- Police continue to hunt down aspiring YouTuber and blogger Gabriel “Gabi” Pettito after she didn’t come home from a cross-country trip with her fiancé in August.
- Pettito’s fiancé, Brian Laundry, has been described as a “person of interest,” although no charges have been brought in the missing persons case.
- Investigators say Londry and those around him are withholding important information about Pettito’s disappearance.
As police continue to search for Gabriel “Gabi” Pettito, who has not returned home after a cross-country trip in August, detectives say her fiancé and those around him are withholding important information.
Police in three states said Pettito, 22, was last seen at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming on August 30. Her fiancé, 23-year-old Brian Laundry, is being called a significant figure in the case after he drove back to the couple’s main Florida residence on September 1 without her.
Authorities said Laundry refused to speak with authorities when the truck was seized at their Northport, Florida home, and instead hired a lawyer, hindering the Pettito family’s search for answers.
“They are being tortured right now by the possibility of someone having information and not passing it on,” said Josh Taylor, Northport Police Director of Communications. In a live press conference on Friday.
“I think Brian has the information,” said Todd Garrison, chief of the Northport Police Department in Florida. At a press conference on Thursday.
Late Friday, Taylor said Laundry’s family told police they did not know his whereabouts.
“We’ve been trying all week to talk to his family, talk to Brian, and now they called us here on Friday, we went home, and now they say they haven’t seen their son,” Taylor told CNN. “So we’re working through these details as we speak. It’s another development in this story.”
Laundry’s attorney, Stephen Bertolino, told outlets that the FBI is also looking for him.
“I can’t confirm his whereabouts,” Taylor told Fox News Friday night. “He’s an ordinary citizen, not a suspect.”
The Petito family’s attorney released a statement saying “Brian is not missing.”
“All of Gabe’s family want the world to know that Brian is not missing, he is in hiding. Gabe is missing,” a statement from the law firm of Richard Stafford said.
No charges were brought in the missing persons case.
Taylor estimated on Friday that more than 1,000 advice had arrived. “I don’t know we got to the point where it was resolved by any means,” Taylor said. “But the goal now is to get Gabe home.”
The couple had been posting photos and videos of their trip on social media, and a police cam video showed an argument between the couple before Pettito’s disappearance.
Joe appealed to Gabi Pettito’s father on Thursday for information that could help find his daughter.
“I am asking for help from everyone in the house,” he told a news conference. “I’m asking for help from my parents, Brian, and I’m asking for help from family members and friends from the Laundry family.”
Pettito’s stepfather, James Schmidt, told CNN affiliate CNN that there was no contact between the Pettito and Londry families.
Here’s what we know about the case.
Who is Gabi Pettito?
Pettito, ambitious blogger A YouTuber, she has gained widespread media attention since her disappearance.
A viral, poetic video entitled “Beginning Our Van Life Journey” On her YouTube channel called Nomadic Statik, shared around the world, she shows the young couple kissing, having breakfasts of granola and yogurt and wheeling around on the beach during their cross-country trip.
In the video description, Pettito wrote how the two made a pickup truck to help them in their quest to “live in backpackers.”
Pettito is described as a white female who is around 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 says “So be it.”
Who is Brian Laundry?
Laundry and Petio are engaged to be married. They are childhood sweethearts and moved from Blue Point, New York, in 2019 to live with his parents in Northport.
Police say Laundry is invoking the Fifth Amendment by his right not to speak.
Bertolino said he advised Laundry not to speak.
“Many people are asking why Mr. Laundry is not making a statement or speaking with law enforcement in the face of Pettito’s absence,” Bertolino said in a statement. “In my experience, intimate partners are often the first person law enforcement focuses their attention on in such cases, and the warning that ‘any statement made against you’ is true, regardless of whether my client has anything to do with Mrs. Pettito’s disappearance. Therefore, on the advice of counsel, Mr. Laundry does not speak on this matter.”
Police investigate a fight between a couple in Utah
In August, police investigated an altercation between the couple after a witness reported possible domestic violence.
Body camera footage released Thursday shows the officer in Moab, Utah, responding on the side of a highway near Arches National Park.
Laundry told an officer that Pettit had slapped him and that friction had been building between them for several days. The officer wrote that the two had been traveling together for several months, and that the closeness created “emotional stress” and led to further disagreements between them.
“It was just a fight,” Laundry said in the video. “Sorry it had to become public.”
Laundry tells an officer that he and Pettito have the same mental health issue. The police report revised specific information on the case.
In the video, officers told the couple to sleep in separate places at night so they could “reset their mental state without interference from each other.”
“I don’t think the situation has escalated to the level of domestic abuse so much as a mental health crisis,” the officer concluded in the report.
Anyone with information can contact the National Advice Hotline at 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324).
Contributing: Patricia McKnight, Sarasota Herald-Tribune; Michael James, USA TODAY; Associated Press