Dueling Statements from Families on Petito Missing Woman Case in North Port

NORTH PORT, FL and ISLIP, NY -- Families of missing woman Gabrielle Petito and her boyfriend Brian Laundrie have issued competing statements regarding the search for Petito. The 22-year-old woman hasn't been seen or heard from since late August, while she was on a sightseeing trip in the west with Laundrie, according to police. They've named Laundrie as a person of interest in the case. Before her disappearance, Petito had been staying in a North Port home with Laundrie and his family.

Here is the statement from Petito's family:

Every day the search for Gabby continues the Schmidt and Petito family becomes more desperate. They are frantically searching for answers and information in their daughter’s disappearance while Brian sits in the comfort of his home. Brian claims he wants to sit in the background while we search for Gabby in the wilderness of the Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks. Brian left Gabby in the wilderness with grizzly bears and wolves while he sits in the comfort of his home. In his home!

Brian, how could you do this to Gabby? You selfishly remain silent while Gabby is all alone in the wilderness.

Brian, your silence is reprehensible! We beg you to do the right thing and help us bring Gabby home. Brian, whatever happened in Wyoming, happened. The only thing you can control is what you do now. Tell us where Gabby is.

Here is the statement from the Laundrie family attorney, Steven P. Bertolino:

"Many people are wondering why Mr. Laundrie would not make a statement or speak with law enforcement in the face of Ms. Petito's disappearance. In my experience, intimate partners are often the first person law enforcement focuses their attention on in cases like this and the warning that 'any statement made will be used against you' is true, regardless whether my client had anything to do with Ms. Petito's disappearance. As such, on the advice of counsel Mr. Laundrie is not speaking on this matter.

"I have been informed that the North Port, Florida police have named Brian Laundrie as a 'person of interest' in this matter. This formality has not really changed the circumstances of Mr. Laundrie being the focus and attention of law enforcement and Mr. Laundrie will continue to remain silent on the advice of counsel."

Photo: North Port Police

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