NORTH PORT, Fla. (ABC4) – It has almost been a week since 22-year-old Gabby Petito was reported missing by her family in New York. Ten days before her disappearance, her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, returned to their Florida home, with the van they had been road tripping in.
In a Thursday press conference, North Port Police say they have not yet heard from Laundrie. Authorities say they cannot bring Laundrie in for questioning either. Laundrie’s lawyer has released a statement saying Laundrie will not speak, despite him being named a person of interest. His lawyer says it’s for his protection.
“What I need from everybody here is help,” Joe Petito, Petito’s father, said during a press conference with North Port Police in Florida. “The goal is still not met. That goal is to bring Gabby home safe.”
Petito and Laundrie had been on a road trip across the U.S. since mid-summer. In body camera video from Moab Police, Laundrie can be heard saying the pair planned to travel to Washington and Oregon. The couple were in Moab in mid-August and authorities believed Petito was last in Grand Teton National Park.
Before her disappearance, Moab Police were called to an incident between Petito and Laundrie outside a co-op in Moab on August 12. The incident was determined to be a domestic problem but no arrests were made and no charges were filed.
LATEST ON DISAPPEARANCE OF GABBY PETITO
After making contact with the couple, Moab Police determined Petito was the “primary aggressor” in the incident. The couple separated the pair, bringing Laundrie to a hotel in Moab and letting Petito remain in the van. You can watch the full body camera footage from Moab Police, lasting more than an hour, here.
On Wednesday, North Port Police in Florida determined Laundrie is a person of interest in this case. After returning to Florida 10 days before Petito was reported missing, Laundrie “has not made himself available to be interviewed by investigators or has provided any helpful details.” He returned to the home he and Petito share with his parents with the van.
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“Our focus is to finding Gabby,” Todd Garrison, North Port Police Chief said during the press conference. He asks for anyone with information about Petito or her disappearance to contact authorities. According to Garrison, there is no “grid search” for Petito as they continue to follow up on tips and information provided.
The FBI has set up a national hotline to receive tips: 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324). That is the primary tip line for any information about Petito’s whereabouts. If you saw the van, seen here, or have any other information, authorities want to speak with you.
Petito is believed to have been in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming before last speaking with her family. She is described as white, approximately 5’5″ and 110 pounds. She has blonde hair and blue eyes, and several tattoos, including one on her finger and one on her forearm that reads “let it be.”