Brian Laundrie's sister Cassie confirms he did fly to Florida on Aug 17 after Utah fight
Cassie, Brian Laundrie's sister, confirms that Brian flew home to Florida from the western US at some point on or before August 17
LAKEWOOD RANCH, FLORIDA: While it would seem that Brian Laundrie's sister Cassie Laundrie is getting thrown under the bus by her family for talking to the press, her statements have been crucial to understanding the timeline for Gabrielle ‘Gabby’ Petito’s disappearance and death better. Addressing protesters and reporters outside her Lakewood Ranch home Monday, October 4, Cassie confirmed that Brian flew home to Florida from the western US at some point on or before August 17. As it has been famously documented now, the couple was pulled over, questioned and separated by police officers in Moab, Utah, on August 12 after reports of intimate partner violence.
Laundrie's family attorney Steve Bertolino told Fox News on October 4 that he does not represent Cassie Laundrie. He said, “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."
Earlier, reports claimed that Brian was in Florida from August 17 to 23 and helped his father move his and Petito’s things out of a storage unit. He then reportedly went back to Utah and the couple checked out of the hotel on August 24. Petito's mother, Nichole Schmidt, said the last text message she received from her daughter came on August 30. She said she was unsure if it was her daughter actually sent those text messages.
Cassie, when asked if she believed her brother killed Petito, and whether she thought he was still alive, said, “I don’t know.” She said that she did not know anything was wrong until police began questioning her family starting September 11 — when Petito was finally reported missing.
Cassie admitted that she saw Brian on September 1 when he and their parents arrived in the family Mustang, and later at a family vacation on September 6, but said she had no reason to suspect any problems. Cassie also claimed that the news media had misconstrued her answer to a question about the last time she saw Brian. In an interview with ABC News on September 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. But she clarified 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?”
Cassie said that she was “just as baffled and blown away as everybody else” at her parents’ public silence thus far. She, however, also defended her brother. She said that Brian was never violent or “abusive” toward Petito or anyone else that she saw.
Brian’s family said they have not seen him since September 14. He told his parents he was going for a hike in the Carlton Reserve, a roughly 25,000-acre wetlands area in Sarasota County and has not been seen since. Laundrie's family told police he left home with his backpack. Since then, authorities have launched a manhunt that has yet to show any result. Petito’s remains were found on September 19 in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Her death was ruled a homicide.