North Port Police have officially named Gabby Petito’s boyfriend a person of interest in her disappearance.
Petito was reported missing on September 1oth after a cross-country road trip with her boyfriend Brian Laundrie which began in July.
Authorities say Laundrie returned to North Port on Sept. 1 where he lived with his family and Petito but did not return with Petito. Officials also reported that despite Petito being nowhere to be found, her van they were traveling in was found at Laundrie’s residence and that authorities were only informed of Petito’s disappearance after Petito’s family contacted them.
While authorities say they have not found information that a crime occurred, Laundrie has refused to make himself available to be interviewed by investigators and he is rufusing to provide any ” helpful details.”
“We’re hopeful to talk to him. He needs to talk to us,” Taylor said. “We need to know exactly where he was, where she was, their last locations. And the fact that he was back here for 10 days, you know the family reported her missing 10 days later …”
Petito documented the trip consistently on social media but her entry’s stopped on August 25th where she was believed to be in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, according to a text message she sent to her mother.
While Laundrie has refused to speak, his family released a statement Tuesday night that read:
“This is understandably an extremely difficult time for both the Petito family and the Laundrie family. It is our understanding that a search has been organized for Miss Petito in or near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. On behalf of the Laundrie family it is our hope that the search for Miss Petito is successful and that Miss Petito is reunited with her family. On the advice of counsel, the Laundrie family is remaining in the background at this juncture and will have no further comment.”
The Petito family also released a statement saying:
“The Schmidt and Petito family beg the Laundrie family to not ‘remain in the background’ but to help find who Brian referred to as the love of his life. How does Brian stay in the background when he is the one person that knows where Gabby is located?”
Investigators have been asking for the public’s help regarding Petito’s disappearance.
Latest on Petito case Wednesday September 15, 11:30am. Please use 1-800 CALLFBI pic.twitter.com/NpkUEjoME5
— North Port Police (@NorthPortPolice) September 15, 2021
The couple was set to travel from New York where Petito’s family originated from to Florida, if you have any information about this incident, you are asked to contact the FBI at 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324).