As It Happened: Outrage Over Police Bungling as Gabby Petito's Boyfriend Brian Laundrie Vanishes

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Police have launched a nationwide investigation for missing 22-year-old YouTuber Gabby Petito after her fiance, Brian Laundrie, returned from their cross-country trip alone.

Petito's family reported her missing to police in North Port, Florida on September 11, 10 days after Laundrie returned to the home he shared with Petito and his parents.

Police have declared Laundrie a person of interest in the investigation.

Petito Seen in Police Footage
Gabby Petito was reported missing on Sept. 11 after her fiancé returned from their cross-country road trip alone. This police camera video provided by The Moab Police Department shows Petito talking to a police officer after police pulled over the van she was traveling in with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, near the entrance to Arches National Park on Aug. 12, 2021. The couple was pulled over while they were having an emotional fight. The Moab Police Department via AP

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Brian Laundrie, the only person of interest in the disappearance of 22-year-old Gabby Petito, has been missing since Tuesday, according to his attorney. This announcement has left social media users outraged that the 23-year-old is now missing as well.

Twitter user Raquel Molteni replied to Garrison's post and said that the parents should be held accountable for aiding and abetting or kept Laundrie in lockdown. She said, "THEY SHOULD HAVE TAKEN HIM STRAIGHT TO THE POLICE!!!"

These parents should be held accountable for aiding and abetting!!! They should have known his mental state they should have kept him on lockdown. THEY SHOULD HAVE TAKEN HIM STRAIGHT TO THE POLICE!!! Wasn’t it just said “ We know where he is”!!!

— Raquel Molteni (@rjorda_22) September 18, 2021

Another user, Cat, asked how long Laundrie had been missing for and questioned whether he actually went missing the day a report was filed for Petito.

"Police haven't put eyes on him at any point, neighbors were the ones who stated he was the only one that came home. They've had a lawyer this entire time," she wrote.

How long has he been missing? Police haven't put eyes on him at any point, neighbors were the ones who stated he was the only one that came home. They've had a lawyer this entire time. Has he been missing since the 11th? When was the last time he was physically seen at the home?

— Cat (@cattybax) September 18, 2021

Camille Lieb replied to the tweet asking if Garrison actually knew where Brian Laundrie was on September 16 as he said or if Garrison was just taking his parents' word.

When you said yesterday that you knew where Brian was, did you actually or were you just taking his parents’ word?

— Camille (@camillelieb) September 18, 2021

Under the Brian Laundrie hashtag, social media users continued sharing their frustration regarding Laundrie and support to Petito's family.

Under the Brian Laundrie hashtag, others criticized both Laundrie's parents and the police department for "letting him out of their sight."

I’m sorry but how the hell did they even let Brian Laundrie out of their sight??? Let alone flee his home… this is so insane. #gabbypetitio

— a l e x i s 💎 (@aLilBitAlexisss) September 18, 2021

The FBI has removed items from Brian Laundrie's home to help with the search, his attorney said.

Missing YouTuber Gabby Petito's boyfriend Brian Laundrie left his parents' house as early as Tuesday, Petito's stepfather said on CNN, adding a new twist to the nationwide investigation that has gripped America.

Jim Schmidt spoke with CNN's Chris Cuomo shortly after the news broke.

"Yeah, it's the first time we're hearing it. I don't think I've had a moment to fully digest it yet. I don't even know what to say," Schmidt said.

Cuomo asked whether or not Schmidt believes it's true that the Laundries haven't seen their son since Tuesday, and Schmidt said he's not sure what to believe but he's happy the family called the police.

The revelation is a blow to police who have named Laundrie a "person of interest" in the investigation but until Friday made no attempt to enter Laundrie's parents' home where they believed he was living.

North Port Police are currently speaking with the Laundrie Family at their request. At this time, we are not speaking with Brian. More details when available.

— North Port Police (@NorthPortPolice) September 17, 2021

In the meantime, a TIkToker added a twist to the mystery in a video that has now gone viral. Miranda Baker said she and her boyfriend gave Laundrie a ride as he hitchhiked alone in Wyoming in what she called a "weird" encounter.

The meeting took place on August 29, one day before Petito's last text to her mother, Nicole Schmidt, who has said she did not believe the message was written by her daughter.

As the search continues for 22-year-old Gabby Petito, authorities are now also looking for her fiance Brian Laundrie, according to his attorney.

The announcement comes nearly 12 hours after Tik Tok user Miranda Baker posted a now-viral video claiming she picked up Laundrie hitchhiking alone in Grand Teton National Park—where Petito was last seen.

Baker said that she picked up Laundrie with her boyfriend around 5:30 p.m. on August 29 near Colter Bay when he asked for a ride. Around 6:09 p.m., Baker said that Laundrie asked to get out of the vehicle and seemed agitated when she mentioned their destination to "Jackson Hole" and Laundrie said he would hitchhike the rest of the way.

