NORTH PORT, Fla. (NewsNation Now) — The boyfriend of missing YouTuber Gabby Petito is now a person of interest in her disappearance, police said Wednesday.
Florida authorities said Brian Laundrie is now a person of interest in the case after Petito disappeared while the couple was on a cross-country road trip together.
The trip was well-documented on social media until Petito allegedly disappeared somewhere near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. The couple documented most of their trip, which started in July, on a YouTube Vlog called “VAN LIFE”. The last posts to both Instagram accounts were from Grand Teton National Park.
Her last text to her family was Aug. 30. They became worried when they didn’t hear from her again. Neither Laundrie nor his parents have spoken with police.
According to North Port police, Petito’s vehicle was found at her home, which she shares with Laudrie and his parents on Sept. 11. Her family in New York, reported her missing that same day. Authorities, including FBI agents, fully processed that van on Tuesday.
While Laundrie has been identified as a person of interest, police said he “has not made himself available to be interviewed by investigators or has provided any helpful details.” Authorities say they know Laundrie returned to North Port on Sept. 1, 10 days before Petito was reported missing.
“As a father, I can imagine the pain and suffering Gabby’s family is going through. We are pleading with anyone, including Brian, to share information with us on her whereabouts in the past few weeks,” said North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison. “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.”
“You know no dad wants to see their daughter cry. If I would have seen a red flag, you know I’d be all up in arms,” he said.
However, Joe Petito said he doesn’t understand why Laundrie wouldn’t want to voluntarily speak with officers about his daughter’s disappearance.
The Moab City Police Department in Utah independently confirmed to NewsNationNow.com that police were called to an incident involving the couple. NewsNation obtained a redacted copy of the police report from the Aug. 12 incident involving an alleged altercation between the couple. The incident was reported by a witness. The report says there is bodycam footage of the incident, NewsNation is working to obtain that footage.
“After evaluation the totality of the circumstances, I do not believe the situation escalated to the level of a domestic assault as much as that of a mental health crisis,” reporting officer Daniel Robbins said in part.
You can read the full Moab Police Department report below:
A national search is now underway for Petito, who is from New York.
She is 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs about 110 pounds. She has blonde hair, blue eyes and several tattoos, including one on her finger and forearm that reads “let it be.”
The FBI has set up a national hotline to receive tips: 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324).
NewsNation affiliate KTVX and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
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