Gabby Petito: Police say Brian Laundrie is a ‘person of interest’ in the case of missing YouTuber

Police have named Brian Laundrie as a person of interest in the case of his missing girlfriend Gabby Petito.

Mr Laundrie has refused to speak to police investigating the disappearance of his girlfriend on August 25 during a cross-country van-life trip.

In a statement on Wednesday, North Port Police in Florida said Mr Laundrie had returned from the trip alone on September 1, 10 days before Ms Petito was reported missing.

The couple left Long Island on July 2 and had been travelling in a converted Ford Transit van to national parks over the summer.

The couple had been documenting their trip across the United States on Instagram and their YouTube channel Nomadic Statik, but fears grew for Ms Petito’s safety when she failed to contact her family for several weeks.

She was last seen checking out of a Salt Lake City hotel with Mr Laundrie on August 24.

Her family last heard from her August 25 when she told them she was in the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming and was on her way to Yellowstone.

Her mother Nicole Schmidt told the Daily Mail that on September 10 she tried texting Mr Laundrie and his mother on September 10 but they had did not respond. Ms Schmidt reported her missing the next day.

Mr Laundrie returned to North Port, Florida, where the couple had lived for the past two years, and the couple’s van was seized by police at the weekend.

North Port Police spokesman Josh Taylor told The Independent they feared “something very bad” may have happened to her.

Gabby Petito shared this picture of her and Brian Laundrie in July 2020 to announce their engagement


On Tuesday, Utah police revealed officers were called to an unspecified “incident” involving the couple on August 12, two weeks before she was last seen or heard from.

Moab’s chief of police Bret Edge told Fox News: “Our officers did respond to an incident involving Brian Laundrie and Gabrielle Petito on 12 August 2021, however neither Brian or Gabrielle were the reporting party.”

He said officers conducted an investigation and found insufficient evidence existed to justify criminal charges.

Ms Petito’s Instagram account was mysteriously disabled before being reinstated on Wednesday, adding to the family’s distress.

Their attorney told WABC-TV: “We have no idea who deleted Gabby’s Instagram account.

“We contacted Instagram and the FBI to let them know that it was deleted.”

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