Baker thought the encounter was "weird" since Laundrie allegedly told her he had been camping by himself for days but he didn't seem dirty, smelly or prepared for an extended stay.

The encounter described by Baker took place one day before Petito's last text to her family. However, Petito's mom is suspicious as to whether or not the text actually came from her daughter.

The whereabouts of Brian Laundrie, the fiance of missing 22-year-old Gabby Petito, are currently unknown, according to the 23-year-old's attorney and multiple reports.

Breaking from the attorney for Brian Laundrie: “Be advised that the whereabouts of Brian Laundrie are currently unknown.  The FBI is currently at the Laundrie residence removing property to assist in locating Brian.  As of now the FBI is now looking for both Gabby and Brian.”

— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) September 18, 2021

Brian Entin, a correspondent for NewsNation Now, and Kristin Thorne, a reporter for WABC, both tweeted that Brian Laundrie's attorney has reported he has also disappeared.

BREAKING: Brian Laundrie’s attorney says Brian is missing. The FBI is now trying to locate Brian and Gabby Petito. They removed items from Brian’s parents house today to assist in the search for him.

— Kristin Thorne (@KristinThorne) September 18, 2021

Thorne tweeted that the FBI is trying to locate both Laundrie and Petito. Police were seen entering the family's home around 6:20 p.m. Friday evening and left around 8:50 p.m. at the request of the family, the North Port Florida Police Department said on Twitter. Police also were seen taking items out of the house to help with the search for Laundrie, Thorne said.

Patricia McKnight, a journalist for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, reported around 8:50 p.m. that officers were seen leaving the Laundrie residence. Police initially entered the home around 6:20 p.m. and a Twitter account for the department said that officers were there at the request of the family and they were not speaking with Brian Laundrie.

Garrison later tweeted that the conversation at the home was complete and that once they have the details, a statement will be made.

"We ask for calm! Please let us work through this and information will be forthcoming," he wrote.

The conversation at the Laundrie home is complete. Once we have the details, a statement will be made. We ask for calm! Please let us work through this and information will be forthcoming.@NorthPortPolice

— Chief Todd Garrison (@NPPDPoliceChief) September 18, 2021

The news comes as protesters gather outside of the Laundrie home for the second night in a row and a search for Petito begins in Wyoming.

Sgt. Clayton Platt of the Teton County Sheriff's Office said that investigators are conducting physical searches in the area of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming but did not disclose where they were looking, according to Fox News.

Gabby Petito's boyfriend Brian Laundrie is not at the Laundrie family home and police do not currently know where he is.

North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison told Outfront on CNN that officers do not know where Laundrie is, according to a tweet by CNN producer Vaughn Sterling.

"He could be anywhere," Garrison is quoted as telling the network.

Sterling also pointed out that Garrison did not say that police were looking for Laundrie at this time.

The FBI confirmed to Newsweek that a press conference initially planned for 6 p.m. ET to share updates in the Gabby Pepito case has been cancelled. No reason was given.

In addition, police were seen entering the Laundrie home, in video captured by Brian Entin of News Nation Now.

This is the moment Police showed up to Brian Laundrie’s house.

— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) September 17, 2021

North Port Police confirmed in a tweet that they were in the house.

"North Port Police are currently speaking with the Laundrie Family at their request. At this time, we are not speaking with Brian. More details when available," the department tweeted.

Gabby Petito's Godmother Calls Brian Laundrie Silence 'Reprehensible' During Fox News Appearance

Flora Rocco, Gabby Petito's godmother, called Brian Laundrie's silence on the Gabby Petito case "reprehensible" during an appearance on Fox News' "The Faulkner Focus."

She said that his lack of communication wasn't just not helping the investigation, but also "hindering" efforts to determine Petito's whereabouts.

Rocco said that both Petito and Laundrie visited her in her Charleston, South Carolina, home at the beginning of June. When asked whether Petito and Laundrie were in love, Rocco responded "yeah, I would say so," adding that they from her vantage point, "they had a great relationship."

Rocco addressed Laundrie directly, calling on him to end his silence.

"Brian, you're the only one that can tell us where to start looking," she said.

Gabby Petito's father responds to comments from Brian Laudrie's family

Gabby Petito's father responded to comments from Briance Laundrie's family.

Cassie Laundrie, Brian's sister, told Good Morning America that Petito is "like a sister."

Joe Petito told NewsNation that those remarks "made a lot of sense."

"If that's that family's version of love, to just ignore and not care that someone's gone," Joe Petito said, "and people are looking for them and entire countries looking for them, I mean, that explains how we got to where we are today. Because I mean, look at their version of what they call love."

Petito's family wrote a letter to the Laundries begging them to share information about Brian and their daughter.

Police believe Brian Laundrie remains in North Port

North Port Police believe Brian Laundrie is still in town, spokesman Josh Taylor told reporters during a press conference Friday.

Taylor said that "as far as I know," Laundrie is still in his home.

