Is Brian Laundrie a suspect or still Person of Interest after body matching Gabby Petito found?
The 23-year-old Brian Laundrie was named a person of interest in Gabby’s disappearance case after she was reported missing on September 11
A more than week-long search effort for a missing Long Island woman, Gabby Petito, has tragically ended after the FBI claimed that they found a body near Spread Creek Dispersed camping area at the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming on September 19 “consistent with the description of Gabrielle Petito”. After discovering the remains, FBI agent Charles Jones said, “As every parent can imagine, this is an incredibly difficult time for her family,” before adding: “The cause of death has not been determined.”
Gabby was on a cross-country trip along with her 23-year-old boyfriend Brian Laundrie that began at the starting of July. They were traveling in a converted van and believed to have visited a number of places before Brian returned alone to his home in Florida on September 1. Ten days later, on September 11, the young woman’s family filed a missing report at Suffolk County after they did not hear from her for several days. Gabby reportedly spoke to her mother last on August 25 and was last seen publicly on August 24 as she checked out of the Fairfield Inn and Suites in Utah.
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After Gabby was reported missing, authorities soon took the Ford Transit van, which was at Brian’s home, into their custody. However, they could not talk to Brian directly as his parents directed them to their attorney. A few days later, the young man was declared a person of interest in the case by the investigators. And as they were trying to speak to Brian, he apparently went missing, prompting the launch of a search operation for him.
Is Brian Laundrie now a suspect or still just a PoI?
Brian is still a person of interest (PoI) and not a suspect in the disappearance case of Gabby. There is no official confirmation from the authorities yet if they will charge him. His family’s lawyer contacted the FBI on Friday night, September 17, after they had not seen him since Tuesday, September 14.
In a statement, police in North Port, Florida, said: “For six days, the North Port Police Department and the FBI have been pleading with the family to contact investigators regarding Brian's Fiancé Gabby Petito. Friday is the first time they have spoken with investigators in detail.” It added, “It is important to note that while Brian is a person of interest in Gabby's disappearance, he is not wanted for a crime. We are not currently working a crime investigation. We are now working a multiple missing person investigations.”
The search for Brian Laundrie continues Sunday morning in the Carlton Reserve. A team of more than 50 looking for anything of note after his parents say this is where he went. We continue to corroborate all info in the search for him and Gabby. 1-800-CALL-FBI. pic.twitter.com/20nt70mezz— North Port Police (@NorthPortPolice) September 19, 2021
Investigators have been searching for Brian, described as a White man with 5' 8'' height, brown eyes, and brown hair, in the Carlton Reserve, a 24,000-acre county park in Florida's Sarasota County. North Port police spokesperson Josh Taylor said, “You could be out here for months if you wanted. We’re not following him everywhere he’s going. We’re trying to keep an eye out kind of where he’s at so that when needed we could potentially reach him. But our focus was putting resources on trying to find Gabby.”
Additional photos from the search for Brian Laundrie around the Carlton Reserve area. If you have seen him please use 1-800-CALL-FBI or submit online at https://t.co/vlIagGqNPE. pic.twitter.com/X5QZmMJhTq— North Port Police (@NorthPortPolice) September 18, 2021
Though authorities are treating him as a missing person, who has also been declared a person of interest in Gabby’s case, the 22-year-old woman’s family slammed it and stated: “All of Gabby's family want the world to know that Brian is not missing. He is hiding. Gabby is missing.” Besides, Twitter got flooded with posts that accused Brian of wrongdoing. People also questioned why he has not been declared a suspect in the case.
A user expressed their shock by writing, “Y’allI heard a reporter say that #BrianLaundrie is not yet a suspect. Are y’all okay?!?? He came home, alone and then ran away! And he is not a suspect???????” The second one shared, “Brian Laundrie should have been in police custody from the beginning—even if he were ruled out as a suspect later in the case. They never should have let him out of their sights. Major screwup.” “does anyone else feel like they’re being too careful with Brian Laundrie??? why is he a “missing person” and not a runaway and why is he a “person of interest” and not a MAIN SUSPECT?” the third one asked.
Y’allI heard a reporter say that #BrianLaundrie is not yet a suspect. Are y’all okay?!?? He came home, alone and then ran away! And he is not a suspect???????— ✨ moody mami ✨ (@MaeWhip) September 20, 2021
Brian Laundrie should have been in police custody from the beginning—even if he were ruled out as a suspect later in the case. They never should have let him out of their sights. Major screwup. https://t.co/JFuZTVOajS— PenelopeWinthrop (@penelope_writer) September 19, 2021
does anyone else feel like they’re being too careful with Brian Laundrie??? why is he a “missing person” and not a runaway and why is he a “person of interest” and not a MAIN SUSPECT?— katie baby ☪︎ (@mamakatie_) September 20, 2021
A person tweeted, “Please stop saying this Brian Laundrie guy is missing. He FLED. He is HIDING and wanted as a suspect in a murder. These headlines are ludicrous.” Another one added: “Rest In Peace, Gabby. I am so so sorry. I will never understand how Brian Laundrie was never named a suspect or under investigation. They gave him so much time. How did he get the opportunity to disappear. How did his family keep his secrets and let him get away. I’m sic"