Where is Gabby Petito? Brian Laundrie lawyers up to avoid queries on missing fiance
Gabby Petito's fiance Brian Laundrie returned home with the couple's 2012 Ford Transit van but has reportedly refused to cooperate with investigators
LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK: Gabrielle ‘Gabby’ Petito, a 22-year-old Long Island woman, has reportedly gone missing under mysterious circumstances during a cross-country road trip with her fiance. Petito’s mother Nicole Schmidt claims her daughter has been missing for weeks.
Schmidt said Petito set out on a tour of national parks in early July and was last heard from on August 25. She also reportedly received texts from her on August 27 and 30. However, the mother of the missing woman said that she couldn't be sure it was Petito or not “because it was just a text. I did not verbally speak to her.”
As per a statement by the Suffolk County Police, her disappearance is under investigation. Petito, the police said, was traveling in a white, 2012 Ford Transit van with Florida license plate QFTG03 with a companion when she stopped communicating with friends and family.”
Her family reported her missing to the Suffolk County Police Department on September 11 at approximately 6.55 pm. "Prior to the last communication, Petito is believed to have been in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming," the statement said.
As per a report in the Daily Mail, however, she was last seen on August 24 when she checked out of a hotel with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie in Salt Lake City, Utah. Some reports have referred to Laundrie as just her boyfriend. The following day, she reportedly made her final call to her family, telling them that she and Laundrie had traveled to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
Who is Brian Laundrie?
Laundrie, who goes by bizarre_design_ on Instagram, regularly shares his art on social media. He, like Petito, also documented his long road trip on Instagram, sharing both full-fledged posts and short updates on his Instagram Story feed.
While Petito’s last post on Instagram was on August 25 — she was visiting the Monarch Wall in Ogden, Utah, and captioned the photo “Happy Halloween” — Laundrie’s last post was shared on August 13. It was geotagged Moab, Utah, a place famous for its red rock geological structures.
As per the Daily Mail, Laundrie has since returned to his Florida home with the couple's 2012 Ford Transit van, which police said has since been recovered for further investigation. He has reportedly hired an attorney and refused to cooperate with investigators, according to her family.
Since the story of Petito’s disappearance has spread online, many have taken to commenting on Laundrie’s Instagram posts, especially those with Petito, asking him where she is. One of those posts sees the couple kissing. The photo was captioned, “Never got around to posting these! I’d die just to watch all of our memories on repeat, never loved anyone as much as this girl.”
Another such photo saw them in formal attire. The caption read, “My biggest fear is that one day I’ll wake up and it will have all been a dream, because that is what every second has felt like since the moment we found each other. Till death do us part or until I wake up, I’m so happy the answer was yes, Love you hunny.”
But these posts have only attracted the suspicion of strangers. One person commented, “Aug 13th is his last picture. He must've deleted stuff. Death do us part huh? WHERE IS SHE?” Other comments followed the same trend. Some of them were: “where is she buddy?”, “Where’s Gabby you creep?”, “Where is she, Brian?”, and “Where’s Gabby, bro?”
Petito’s father Joseph Petito said, “[It's like] drowning with your hands tied behind you. You can't describe it. There's nothing you can do. You can't control anything.” He described his daughter as “very, very free-spirited. Clothes didn’t impress her. Cars didn’t impress her. Experiences — that’s what impressed her.” Petito, in the police statement, was described as a white female, approximately 5 feet 5 inches tall and 110 pounds. She reportedly has blonde hair and blue eyes, and several tattoos, including one on her finger and one on her forearm that reads “let it be.”