Three days after Brian Laundrie was named a person of interest in fiancée Gabby Petito’s disappearance, he was also reported missing. The couple had embarked on a cross-country trip together in July, but Laundrie returned solo to his parents’ home in Florida that he shared with the Long Island, New York native, in September — which prompted Petito’s family to seek answers about her whereabouts. Keep reading to learn more about Brian Laundrie.
Who Is Brian Laundrie?
Laundrie, like Petito, is originally from Long Island. He met Petito at Bayport-Blue Point High School. Laundrie proposed to Petito in July 2020 and they lived together with Laundrie’s parents in North Port, Florida. Laundrie returned to his parents’ home without Petito on September 1, and her family reported her missing on September 11.
“Brian Laundrie is a person of interest in this case,” North Port police said about her fiancé in a statement on September 15. “As of now, Brian has not made himself available to be interviewed by investigators or has provided any helpful details.”
Petito documented the couple’s cross-country road trip in their 2012 Ford Transit van throughout the American West via her Instagram account, posting photos with Laundrie until her last post on August 25. When Laundrie returned to Florida, he did so in their van.
Petito’s mother, Nicole Schmidt, said the last text she received from her daughter was on August 30 when Petito allegedly was at the Yosemite National Park in California, but Schmidt is not certain that her daughter was the person who sent the message.
What Happened Between Laundrie and Petito?
On August 12, Petito and Laundrie had an encounter with police in Moab, Utah, following an alleged domestic incident during their travels. According to body camera footage, which was released on September 16, the couple was pulled over after cops were called by a bystander who claimed the couple had been in a fight. “At this point, it sounds like she’s the primary aggressor,” an officer said in the video. After talking with both of them, police later separated the two for the evening, but no charges were filed against either Petito or Laundrie at the time.
Gabby Petito’s Dad Speaks Out Against Brian Laundrie
On September 17, the same day that Laundrie’s lawyer announced he had also gone missing and hadn’t been seen since September 14, Petito’s father opened up about how “useless” Laundrie had been in his daughter’s missing persons investigation prior to his own disappearance.
“You know what. Forget helping at this point. We know that he’s a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest right now,” Joe Petito exclusively told In Touch at the time, expressing frustration that Laundrie had not been cooperating with authorities. “There are ways that he could turn around, through his parents or whoever knows something in that house that can give us information without incriminating somebody. I don’t care right now. I want my daughter. The entire planet is invested in this and looking for her and there are three people in North Port who haven’t lifted a finger.”
Laundrie’s Home Searched After Body Believed to Be Gabby Petito’s Is Found
Human remains believed to be the body of Petito were found in Wyoming on September 19, near Grand Teton National Park where she was believed to have been last seen. The following day, the official FBI Tampa Twitter account revealed that authorities were “executing a court-authorized search warrant today at the Laundrie residence in North Port, Florida relevant to the Gabrielle ‘Gabby’ Petito investigation.”
Laundrie was still missing at the time. His parents, Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie, were home at the time. They were reportedly escorted from their house while the investigation was underway, after which they were allowed to reenter the residence where they may have undergone questioning.
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