Gabby Petito Case Part 3


Emily Pyskacek

Where is Petito? On September 11th, Petito’s family filed a missing person’s report with the Suffolk County Police Department in New York. The family says in the report that Petito stopped communicating with her friends and family and that she was believed to be near Grand Teton National Park when they last spoke to her. At this point, Laundrie wouldn’t come out and speak to the public whatsoever. While Petito’s family and the majority of the community were searching for her, Brian was just sitting in the comfort of his home. On September 14, Laundrie and his family released a statement that he will remain silent under the advice of his counsel, however, Laundrie did state through an attorney that a search for Petito is underway in Wyoming. It also says that the Laundrie family is “remaining in the background of the investigation.” Later that day, Petito’s family issued a statement right back, accusing Laundrie of refusing to tell them where he last saw his girlfriend. At this point, the two families, Petito and Laundrie, will not have spoken in person or to the public about the situation. Every comment made further has been through lawyers or attorneys.

On September 15, The North Port Police named Laundrie a “person of interest.” The Laundrie family lawyer, Steven Bertolino, said he advised Laundrie not to speak with law enforcement. The next day, on September 16, the Petito family released a letter to the Laundrie family pleading for their cooperation. The letter reads, “We understand you are going through a difficult time, and your instinct to protect your son is strong. We ask you to put yourself in our shoes. We haven’t been able to sleep or eat and our lives are falling apart. Please, if you or your family has any decency left, please tell us where Gabby is located. Tell us if we are even looking in the right place. All we want is for PysGabby to come home. Please help us make that happen.” That same day, at a press conference, North Port police said there was no evidence of “criminality” in Petito’s disappearance and that it was still being treated as a “missing person case.” 

Just the next day, after the statements came out from both lawyers, on September 17, Laundrie was reported missing by his family. According to both the attorney for the family and the North Port Police, Laundrie’s family said they had not seen him in days since September 13. Laundrie’s family said the last time they saw him he left with a backpack and told them he was going to the Carlton Reserve near their home in Florida. That day police officers visited Laundrie’s home for two and a half hours having a “conversation” with his parents while dozens of citizens protested outside yelling “bring him out.” At one point during this visit, police appeared to take an evidence bag into the home before leaving without taking anyone into custody. That day, Petito’s family lawyer came out with a statement saying “All of Gabby’s family want the world to know that Brian is not missing, he is hiding. Gabby is missing.” On September 18, more than 50 police officers accompanied by FBI agents, drones, K-9 and bloodhounds started to search for Laundrie in over 25,000 acres of a nature preserve. North Port police said at a news conference that a tip from the family drove law enforcement to the Carlton Reserve. The Carlton Reserve is an area where Laundrie frequently goes for hikes. Josh Taylor, North Port’s police spokesperson, says that Laundries’ knowledge of the area paired with his “living off the grid” skills could enable him to “be out here for months if he wanted.” The search this day ended with “nothing found.” Cops, however, were investigating a photo taken of a man resembling Laundrie about two blocks away from his home. 

Will cops and investigators find Laundrie? Will we ever find out what happened to Gabby Petito? Check back on for part 4 to find out.