Gabby Petito's Stepdad Says Brian Laundrie Is 'Hiding,' Not 'Missing'

Gabby Petito's stepfather said during a recent interview that Brian Laundrie is "hiding" and not "missing."

The Petito family sat down with 60 Minutes Australia host Sarah Abo to discuss their daughter's death and the disappearance of Laundrie, her fiancé.

"We know that Brian now has been missing himself for a number of weeks," Abo said, but she was quickly interrupted by Petito's stepfather, Jim Schmidt, who said, "Can we change missing to hiding? Gabby was missing. There's a lot of other people out there that are missing. He's hiding."

He went on to speak about Laundrie's family during the interview, saying, "We were up every day and every night till we found Gabby. Are the people that love him doing the same thing for him? And why not? 'Cause if they were, maybe he'd be found by now."

Laundrie was last seen by his parents over a month ago. They told authorities they believed he left their home on September 13 to go for a hike in Florida's Carlton Reserve.

Since his disappearance, law enforcement has focused the search on the reserve, and his parents have not said anything else to authorities about their son's possible location. Laundrie remains the sole person of interest in Petito's disappearance and death, which Wyoming's Teton County coroner recently said was caused by manual strangulation.

During the interview on 60 Minutes Australia, Nichole Schmidt, Petito's mother, was asked about the Laundrie family's silence. They have made statements only through their lawyer, Steven Bertolino, except for public remarks by Laundrie's sister Cassie.

"I think silence speaks volumes," Nichole Schmidt said. "I believe they know probably, if not everything, they know most of the information. I would love to just face to face ask, 'Why are you doing this? Just tell me the truth.'"

An arrest warrant has been issued for Laundrie by a U.S. District Court in Wyoming. While the warrant does not explicitly connect him to Petito's death, it accuses him of bank card fraud.

A former U.S. marshal also appeared during the 60 Minutes interview and suggested that the Laundrie family's story "doesn't make sense."

"I think Brian's parents did help him," Lenny De Paul said. "Gabby lived in Florida with them, they got engaged, he shows up in the van without her. What does he tell his parents? 'So we broke up, I left her out there, I just decided to drive the van back home, and, you know, let's go camping.' It just doesn't make sense."

Contacted by Newsweek, Bertolino declined to make any further comments.

Gabby Petito
Gabby Petito's stepfather recently said that Brian Laundrie is "hiding" and not "missing." Above, a sign at a roadside memorial honors Petito in Blue Point, New York, on September 24. Stephanie Keith/Getty