Gabby Petito Case: Brian Laundrie’s Family Believes He’s Still in Florida and ‘Hope He’s Alive’

by Josh Lanier
(Photo by Octavio Jones/Getty Images)

The family of Brian Laundrie said they do not know where he is, but they hope he is alive. No one reported seeing Laundrie, who the FBI wants to question about the death of Gabby Petito, since he left his Florida home on Sept. 14.

“They are concerned,” Laundrie family attorney Steve Bertolino told People, “but hopeful that he is found alive.”

Bertolino’s comments come amid a nationwide manhunt for the 23-year-old that has dragged on for two weeks. Though, many people believe his family may know where he is or is helping him escape capture. They point to the family’s contradicting statements. The Laundries also waited several days to report him missing. The family has consistently denied any involvement.

Laundrie and his fiancee Gabby Petito were in the middle of a four-month cross-country trip when she abruptly stopped calling her family in late August. Several days later, Laundrie returned home alone in the van they shared. The FBI found the body of Gabby Petito in the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming weeks later. A medical examiner said someone killed her, but they did not release how she died.

A friend of Gabby Petito told People said Laundrie had jealousy issues and called their relationship “toxic.”

“At the time, it just seemed like he was jealous,” says Rose Davis told the magazine. “Honestly, it seemed like a jealousy problem, which I understood because you look at Brian, and then you look at Gabby and you’re like, ‘Gabby, you could have anyone in this entire world.'”

The FBI hasn’t named Laundrie as a suspect in the case. They list him as a person of interest. Though, police issued a warrant for his arrest for allegedly using someone else’s debit card after Petito’s disappearance.

Comments Contradict Statement from sister of Brian Laundrie

Cassie Laundrie, the sister of Brian Laundrie, told Good Morning America on Sept. 17 that she last spoke to her brother when he returned home from Florida. But new reports and a statement from the family attorney contradict that.

“I haven’t been able to talk to him. I wish I could talk to him,” she told GMA.

She said the last time they spoke was on Sept. 1 when he stopped by her house, Fox News said. But Steve Bertolino said Cassie was with her brother and parents at Fort De Soto days later. Gabby Petito’s parents reported her missing on Sept. 11.

“Cassie saw her brother Brian on September 1 when he stopped by her home and again on September 6 at Fort De Soto Park,” Bertolino said in a text. He said any discrepancy in the timeline Cassie gave GMA wasn’t intentional.

“Law enforcement agencies are well aware of these dates,” he added. “Any prior communication by Cassie that does not reflect these dates is simply a difference of relating an answer to a question misinterpreted by Cassie or poorly posed by the inquirer.”

It’s unclear when the last time Cassie spoke to her brother.