NORTH PORT, Fla. (WFLA) — Authorities searching for a North Port woman who went missing on a cross-country trip with her fiancé have named him as a person of interest in the case.
The North Port Police Department announced that Brian Laundrie was a person of interest in the disappearance of 22-year-old Gabby Petito on Wednesday.
“We are pleading with anyone, including Brian, to share information with us on her whereabouts in the past few weeks. The lack of information from Brian is hindering this investigation. The answers will eventually come out,” said North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison.
Petito was last known to be in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park. She is described as about 5 feet 5 inches tall and 110 pounds with blonde hair and blue eyes, and several tattoos. One tattoo on her forearm says “let it be.”
Her family said Petito set off on a cross-country trip with Laundrie in July. The couple documented their travels in a web series called “Nomadik Static.”
The family told police they last heard from Petito during the last week of August. According to a Facebook page dedicated to the search, the couple traveled through Colorado and Utah, visiting Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, and Arches national parks before visiting Moab on Aug. 13. Petito was last seen checking out of a hotel in Salt Lake City on Aug. 24.
The vehicle they were traveling in was recovered from the driveway of the home Laundrie shares with his parents, police in North Port said. The department and worked with the FBI to process it for evidence.
An attorney for Laundrie’s family released a statement Tuesday saying they would be “remaining in the background at this juncture and will have no further comment.”
Petito’s family also released a statement Tuesday calling on Laundrie to come forward.
“[He] is refusing to tell Gabby’s family where he last saw her. [He] is also refusing to explain why he left Gabby all alone and drove her van to Flordia,” the statement said. “These are critical questions that require immediate answers.”
The FBI has set up a national hotline to receive tips regarding the case. Those with information can call 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324).