The missing persons case of Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito, 22, now gripping the nation has taken yet another bizarre twist with the apparent disappearance of her fiancé Brian Laundrie, a “person of interest” to law enforcement investigating the case.
North Port, Florida, police announced late Friday that they were searching for Laundrie, 23, with the FBI.
“The North Port Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigations are currently searching for 23-yr-old Brian Laundrie of North Port,” the department said in a post on Facebook Friday night. “The attorney for the Laundrie family called FBI investigators Friday night indicating the family would like to talk about the disappearance of their son. The family now claims that they have not seen Brian since Tuesday of this week.”
Laundrie and Petito were engaged and set out in August on a cross country drive from Suffolk County, New York in Petito’s 2012 white Ford Transit van.
Petito posted several photos and videos from her trip on social media but stopped communicating with her family during the last week of August when she and Laundrie were believed to have been in the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
Her family reported her missing to Suffolk County Police on Sept. 11, according to police.
Police recovered the van, owned by Petito, in North Port, Florida, where she lived with Laundrie and his parents.
Police there said Laundrie returned home with the van Sept. 1, but without Petito.
Laundrie and his family refused to talk with law enforcement regarding the case, referring them to their attorney instead.
As the search on the ground in Wyoming intensified during the last week, and pleas from Petito’s family to Laundrie went unanswered, police in Moab, Utah, released body-cam footage of a traffic stop on Aug. 12 where the couple appeared to be involved in an argument.
According to the video, officers separated the couple for the night.
Currently, law enforcement agencies identify Laundrie only as “a person of interest” in the case and have repeated several times that there is no evidence yet, that a crime has been committed and they are still treating it as a missing persons case.
In another twist to the mystery, Laundrie’s family contacted police Friday, saying they have not seen their son, Brian, since Tuesday.
People gathered outside the Laundrie family home Friday, chanting “Where is Gabby?” as police from North Port and FBI agents entered and left the home with brown envelopes used to collect evidence, although police would not say what any of that might entail.
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