laundry was not “missing.”
Delightful video, disturbing journey:Police bodycam footage is the latest twist in the Gabby Petito mystery
“All of Gabby’s family wants the world to know that Brian is not missing, he is hiding. Gabby is missing,” said the statement from Richard B. Stafford’s law office.
Laundry’s attorney issued a statement of his own: “Be advised that Brian Laundry’s whereabouts are currently unknown,” said Steven Bertolino. “The FBI is currently clearing property at the Laundry residence to assist in locating Brian. As of now, the FBI is now looking for both Gabby and Brian.
Police say Laundry returned to North Port without Petito in his van 10 days before September 1. His family had informed him about his disappearance.
The 22-year-old was last seen in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming on August 30.
As police interrogated Laundry’s family at their home, protesters gathered outside, crowding the lawn and shouting “Where’s Gabby?”
In a statement on Friday, the North Port Police Department said it is not currently working on a crime investigation and instead, the case is now being treated as an investigation into more than one missing person.
The agency said they and the FBI were requesting the family to speak to investigators about a week before the Friday night meeting.
“While we understand the frustration of the community, we are also disappointed,” the statement said.
Here’s what we know:
What we knew on Friday:Gabby Petito’s family is being ‘tortured’ for lack of information
Laundry, family accused of hiding information
Investigators have accused the laundry and its surroundings of concealing important information.
When officers confiscated the van at his home in North Port, Laundry refused to speak to officers and instead hired a lawyer.
“It rips you apart,” North Port Police Department spokesman Josh Taylor said of Petito’s family at a news conference Friday. “They are being tortured right now for their ability to have someone’s information and not relay it.”
“I believe Brian has the information,” Todd Garrison, chief of the North Port Police Department in Florida, said at a news conference Thursday.
Police said the laundry is enforcing its Fifth Amendment prohibition of speaking.
Laundry’s lawyer said he advised the laundry not to speak.
“Many are wondering why Mr. Laundry will not make a statement or speak with law enforcement in Ms. Petito’s absence,” Bertolino said in a statement. “In my experience, intimate partners are often the first person law enforcement turns their attention to in cases like this and the warning that ‘any statement will be used against you’ is true, even though my client’s response to Ms. Has anything to do with it or not. Pettito’s disappearance. So Mr. Laundry is not speaking on the matter on the advice of a lawyer.”
Who is Gabby Petito?
Petito is an aspirant blogger And the YouTuber has thousands of fans. One Delightful Viral Video Titled “Beginning Our One Life Journey” Their YouTube channel called Nomadic Static showcasing the couple’s cross-country trek has been shared around the world.
Petito is described as a white female, about 5 feet, 5 inches tall and 110 pounds. She has blonde hair, blue eyes and several tattoos, including one on her finger and one on her forearm that read “Let it be.”
Who is Brian Laundry?
Childhood sweethearts 23-year-old Laundry and Pitio are about to get married. They moved from Blue Point, New York to North Port in 2019 to live with their parents.
Police investigate argument between couple in Utah
After a witness reported a possible domestic violence situation, police investigated an argument between the couple in August.
Body camera footage released Thursday shows Petito tearing up his eyes while an officer in Moab, Utah, responds along a highway near Arches National Park.
Laundry told an officer that Petito slapped her after several days of friction between them. The official wrote that the two had been traveling together for several months, and the closeness created an “emotional tension” that led to further arguments.
Laundry told an officer that she and Petito both suffered from the same mental health problem. The police report redacted specific information on the situation.
Officers in the video tell the couple to sleep in separate places for the night so that they can “correct their mental state without interference from each other.”
“I do not believe the situation has escalated to the level of a domestic assault, as much as a mental health crisis,” the official concluded in the report.
Police got flood of tips
Taylor said Friday the department had received “an enormous amount of suggestions”, estimating that more than 1,000 have come.
“Most of them aren’t helpful, but it’s those little nuggets, they’re little pieces,” he said.
Gabby Pettito’s father, Joe, asked Thursday for information that could help locate his daughter.
“I am asking everyone at home for help,” he said at a news conference. “I’m asking for help from Brian’s parents, and I’m asking for help from family members and friends of the laundry family.”
Anyone with information can contact us through the national hotline to receive suggestions at 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324).
Contributions: Patricia McKnight, Sarasota Herald-Tribune; Mike James, USA Today; The Associated Press