According to police, the family of a Florida man who returned home from a cross-country road trip without his fiancée Gabby Petito say he is also now missing.
Authorities in several states are looking for 22-year-old Petito after his partner, 23-year-old Brian Laundry, returned to Florida alone on Sept. Laundry, who has been named as a person of interest in the missing person’s case, has declined to speak to police or the media, except in his lawyer’s statements.
On Friday, the North Port Police went to the laundry home to talk to the family. In a statement after his visit, police said the family claimed they had not seen Brian since Tuesday.
Police said the laundry’s lawyer had called them to “talk about their son’s disappearance”.
“While we understand the frustration of the community, we are also disappointed,” the statement said.
“For six days, the North Port Police Department and the FBI have been requesting the family to contact investigators regarding Brian’s fiancée Gabby Petito. Friday is the first time he has spoken in detail with investigators.”
Police Spokesperson Josh Taylor Told CNN’s Chris Cuomo Friday Night That the revelation of Laundry’s disappearance is “another twist in this story.”
“What the family knows, we need to know from them,” Taylor said. “It is quite possible that (Laundry) shared some of these details (about Petito’s disappearance) with him. … Of course we would like to share with us what he shared with them. “
Laundry family attorney Stephen Bertolino said A statement to ABC and told other outlets Friday night that Brian Laundry’s whereabouts are “currently unknown” and that the FBI was removing property from the family home to help with their search.
“As of now the FBI is now looking for both Gabby and Brian,” the lawyer said.
Laundry and Petito initially set out together in a van on a summer-long tour of the national parks, in a trip they aimed to document on their blog, Nomadic Static. The couple were also documenting their journey on social media.
Petito’s family say they became concerned about their daughter in late August, when she stopped making three-a-week FaceTime calls with her mother. His last call was on August 23 or 24.
Officials say they last saw the couple together on video in Salt Lake City, where footage shows them leaving a hotel on Aug. Police say they were on their way to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
Laundry appeared with the van on September 1 at their shared home in Florida. Petito was not in the car and Laundry has not spoken publicly since.
Petito’s family reported her missing on September 11, and requested Laundry and her family to speak to the police and provide any information that would help locate Pettito. The Laundries, through their lawyer Bertolino, had declined to comply with those appeals as of Friday.
Police in Moab, Utah, released a bodycam video Thursday that showed officers responding to an emotional petito on the side of the road after a fight with Laundry, when it was last heard. No charges were leveled but officials separated the couple for the night.
Petito’s mother says she last heard from her daughter in a text message on August 30, but she’s not sure her daughter wrote the message.
Bertolino has said that his client has “nothing to offer” in the case, and will remain “in the background” until the investigation unfolds.
“Intimate partners are often the first people law enforcement focus their attention on in cases like this, and the caveat that ‘any statement will be used against you’ holds true, even if my client’s follow-up from Ms. Petito’s disappearance There may be nothing to do, Bertolino said in a statement on Thursday.
“Mr. Laundry will remain silent on the advice of the lawyer.”
The police have confiscated the couple’s van.
Petito is described as a white-haired, blue-eyed woman with many tattoos. She is five feet five inches tall and weighs around 110 pounds.
-With files from Josh Elliott of Granthshala