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Investigators speak with family of Gabby Petito’s fiancé, man’s whereabouts unknown

Fiancé considered person of interest in 22-year-old’s disappearance

NORTH PORT, Fla. – Investigators spoke with the family of Brian Laundrie, the last person who was seen with missing 22-year-old Gabby Petito, on Friday.

The FBI reports that Laundrie’s whereabouts are now unknown and the North Port police chief said the man was not present when his family was being interviewed.

“They (Laundrie’s family) called us there this evening and once we’ve gotten there, they are now claiming they have not seen their son since Tuesday,” said Joshua Taylor, public information officer for North Port police.

Police in North Port, where the couple lived, say Laundrie is a “person of interest” in her disappearance. He’s not been charged, but he’s also not cooperating. The North Port Police Department wrote on Facebook, “while Brian is a person of interest in Gabby’s disappearance, he is not wanted for a crime. We are not currently working a crime investigation. We are now working a multiple missing person investigations.”

“We’ve been trying all week to talk to his family, to talk to Brian and now they’ve called us here on Friday, we’ve gone to the home and they are saying now they have not seen their son,” Taylor said. “It is another twist in the story for sure.”

The woman went missing while on a cross-country road trip with Laundrie. She was documenting her travels on Instagram and TikTok for the last two years but was recently reported missing by her family after Laundrie returned to North Port on Sept. 1, but she did not.

Police on Thursday released video showing Petito in an emotional fight with her fiancé before she vanished. The video, released by the Moab Police Department, shows that an officer pulled over a van on Aug. 12 after it was seen speeding and hit a curb near the entrance to Arches National Park.

Six days later, the bodies of two newlyweds, Kylen Schulte, 24, and Crystal Turner, 38, were found at a campsite near Moab. Schulte and Turner had told friends they feared a “creepy man” they had seen nearby might harm them.

North Port police said Thursday that investigators had not ruled out a connection between Petito’s disappearance and the murders; however, Sheriff Steven White of Grand County, Utah said in a news release Friday the two cases are unrelated, without providing any details.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.


About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.