(NewsNation Now) — Brian Laundrie’s sister, Cassie, took questions from a small group of protesters outside her home Monday and clarified some of the timeline around her brother’s disappearance and the death of Gabby Petito.
The video, shared exclusively with Nexstar’s NewsNation, was taken by a man who claimed to know the Petito family. In the video, Cassie Laundrie confirmed Brian flew home to Florida from the western U.S. at some point on or before Aug. 17, five days after he and Gabby Petito were pulled over and separated by police in Moab, Utah.
The group asked whether Cassie believed her brother killed Petito, and whether she thought he was still alive. Her answers to both questions were the same: “I don’t know.”
She told the group she did not know anything was wrong until police began questioning her family on Sept. 11. She said she saw Brian on Sept. 1 when he and their parents arrived in the family Mustang, not the van he and Petito had been traveling the country in. She also saw him at a family vacation Sept. 6, but said she had no reason to suspect any problems.
Cassie talked with the group for nearly 20 minutes, and admitted doing so likely wouldn’t please their attorney, but she said the protesters’ persistence was upsetting her children and neighbors.
“This is not what we want to be doing,” Cassie says. “This is not how we want the world to find out when we’re angry and upset. But I can’t have my kids be crying for three days in a row.”
She also said news media misconstrued her answer to a question about the last time she saw Brian Laundrie. In an interview with ABC News on Sept. 16, she said “I haven’t been able to talk to him.” That was taken to mean she hadn’t heard from him since Petito disappeared.
You can watch the full, unedited interview in the player below.
But she said Monday that answer was in response to a question along the lines of “What has been the weirdest thing of all of this?” and not “Have you spoken to your brother since Petito vanished?”
The family’s attorney, Steven Bertolino, said Friday Cassie was with the family at Fort De Soto on Sept. 6, which she confirmed to the group outside her home. She said she has not been able to speak with her family during the investigation, and was critical of Bertolino’s statement.
“I’m in the boat where I’m getting ignored by my family and thrown under the bus by my family’s attorney,” she said.
When asked for comment, Bertolino said, “I do not represent Cassie Laundrie. Cassie’s comments can only be attributed to the press twisting my words and hers, which were only given to clarify prior mischaracterizations by the press, with the hopes of further sensationalizing this tragic story.”
A person in the group asked what she thought when she began to put the pieces together Sept. 11, but she said that’s something she was “not allowed to answer.”
She said she was “just as baffled and blown away as everybody else” at her parents’ public silence thus far. She also told the group Brian was never violent or “abusive” toward Petito or anyone else that she saw. During the exchange, Cassie asked the group to stop harassing their neighborhood.
“The thing about it is, we know Gabby’s family,” the man recording the video said.
“We do, too,” Cassie replied. “What do you want us to do? We cooperated with the police. We’re not supposed to talk to anybody and you’re making my children cry.”
“We would like to give [Brian’s] nephews an answer to when they can see their grandparents again,” said Cassie’s husband, James Luycx. “When you know, [they can] see their uncle or anything that. He was their hero.”
At the end of the video, the group vowed to leave and not come back.