Where is Brian Laundrie? FBI and police searching for Gabby Petito's boyfriend
'They told me they were traveling from Florida. They had just been to Teton Park and they said they were interested in going to Yellowstone'
Police are searching for Brian Laundrie, the fiance of Gabby Petito, who remains missing. The couple left in July for a cross-country road trip, but only Laundrie returned to his parent's home in North Port, Florida, on September 1, police say.
A business owner has said that the couple spent nearly 20 minutes at her store in Idaho on either August 25 or 26. "They told me they were traveling from Florida. They had just been to Teton Park and they said they were interested in going to Yellowstone and I told them they could go to the west entrance," the owner of Rustic Row in Victor told EastIdahoNews.com. "They seemed happy and when they left, she hollered back from the door that they were engaged and then I said congratulations,” she added. The store owner said that she has reported this information to the police.
If true, this encounter would have occurred after Petito's last confirmed sighting at the Fairfield Inn and Suites in Salt Lake City, Utah, on August 24. Petito, 22, has been missing for two weeks after going on a cross-country road trip with her fiance. While Petito never returned home, her fiance did and has since made headlines after he reportedly hired an attorney and refused to work with the police.
"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," police said. "Friday is the first time they have spoken with investigators in detail." "It is important to note that while Brian is a person of interest in Gabby's disappearance, he is not wanted for a crime," police said. "We are not currently working a crime investigation. We are now working a multiple missing person investigations."
The FBI was at the Laundrie residence in North Point on Friday "removing property to assist in locating Brian," the attorney for Laundrie's family said in a statement to CBS News. "Be advised that the whereabouts of Brian Laundrie are currently unknown," attorney Steven Bertolino said.
Laundrie's family told officers Friday that they haven’t seen him since Tuesday, according to a statement from North Port, Florida police. Police said Friday was the first time officers had spoken with the Laundries in detail about the case and that the family requested the meeting. Laundrie's family filed a missing person report around 5 p.m. Friday, North Port Police spokesman Josh Taylor told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. North Port police, FBI and other agencies are searching for Laundrie in the vast Carlton Reserve, a nearly 25,000-acre preserve with about 80 miles of trails in Sarasota County, where his family says they believe he went earlier this week. Police said the search concluded after dark with "nothing found." The search was scheduled to resume Sunday, September 19, morning. Authorities earlier dismissed what they called "completely fake" rumors spreading on social media that a body had been found in the area.
Petito's family released a statement after authorities announced Laundrie's whereabouts were unknown, saying, "All of Gabby's family want the world to know that Brian is not missing. He is hiding. Gabby is missing."