Entertainment And News

Fiancé Of Gabby Petito Named Person Of Interest In Her Disappearance But Still Won’t Talk To Police

Photo: YouTube
Gabby Petito Brian Laundrie

Gabby Petitio, 22, was a Long Island native before moving into her fiance, Brian Laundrie’s, North Port, Florida home two years ago.

According to her father, Joe Petito, she is “very, very free-spirited . . . Clothes didn’t impress her. Cars didn’t impress her. Experiences — that’s what impressed her,” he told Newsday.

As such, she set out on a cross country road trip to tour National Parks with her boyfriend early in July, according to her family, but they haven't heard from her since August 25th.

What happened to Gabby Petito?

Gabby Petito was reported missing by her family after Laundrie returned to the couple's shared home without her. 

She has been missing since and Laudrie has not yet spoken to police investigating her disappearance. 

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Nicole Schmidt, Petito's mother, told Fox News “I did receive a text from her on the 27th and the 30th, but I don't know if it was technically her or not, because it was just a text. I didn't verbally speak to her."

Petito and Laundrie were documenting their adventures on YouTube as well as on Instagram fairly regularly — all up until August 13th, when Laundrie made a post on Instagram without her for the first time.

Police were called to a domestic incident between Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie before her disappearance. 

On August 12th, police responded to the report of a domestic ‘incident’ report from a third party who called authorities over an issue between Petito and Laundrie.

According to the police report, Laundrie said that they had been traveling together for the last 4 or 5 months and that it has caused an “emotional strain” between them along with an increase in arguments.

“He got into their van and Gabrielle had gone into a manic state,” said the report, “Brian said Gabrielle, thinking he was going to leave her in Moab without a ride, went to slap him . . . causing some minor visible scratches.”

Police officers arranged for the copuple to stay apart that night — with Petito remaining in the van while Laundrie stayed at a nearby hotel.

Gabby Petito's van has been recovered. 

Laundrie returned to his home in Florida on September 1st alone with Petito's van 8 days after the last time she was seen — a couple of days after Schmidt received the mysterious texts from her daughter.

After the mother had heard no word from Laundrie, his family, or Gabby herself after over a week, she filed a missing persons report on September 11th.

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Since then, North Port Police Department have recovered the van and have processed it as evidence. 

"Several detectives are working around the clock to piece this complex and far-reaching situation together," said a NPPD statement.

The Spotify account she seemingly shares with Laundrie shows a series of haunting songs that were added to playlists “Mtn tops” and “Selfconsumption” before she went missing, seeming to deal with love and heartbreak.

Her Instagram account was deactivated this morning in an apparent “error” from the company’s fake account investigation but has since been reinstated.

Brian Laundrie has not yet spoken on Gabby Petito's disappearance. 

Laundrie has remained silent throughout the entire investigation, even before the investigation when comments on his Instagram photos without Gabby asked where she was.

In fact, he has hired an out-of-state attorney to speak on his behalf, issuing a statement that "On the advice of counsel, the Laundrie family is remaining in the background at this juncture and will have no further comment."

When approached by the police for questioning, since he was the last person who was aware of her whereabouts before she went missing, his parents told them that he was “not available” to talk.

"You had someone who was in constant communication with their family on a pretty regular basis. Then, all of sudden, nothing. Then, all of a sudden, the person she was travelling with is back here and she's not here. That person is unwilling to talk with us to this point. All of that is very, very concerning," said Josh Taylor, public information officer for the North Port Police Department.

Brian Laudrie has been named a person of interest. 

As Laundrie continues to hinder the police’s investigation, the NPPD have labeled him as a person of interest, pleading with the public to come forward if they have any information surrounding the disappearance of Gabby.

His family did release a statement saying, "it is our hope that the search for Miss Petito is successful and that Miss Petito is reunited with her family."

However, as the Schmidt and Petito family continue to hope for Gabby's safe return, Laundrie has provided no further assistance. 

"The Schimdt and Petito family beg the Laundrie family to not 'remain in the background' but to help find who Brian referred to as the love of his life," they wrote in a statemet. "How does Brian stay in the background when he is the one person who knows where Gabby is located?" 

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice and politics.