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‘Turn yourself in’: Gabby Petito’s family, attorney urge Brian Laundrie to surrender as FBI manhunt continues

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 9/28/2021 Nelson Oliveira, New York Daily News
A photo of Gabby Petito, included in a Facebook post about her disappearance by the North Port Police Department in Florida. © North Port Police Department/TNS/TNS A photo of Gabby Petito, included in a Facebook post about her disappearance by the North Port Police Department in Florida.

NEW YORK — Gabby Petito’s family and their attorney urged her missing fiancé Tuesday to surrender to authorities and end a massive manhunt that has drawn nationwide attention following the woman’s mysterious death this summer.

Attorney Richard Stafford also told reporters at a Long Island news conference that Petito’s parents do not expect the family of Brian Laundrie to cooperate with the investigation. Laundrie, who was on a cross-country trip with Petito when she disappeared, is considered a “person of interest” in her homicide.

Brian Laundrie is a "person of interest" in Gabby Petito's death. © Courtesy North Port Police Department/TNS/TNS Brian Laundrie is a "person of interest" in Gabby Petito's death.

“The Laundries did not help us find Gabby. They’re sure not going to help us find Brian,” Stafford said. “For Brian, we’re asking you to turn yourself in to the FBI or the nearest law enforcement agency.”

Petito’s parents and stepparents appeared at the news conference wearing a blue ribbon, with some of them showing new tattoos that were designed by the 22-year-old. They also discussed plans to launch a foundation named after her.

“We’re just hoping that through our tragedy, with losing Gabby, that in the future something good can come out of it, that we can help other people in a similar situation,” stepfather Jim Schmidt said, suggesting the foundation would likely focus on helping families of missing people.

“We need positive stuff to come from the tragedy that happened,” said her father, Joe Petito. “We can’t let her name be taken in vain.”

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