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Police search for Gabby Petito's fiance; her family says he's 'hiding'

The Hill logo The Hill 9/18/2021 Jordan Williams
a blurry image of a blur: Police search for Gabby Petito's fiance; her family says he's 'hiding' © Istock Police search for Gabby Petito's fiance; her family says he's 'hiding'

Police are now searching for Gabby Petito's fiancé, Brian Laundrie, after members of his family said that they haven't seen him in days.

Petito, 22, was traveling across the country with Laundrie. She was last seen in late August and was reported missing on Sept. 11 after Laundrie returned home to Florida without her.

In a statement released late Friday night, police in North Port, Fla., said that the force and the FBI are currently searching for Laundrie after his family said they haven't seen him since Tuesday.

The North Port Police Department further stated that it understood the community's frustrations, noting that Friday was the first time police have been able to speak with Laundrie's family.

"We understand the community's frustration, we are frustrated too," the statement said.

"It is important to note that while Brian is a person of interest in Gabby's disappearance, he is not wanted for a crime. We are not currently working a crime investigation. We are now working multiple missing person investigations," it continued.

The couple took a cross-country road trip from New York, where Petito's parents live. The couple had documented their journey on social media.

Video: Search continue for missing Gabby Petito (The Independent)


However, Petito hasn't been seen since Aug. 24, and Laundrie returned to Florida alone on Sept. 1 with Petito's van. Her family reported her missing after Sept. 11.

Laundrie was officially named a person of interest in the case on Wednesday.

The FBI searched Laundrie's home on Friday.

Appearing on CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time" shortly after the search, North Port Police spokesperson Josh Taylor said that Laundrie's family called police to his home and told authorities that they hadn't seen their son since earlier this week.

"We have gone to the home and they are saying that now they have not seen their son," Taylor told CNN. "It is another twist in the story, for sure."

An attorney for Petito's family told CNN in a statement that his clients want everyone to know that Laundrie is not "missing."

"All of Gabby's family want the world to know that Brian is not missing, he is hiding. Gabby is missing," attorney Richard Stafford told the news outlet.


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