Slain hiker Gabby Petito’s cause of death is now known. Her boyfriend Brian Laundrie is still on the lam. And there’s a warrant out for Laundrie’s arrest over his use of Petito’s bank card after her disappearance. So things are not looking good for those arguing Laundrie’s innocence, including Laundrie’s attorney, Steve Bertolino.
In a new statement to Fox News, Bertolino slammed Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman and John Walsh, host of the recent “Gabby Petito: ID Special Report,” for their public remarks about his client.
“Dusty relics like that Dog and John Walsh need a tragic situation like this so they can clear the cobwebs off their names and give their publicity-hungry egos some food,” Bertolino told Fox.
Walsh Said Brian Laundrie’s Family Is Still Helping Him
In his special, Walsh said that Laundrie might have crossed the southern border into Mexico by now. He also said Laundrie could be in the Bahamas or on the Appalachian Trail. In any case, Walsh said it seems likely Laundrie’s parents know more than they’re letting on and are in fact still aiding their son.
“I absolutely believe that his family is helping him stay on the run,” Walsh said.
Walsh declined to comment on Bertolino’s statement to Fox News. Meanwhile, Chapman said the lawyer is acting like he doesn’t want his client to be found.
“It’s ironic that Mr. Bertolino would criticize the people trying to find Brian Laundrie, unless perhaps he doesn’t want him to be found,” Chapman said.
Laundrie Went Missing Shortly Before Petito’s Body Was Found
This summer, Petito and Laundrie had embarked on a cross-country road trip together, heading westward. By the time they reached Utah, their relationship seemed to be going downhill. Police stopped the couple in Moab, Utah after a 9-1-1 caller reported seeing Laundrie hit Petito. But police there concluded the couple was going through some sort of shared mental health crisis rather than a domestic abuse situation, and they sent them on their way after separating them for a night.
Petito’s final social media post went up on Aug. 25. Two days later, several people reported seeing Laundrie get into a verbal altercation with waitstaff at a Montana restaurant, the Merry Piglets, while a distraught Petito looked on.
By Sept. 1, Laundrie had returned to his parents’ house in Florida alone. From Sept. 6 to Sept. 8, as Petito remained missing, the Laundrie family went camping. On Sept. 11, Petito’s family formally reported her missing. Searchers found her body in Bridger-Teton National Forest on Sept. 29. The Teton County coroner pronounced her death a homicide. But shortly before her body turned up, Laundrie himself went missing.
Brian Laundrie’s parents say he went for a hike and never returned, and they waited three days before reporting him missing. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has obtained a warrant for Laundrie’s arrest. But first, they have to find him.
A massive manhunt has so far turned up nothing, raising questions about just how much lead time Laundrie had before his parents reported him gone. Whether he is still in the country or not, many unanswered questions remain, and the search continues.