Authorities conducting a national search for Gabrielle Petito, the Florida woman who went missing while on a cross-country road trip with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, have named him a person of interest in the case.
On Sept. 15, the North Port Police Department in Florida announced Petito’s 2012 white Ford Transit van—which the couple was using as they drove from New York, where she is originally from, to Oregon — was recovered on Sept. 11 at the North Port home they shared with his parents and processed it for evidence.
Laundrie returned from the trip in the van but without Petito on Sept.1, 10 days before Petito’s family reported her missing, officials said. North Port police noted Laundrie “has not made himself available to be interviewed by investigators or has provided any helpful details” and is currently considered a person of interest in the case.
Petito and Laundrie left on their cross-country trip on July 22 and made stops in Colorado and Utah. ABC News reported Petito's family last heard from her on Aug. 25 when she told her mother, Nichole Schmidt, they were heading to Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.
“As a father, I can imagine the pain and suffering Gabby’s family is going through,” North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison said. “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. We will help find Gabby and we will help find anyone who may be involved in her disappearance.”
Petito is white, approximately 5-feet-5-inchestall and weighs 110 pounds. She has blonde hair, blue eyes, and several tattoos, including one on her finger, as well as one on her forearm that reads “let it be.”
Law enforcement officials request anyone who may have photographed the van with Florida license plate QFTG03, or who has information that could be helpful to the case, to contact an FBI national hotline at 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324).
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