Gabby Petito case: FBI concludes search of Laundrie house

The FBI searched the North Port home of Brian Laundrie and his parents Monday.

The FBI confirmed it executed a court-authorized search warrant relevant to the Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito investigation. In a press release, the Bureau “continues to ask for the public’s assistance in sharing information they may have about this case through the tip lines: 1-800-CALL FBI or tips.fbi.gov. Photos or videos may be submitted to fbi.gov/petito. No further details can be provided since this is an active and ongoing investigation.”

Attorney Steve Bertolino, who represents Brian Laundrie, confirmed with WINK News Monday night a press conference scheduled for Tuesday was canceled after his conversation with the FBI.

According to another search warrant issued Sept. 15, for an external hard drive found in the van, during the couple’s trip, there were multiple text messages between Gabby and her mother, Nicole Schmidt. During these text conversations, there appeared to be building tension between Gabby and Laundrie.

Aug. 27, Schmidt received an odd text message from Gabby’s phone that said, “Can you help Stan; I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls.” The reference to Stan was regarding Gabby’s grandfather. Schmidt said that was concerning because Gabby never refers to him by his first name.

When investigators responded to Laundrie’s home, his parents told them Gabby was not there and would not let their son speak to law enforcement and directed officers to their attorney.

The warrant also confirmed, Gabby’s cell phone was turned off for about 15 days, and there have not been any sightings of her since Aug. 27.

Agents have been going into and out of the family’s home since early Monday morning. Some of those FBI agents have been carrying boxes and had bags with them.

The North Port Police Department, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies spent the weekend scouring through the Carlton Reserve at the Myakka-Hatchee Creek Environmental Park in search of Brian Laundrie, fiancé of Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito, whose body was likely found over the weekend.

According to a press release, North Port police have no plans to search for him in the Carlton Reserve Monday, saying they believe they have “exhausted all avenues in searching of the grounds there.”

Laundrie’s parents say they haven’t seen him since Tuesday, and that he told them he was headed to the park close to his North Port home. As of Monday, he’s still missing. His parents were supposedly the last ones to see him on Tuesday. He left the home with only a backpack.

The family also released a statement shortly after the FBI’s announcement of having located remains matching Petito’s description: “The news about Gabby Petito is heartbreaking. The Laundrie family prays for Gabby and her family. Tonight, America mourns for Gabby.”

Now, the Laundrie family’s lawyer, Steven Bertolino, will be holding a press conference on Tuesday at 1 p.m. This will be held in New York.

Josh Taylor, NPPD public information officer, says the department is doing everything it can with the information it has.

“There’s been nothing normal about any of this,” Taylor said. “The circumstances, they’re not what people understand and we have laws about how we’re able to act, and if we don’t act accordingly, potentially some of the evidence that you receive is then thrown out and those that are responsible get off.”

Those who live in this Nort Port neighborhood say they have been watching the commotion all morning. Keith Graves lives next door to the Laundrie family home and other neighbors sat outside to watch FBI agents.

Police say it is possible that Laundrie left the area. Claims of him having reached the Carlton Reserve in a Mustang his family brought to the house Tuesday were not corroborated, as the Mustang was back at the house by Wednesday.

A tow truck arrived on Monday afternoon to tow that Mustang that Brian Laundrie was known to drive.

He is considered a person of interest in Gabby Petito’s disappearance.

TIPS: If you have any information on the disappearance of Gabby Petito or Brian Laundrie, call 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324) or you can submit a tip online at fbi.gov/tips.

Reporter:Erika Jackson
Taylor Wirtz
Gail Levy
Lindsey Sablan
Writer:WINK News
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