FBI searching for Gabby Petito’s fiancé, whereabouts unknown
The search continues for Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito — six days missing with no hints and a community becoming as desperate for answers as Petito’s family.
Fiancé Brian Laundrie’s lawyer, Steven Bertolino, released a statement Friday night saying Brian’s whereabouts are now unknown, and FBI investigators are searching for both Gabby and Brian at this time. Bertolino told WINK News Laundrie was last seen Tuesday.
“Be advised that the whereabouts of Brian Laundrie are currently unknown,” Bertolino shared in a statement. “The FBI is currently at the Laundrie residence removing property to assist in locating Brian. As of now, the FBI is now looking for both Gabby and Brian.”
Gabby was traveling the country with Laundrie. He returned to their home in North Port, but Petito was not with him.
North Port Police Department was also at the home of Brian Laundrie Friday speaking to his family at their request, the police department tweeted Friday evening.
A boisterous crowd stood outside the Laundrie residence all day as investigators responded to the home. We saw police walk in and out of the home several times carrying what appeared to be brown paper bags inside the home. During that time, no one else went out except for officers.
Brian’s lawyer told us investigators took some of his property to assist in their search for him after his whereabouts became unknown.
North Port Police are currently speaking with the Laundrie Family at their request. At this time, we are not speaking with Brian. More details when available.
— North Port Police (@NorthPortPolice) September 17, 2021
Joe Petito said his one goal is to bring his daughter home.
“I know how things sometimes end and I’m just trying not to think of that,” he said.
Joe Petito said he is also trying not to think about Laundrie and his family, who so far have not cooperated with authorities.
“This type of behavior is cruel; it’s just heartless,” Joe Petito said.
Petito’s mother Nicole Schmidt talked to a New York City reporter on Friday.
“They need to tell us where Gabby is, they’re the only ones that know,” Schmidt said of the Laundrie family. “Everybody around the country is wondering what they know. And we know they know something. So they just need to tell us. It’s far too long now.”
Schmidt said she never had the inkling that something was wrong between the couple or that she should have worried prior to the start of their trip, which began in July.
Watching body camera footage of the couple after police were called to an altercation between the two in Noab, Utah, was heartbreaking, Schmidt said.
“It’s awful to watch,” Schmidt said. “I just want to take my daughter and save her and hug her and protect her. She looked horrified.”
On Friday afternoon, a line of vehicles parked in front of Laundrie’s home demanding to know Petito’s whereabouts.
On a bullhorn, a man asked “Where’s Gabby?”
Nicole Kalanych, a former coworker of Petito and Laundrie, never expected this to happen. To her, how loving they looked on social media is how loving they acted in real life. When Kalanych first learned about Petito’s disappearance, she thought someone was playing a prank on her.
“I know that if he were the dad and his daughter was lost, he would be looking for her,” Kalanych said of Laundrie. “And I know he would want his daughter to be found. I just wish him to say whatever he knows and to go help us find Gabby. This is not a joke and this is not funny.”
The community has been roaring up and down his street all week, driving right up to Laundrie’s house demanding answers. More neighbors plan to parade down his street Friday to pressure him to speak about his missing fiancée.
“Brian: The police, North Port, the family… we’re not going away,” said Jason and Dena Sternquist. “We’re just going to grow, so speak, now it’s just gonna get worse.”
The Sternquists don’t know Petito or Laundrie, but they have three young girls themselves, and they’re sick and tired of accepting no comment. They say how Petito’s parents must be feeling is unimaginable. Their goal is to get answers from the Laundrie family.
“Until the mother, the father, the stepfather… until we have an answer, we’re going to be here,” the Sternquists said. “Until they have an answer.”
“I’m blown away that it’s actually unfolding the way it’s unfolding,” the Sternquists said. “This kid should be out of the house right now confessing to whatever it is that he knows, he should be doing everything in his power to bring ease to the family.”
Grand County Sheriff’s Office also confirmed Friday Gabby Petito’s case is not connected to the double-homicide case involving Crystal Turner and Kylen Schulte.