Missing Florida woman’s boyfriend named person of interest after cross-country road trip

Police says ‘lack of information’ from Brian Laundrie hindering investigation

Missing Florida woman’s boyfriend named person of interest after cross-country road trip

NORTH PORT, Fla. – The boyfriend of a 22-year-old Florida woman who was reported missing this week after a cross-country road trip has been named a person of interest in her disappearance, according to the North Port Police Department.

Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito was last in contact with her family in late August. She and her partner, identified as Brian Laundrie, were on a cross-country road trip that started in Florida, according to a GoFundMe account started for Petito.

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The department said Laundrie has not been cooperative with investigators and has officially been named a person of interest in her disappearance.

“We are pleading with anyone, including Brian, to share information with us on her whereabouts in the past few weeks. The lack of information from Brian is hindering this investigation. The answers will eventually come out. We will help find Gabby and we will help find anyone who may be involved in her disappearance,” Chief Todd Garrison said.

Petito and Laundrie had been documenting their road trip on social media, including on a YouTube channel with a single video uploaded on Aug. 19. Police said the van the two were traveling in was found at her home on Sept. 11, but she was not with the vehicle. According to the department, the home is shared with her boyfriend and his parents.

Camper van located at 22-year-old Gabrielle Petito's home in North Port, Florida. (Image: North Port Police Department) (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

“We know Brian returned here to North Port on September 1st — ten days before her family reported her missing on September 11th. We have no information that a crime occurred here in North Port,” the department wrote on Facebook.

The woman’s family told police they last heard from Petito during the last week of August. Before their last contact, police said Petito is believed to have been in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

The 22-year-old last posted to Instagram on Aug. 25. Her posts show stops along the couple’s journey in Arches National Park, Colorado and backpacking along the Appalachian Trail in Georgia.

Petito is described as being 5 feet and 5 inches tall and weighing 110 pounds. She has blonde hair, blue eyes and several tattoos, including one on her forearm that reads “let it be.”

Anyone who would like to submit a tip or has seen the camper van pictured above is asked to call the FBI’s national hotline at 1-800-225-5324.

About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined ClickOrlando.com in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.