Brian Laundrie has been declared a person of interest in the case of his New York girlfriend Gabby Petito's disappearance. Petito, 22, set off on a cross-country road journey with Laundrie on July 2 from New York, where her parents live.
Petito kept in touch with her family during the journey, and the pair documented most of it on YouTube and other social media platforms. She hasn't been seen since August 24, and her family hasn't heard from her since she Facetimed her mother, Nicole Schmidt, on that day.
Petito is said to have been in Wyoming at the time, near Grand Teton National Park. Her mother claims she received brief text messages between August 27 and 30, but she doesn't believe it was from her daughter.
Why does the missing woman's boyfriend refuse to cooperate?
On August 30, Schmidt got a final text from her daughter's phone, which said, "No service in Yosemite." Laundrie returned alone on September 1 with Petito's 2012 Ford Transit vehicle to the North Port house he had been living with Petito and his parents, according to authorities.
Authorities have now seized the vehicle and are processing it for evidence, with the FBI aiding with the investigation. After a witness phoned 911, the Moab Police Department in Utah responded to a dispute involving the couple on August 12, The Hill reported.
Petito allegedly slapped Laundrie on the arm and attempted to climb in via a window after locking her out of the van, according to the witness. The couple claimed at the time that there was no slap and no charges were brought.
According to a statement published by the family's attorney, Brian Laundrie, whose girlfriend Gabby Petito was reported missing on September 11, stated why Laundrie won't talk to the police about the matter.
In his experience, Attorney Steven Bertolino says that in instances like these, intimate partners are frequently the first people on whom law enforcement concentrates their attention. Whether or not his client had anything to do with Petito's disappearance, the threat that "any remark made would be used against you" is true.
Laundrie was identified as a "person of interest" in the disappearance of the young woman. Police said the boyfriend is obstructing the inquiry, as per the Insider.
Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie reportedly fought during their trip to Utah
On Tuesday, Petito's family publicly chastised Laundrie for refusing to help them in their search for the young lady, pleading with him to at the very least tell them whether they are looking in the appropriate places. Petito and Laundrie set out on a cross-country road trip in a white-modified camper van from New York on July 2, recording their journey on social media.
According to police records, missing New York woman Gabby Petito and her boyfriend scuffled outside a Utah national park last month, telling officers that animosity between the two had been growing for a few days. Petito reportedly told officers she was afraid her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, would drive away and leave her "stranded."
Petito, who "was dealing with her mental health" and reportedly scratched Laundrie, was being investigated for domestic violence, according to police. However, authorities concluded that the scenario was more of a mental health crisis than a criminal issue, and advised the fighting pair to spend the night apart.
During the August 12 incident, Petito and Laundrie told officers in Moab, Utah, that they had been traveling together for four or five months and that the "emotional pressure between them" had led to an increase in the frequency of fights, The NY Post reported.