Gabby Petito case: Brian Laundrie's dad refuses entry to cops waiting to talk to son
As Brian Laundrie's dad made sure the police have no access to his son, the couple's van is the only source for clues on Gabby Petito's disappearance
Since missing travel vlogger Gabby Petito's boyfriend Brian Laundrie returned from their national parks tour to their home in North Port, Florida, he has sequestered himself. He has also kept mum about her whereabouts, and now his father is making sure that the police has no access to his son while they examine the couple's 2012 Ford Transit van for possible clues about her disappearance.
Petito, 22, is a native of Blue Point, New York, and was last seen on August 24 checking out of a hotel with boyfriend Brian Laundrie in Salt Lake City, Utah. The following day she made her final call to her family, telling them that she and Laundrie had traveled to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Her last Instagram post before her disappearance on August 25, shows her visiting the Monarch Wall in Ogden, Utah with the caption 'Happy Halloween'. The pair planned to visit the Yellowstone National Park, just north of Grand Teton but never made it there.
Police stopped from meeting Laundrie
Laundrie has reportedly hired an attorney and is refusing to speak publicly about what happened. Speaking to Daily Mail, the North Port police said that officers have tried to speak with missing Petito's boyfriend at the house but his parents refused to let them in. They recovered the 2012 model van that the couple toured in from Laundrie's house on Saturday, September 11, and currently, the forensic experts are analyzing it for fingerprints and any other possible clues.
"We have the vehicle, we took it away very late Saturday night into Sunday," said North Port Police spokesman Josh Taylor. "We take it, we process it for evidence – fingerprints, any evidentiary value that we think is possible. So we have that vehicle. We are continuing to try to piece the things together. The situation is obviously very fluid." Taylor confirmed Laundrie has still not talked with police. "We have not talked with him, we would love to talk to him," said Taylor. "He is under no obligation to talk to us – and he has not. And we don't even know yet if a crime happened." Taylor said that they had gone to Laundrie's parents' house to see if they could have a word with him had no luck. "We did not actually talk to him. We talked to his parents. And they did not want to make him available to do that," he said. Laundrie's father, Christopher Laundrie, 62, was seen mowing his lawn on Monday and refused to comment on his son's whereabouts.
The North Port police are "actively assisting in this case in conjunction with the Suffolk County Police Department where she was reported missing." In a statement, they added: "We currently have no definitive information that a crime took place here in North Port. With that said, the circumstances are odd. The vehicle she was traveling in was located here in North Port. So, we are actively gathering local details and any evidence to assist in finding needed answers. If you know anything about this case please contact us at 941-429-7382."
Gabby Petitio's parents still hopeful
Gabby Petito's parents gave an emotional press conference in Bohemia, Suffolk County on Monday, where they said that they are trying to stay optimistic. Her mother, Nicole Schmidt, of Long Island, New York, said with tears in her eyes, "I believe she's gonna come home." She held a picture of her daughter and said: "We are looking for her. We are not focusing on anything else, but finding her... I believe she's gonna come home." Petito's stepfather, James, added during the conference: "If anyone else has any information, if anyone has seen her, we ask that they call the tip lines and just please, just give any information you have. We just want her home safe with us."