Brian Laundrie's parents think he's STILL in Florida and hope he's found alive
NORTH PORT, FLORIDA: The family of Brian Laundrie, the boyfriend of murdered Florida vlogger Gabby Petito, still believes that he is safe and somewhere in Florida. Laundrie has been named a "person of interest" in the case but not a suspect. He however has an active arrest warrant against him for the alleged unauthorized use of a debit card.
Petito and Laundrie had embarked on a cross-country trip back in July and on September 1, he returned home without her in the van they had traveled in together during the trip. Laundrie has reportedly not been seen since September 14 and was confirmed 'missing' on September 17. This led police to search the nearby Carlton Reserve for Laundrie, but with zero luck so far. Since then, Gabby's body has been discovered in a Wyoming park by the authorities. Teton County Coroner Dr Brent Blue confirmed the vlogger's death was a homicide but the immediate cause of death is still unclear as police are still waiting for the final autopsy results.
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Is Brian Laundrie still alive?
Laundrie family's attorney Steve Bertolino told People magazine that the missing man's parents "are concerned but hopeful that he is found alive." Laundrie is wanted by the FBI on an active arrest warrant issued last week on allegations of unauthorized use of a debit card.
According to investigators, Petito died sometime between Aug 27 and Aug 30. After driving back to his North Port, Florida home, Laundrie had lawyered up and refrained from speaking with the authorities about what happened on his trip or about Petito's whereabouts. His last known interaction with law enforcement was on August 12, when police in Moab, Utah, investigated a possible domestic violence case between the couple, which was reported by witnesses. At the time, after talking separately to Petito and Laundrie, the police determined that the 22-year-old vlogger was the main aggressor and suggested that they stay apart for the night. According to a newly unsealed search warrant connected to the case, the police believe the relationship between the couple became strained during their tragic road trip. Petito's best friend, Rose Davis, told People magazine that the couple's relationship was "toxic," and that Laundrie had "jealousy issues."
Did Laundrie's sister lie about meeting her brother?
As the FBI is trying to piece together Laundrie's actions for the past month, it appears that his last known contact was with his sister, Cassie, who was with him on a family camping trip on September 6 and 7, and apparently chose to lie about it in her interview with 'Good Morning America' (GMA). During her appearance, she maintained that she never saw her brother after September 1, which is the day he came back from the road trip sans his girlfriend.
"I haven't been able to talk to him. I wish I could talk to him," she said on the show, indicating that Laundrie locked himself away as soon as he returned, before eventually disappearing. However, that doesn't seem to be the entire truth. "Cassie saw her brother Brian on Sept 1 when he stopped by her home and again on Sept 6 at Fort De Soto Park. Law enforcement agencies are well aware of these dates," Bertolino told New York Post on October 1.
That confirmation came after Dog the Bouthy Hunter, who has joined in the efforts to locate Laundrie, noted that Cassie went with Brian and their parents on a camping trip between September 6 and 7. It was previously believed only Brian and his parents went, but Dog noted that Cassie too joined them. Since the time frame to which she's referring is unclear from the portions of the interview shown on GMA, the Laundrie family has attributed Cassie's comments to miscommunication on her part.
Bertolino issued a statement, saying, in part, "Law enforcement agencies are well aware of these dates. Any prior communication by Cassie that does not reflect these dates is simply a difference of relating an answer to a question misinterpreted by Cassie or poorly posed by the inquirer."