NORTH PORT, Fla. (NewsNation Now) — As the days roll on in North Port, Florida, and answers prove as elusive as the missing Brian Laundrie, protesters and advocates have continued to keep Gabby Petito — and the search for Laundrie, named a person of interest in her death — front and center.
Protesters were outside the Laundrie family home Tuesday chanting “say her name.”
“This is not something I normally do and I had to step out of my comfort zone to do this,” said protester Tom Toups.
Toups drove 90 minutes south from St. Petersburg and had signs made to protest in front of the home.
The house has been the flashpoint for those seeking answers and wishing to memorialize Petito. As the weeks have passed, the movements of Laundrie’s parents have been the only thing to watch. Many of those gathered at the protest believe the family is obstructing justice.
“I believe they know more than they are telling us and I believe they are trying to insulate their son from justice,” said Toups.
Petito’s body was found outside Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming on Sept. 19, and was identified two days later. Coroner Dr. Brent Blue said Petito was strangled to death and her body was left outdoors for three to four weeks before she was found.
Blue declined to speculate whether he believed Laundrie was involved. “We are only tasked with cause and manner of death,” he said. “Who committed the homicide is up to law enforcement.”
He said only the cause of death, strangulation, and manner of death, homicide, would be released. Blue first ruled the death a homicide on Sept. 21.
The Laundrie family said they last saw Brian Laundrie Sept. 13, a day earlier than they’d previously told investigators.