BRIAN Laundrie’s “concerned” family have revealed they think he is still in Florida and hope he’ll be found alive, their lawyer said on Friday.
The statement could have a huge impact on search efforts for the missing person of interest in Gabby Petito’s death two weeks after he vanished.
“They are concerned, but hopeful that he is found alive,” the Laundries’ family attorney Steve Bertolino said.
Bertolino’s statement to People is the first Laundrie’s family has made since his disappearance, and after much attention has been brought to their home.
The lawyer also confirmed that Laundrie’s last known contact was his sister Cassie was the last person to have seen Laundrie.
Bertolino confirmed that Cassie was the last to see him while the family was at a campground on September 6, saying she saw twice since his return to Florida, the first being on September 1.
On Good Morning America on September 17, Cassie said “I haven’t been able to talk to him. I wish I could talk to him.”
Laundrie and Petito were about two months into their planned four-month cross-country road trip touring national parks around the United States when Petito vanished sometime around August 27.
Gabby, who had been traveling across the country with Laundrie in their camper van since July 2, was last known to have been visiting Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming on August 25.
She was officially reported missing by her mom on September 11, two weeks after she’d last spoken to her daughter on the phone, and ten days after Laundrie returned home to Florida in Gabby’s van without her.
Read our Brian Laundrie live blog for the very latest news and updates…
He didn’t alert the cops about her disappearance and went missing himself five days before Gabby’s remains were discovered in the Spread Creek Dispersed Campground area, in Grand Teton National Park.
Rose Davis, a friend of Petito, told PEOPLE that the couple’s relationship had soured during the road trip and became “toxic” given that Laundrie had “jealousy issues.”
Laundrie’s disappearance comes after a local sheriff said he wouldn’t have let Laundrie out of his sight after he found out about the couple’s domestic dispute in Moab, Utah.
He became the only person of interest in Petito’s disappearance but not a suspect, and was later issued an arrest warrant by the FBI for an alleged unauthorized debit card use.
Gabby’s cause of death was homicide, according to an autopsy carried out after her body was found but the manner in which she died has yet to be revealed.
Gabby Petito timeline
Gabby Petito, 22, was last seen on August 24, leaving a hotel in Utah. Here is a timeline of Gabby Petito’s disappearance:
- June 2021 – Gabby Petito and her fiancé Brian Laundrie set off on a cross-country trip across the US.
- July 4 – Gabby posts photos of herself barefoot in Gove County, Kansas.
- July 8 – Gabby posts photos of herself at the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado.
- July 18 – Gabby and Brian post photos of themselves at Utah’s Zion National Park.
- August 12 – Body camera footage was released in September showing an encounter Brian and Gabby had with police in Utah. Police confirmed that no significant injuries were reported.
- August 19 – Gabby and Brian post a video on their YouTube channel chronicling their trip.
- August 24 – Gabby is spotted leaving a hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah.
- August 25 – Gabby Facetimes her mom, Nichole Schmidt, for the final time. In a later police report, Schmidt said her conversations with her daughter revealed “more and more tension” between her and Brian.
- August 25 – Gabby also posts her last Instagram. No location is given.
- August 27 – Gabby is seen for what’s believed to be the final time. Witnesses claim they saw Brian in an explosive argument with staff at a restaurant in Jackson Hole, leaving Gabby in tears.
- August 27 – Four hours later, travel bloggers driving through Grand Teton National Park drive past the couple’s van “abandoned” on a dirt road.
- September 1 – Brian returns home to Florida without Gabby.
- September 11 – Gabby’s parents report her missing to Suffolk County police.
- September 14 – Brian’s family issues a statement saying he has retained an attorney and will not be cooperating with investigators.
- September 14 – Brian is allegedly last seen by his family. He reportedly told them he was going hiking in Cartlon Reserve but failed to return.
- September 15 – Florida’s North Port police announce Brian is a person of interest in the case. He is not charged with any crime.
- September 16 – Utah police release body camera footage of the police encounter with Brian and Gabby.
- September 17 – Brian’s parents say they have not seen their son in a couple of days and report him missing.
- September 18 – Police announce they were searching Carlton Reserve in Florida for Brian. Police announce they have not found anything.
- September 19 – Authorities in Wyoming say they found a body in Grand Teton National Park. The FBI announces the body was believed to be Gabby’s but a full forensic identification needs to be completed first to confirm.
- September 20 – Police execute a search warrant on Laundrie’s home, seizing his silver Mustang and a hard drive that may contain “evidence relevant to proving that a felony has been committed.”
- September 21 – Officials announce they will be conducting an autopsy on the remains found in Wyoming to confirm whether or not they belong to Gabby. Police also resumed their search for Laundrie, this time on the Venice side of Carlton Reserve.
- September 21 – The FBI announced the body found in Wyoming was identified as Gabby’s. The cause of death was not yet revealed.
- September 21 – The Teton County Coroner’s office said Gabby’s official cause of death was still pending but the initial manner of death is homicide.
- September 22 – Police continue to scour Carlton Reserve for a trace of Laundrie but yield no leads. A specialist dive team is called in to assist with the hunt.
- September 23 – Officials announced a federal arrest warrant for Brian was issued.
- September 26 – Gabby’s funeral was held on Long Island, New York.
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