Brian Laundrie’s parents change story, lawyer claims they saw him last on Sept 13
Steve Bertolino, the lawyer representing Brian Laundrie's parents, has revealed that he went missing earlier than the family initially told the authorities.
Laundrie's parents Chris and Roberta told police on September 17 that they had not seen their son since September 14, when he allegedly went for a hike in Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County, Florida. The missing fugitive is a "person of interest" in the disappearance and death of his fiancee Gabby Petito, whose body was found on September 19 in Wyoming's Bridger-Teton National Forest.
Laundrie returned to his North Port, Florida residence by himself on September 1, driving Petito's converted Ford Transit van that they had been traveling in on a cross-country road trip starting July. Petito was reported missing on September 11, and police said they were unable to speak to Laundrie before he went missing. A nationwide manhunt for him led by federal and local law enforcement agencies is underway.
Bertolino has now revealed that Laundrie's parents last saw him on September 13 and not September 14, according to a post shared by News Nation Now reporter Brian Entin on Twitter. “The Laundries were basing the date Brian left on their recollection of certain events. Upon further communication with the FBI and confirmation of the Mustang being at the Laundrie residence on Wednesday, September 15, we now believe the day Brian left to hike in the preserve was Monday, September 13,” Bertolino said in a statement to Entin.
2/2— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) October 5, 2021
with the FBI and confirmation of the Mustang being at the Laundrie residence on Wednesday September 15, we now believe the day Brian left to hike in the preserve was Monday September 13."
Bertolino also confirmed earlier that Laundrie took a break from the road trip in August and returned to Florida for five days, when he purportedly cleared out a storage space as a way to save money, CrimeOnline reported. “Brian flew home to Tampa from SLC on 08/17 and returned to SLC on 08/23 to rejoin Gabby. To my knowledge Brian and Gabby paid for the flights as they were sharing expenses,” the lawyer said in a statement. “Brian flew home to obtain some items and empty and close the storage unit to save money as they contemplated extending the road trip.”
There was speculation that Laundrie's sister Cassie may have lied in her interview with 'Good Morning America' (GMA), where she said she never saw her brother after September 1. "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 The New York Post on October 1. That confirmation came after reality TV star Duane 'Dog the Bounty Hunter' Chapman 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.
After Cassie's statements on Brian's return, Bertolino said on October 4 that he does not represent Cassie. 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." Cassie, when asked if she believed her brother killed Petito and whether she thought he was still alive, said, “I don’t know.” She noted that she did not know anything was wrong until police began questioning her family starting September 11, the day Petito was finally reported missing.