"I don't have any information on him leaving town. I don't know where he would go."

Taylor also said that police do not have Gabby's cellphone. This means it was not in the van when it was searched after Laundrie returned home.

Social media users flood Brian Laundrie's Instagram with accusatory comments

Social media users have swarmed to Instagram to help in the effort to find Gabby Petito.

Petito herself heavily documented her travels online, using the hashtag #vanlife.

Several Instagram accounts have been created to bring attention to the missing persons case, including @gabby.petito and @gabbypetitocase, which feature updates on the case.

People have also flooded the comments of Petito's fiancé Brian Laundrie's Instagram account acausing him of being involved in Petito's disappearance.

As of Friday morning, more than 85,000 people are following his account. Petito's following count has also amassed to 280,000.

READ MORE: "Social Media Users Flood Instagram to Find Gabby Petito, Swarm Brian Laundrie in Comments"

North Port Police have still not spoken with Brian Laundrie, spokesperson says

The North Port Police have still not spoken with Brian Laundrie in connection with Gabby Petito's disappearance, a department spokesperson said.

Police did speak with Laundrie's sister, but she did not have any substantial information to share.

"I can confirm that law enforcement has touched based with a sister of Brian Laundrie," department public information officer Josh Taylor said during a news conference Friday. "It is my understanding that nothing of substance has been shared. Brian has still not spoken to us."

He says they have received up to a thousand tips to the FBI line but most of them have not been helpful. Police are following up with a few tips, in order to piece together "nuggets" of information from people who said they spotted Petito's van.

"Certainly there has been progress made over the last 24 hours," he said. "I don't know that we are at the point that we have it solved."

He added that "the goal right now is to bring Gabby home."

What We Do Know From Redacted Gabby Petito Report

While the redacted missing persons report for Gabby Petito offers scarce information from the North Port Police Department, the largely blacked out document confirms part of the timeline of her case.

The report lists the report filing date as Sept. 11, 10 days after fiancé Brian Laundrie returned to his home in Florida without Petito on September 1.

The filing blacks out the name, phone number, address, reporting officer, vehicle information and incident description section, but provides the incident report number. The incident type is also listed as "Assist other Agency" and the one "Offense" as "AA," though no clarification for the designations was visible on the report.

'Active Investigation' Cited for Redacted Gabby Petito Missing Persons Report

Though the North Port Police Department released the missing persons report believed to be for Gabby Petito, most of the document is redacted.

A public records request exemptions document posted on Twitter by NBC 2 reporter Megan Myers wrote said in a header that "confidential information" was redacted pursuant to a Florida statute regarding active criminal investigations and "intelligence information."

Not even Gabby's name was listed on the report, which also blacked out vehicle information.

North Port police release redacted missing persons report

The North Port Police Department released the official missing person report believed to be for Gabby Petito.

However, most of the report is redacted.

JUST IN: NPPD released the official missing person report for Gabby Petito. Almost all of the report is redacted. #GabbyPetito @NBC2

— Megan Myers (@MeganMyersNews) September 17, 2021

Timeline of Gabby Petito's disappearance

Police across several states continue to search for missing 22-year-old Gabby Petito.

Petito and her fiancé Brian Laundrie left Long Island, New York in their van for a road trip out west on July 2.

Laundrie returned to his home in Florida in the van but without Petito on September 1.

Her family reported her missing on September 11.

Here is a timeline police have priced together of Petito's disappearance.

READ MORE: "Gabby Petito Has Been Missing for 6 Days: What We Know"

Neighbors plan more protests outside Brian Laundrie's home

Neighbors of Brian Laundrie are planning to organize more protests outside of his home Friday night, according to local reports.

North Port, Florida residents said there are Facebook groups forming to organize protests, WPTV's Meghan McRoberts reported. The North Port Police say they are aware of the protests.

Neighbors of Brian Laundrie told me there have been some Facebook groups forming to organize a protest of sorts tonight outside his home in #northport. @NorthPortPolice say they are aware. We still don’t know where Brian is. #WhereIsGabby @WPTV

— Meghan McRoberts (@MeghanWPTV) September 17, 2021

A candlelight vigil will be held near North Port City Hall Friday at 7 p.m.

Remember the ladies we met last night outside of Laundrie’s home? They helped put together a vigil for #GabbyPetito tonight. @mysuncoast

— Daniela Hurtado (@DaniCHurtado_) September 17, 2021

"My gut tells me that something bad happened," Gabby Petito's father says

Gabby Petito's father gave an emotional interview about his daughter's disappearance Friday.

"My gut tells me that something bad happened and I am never, I'm never going to be able to hold my baby girl again." Joe Petito told HLN. "But my head tells me, that if I focus on that, I'm not gonna be able to do the job that needs to be done."

He added that Brian Laundrie "should be leading the charge" to find Gabby, but "instead he's not."

Brian Laundrie has not spoken to police, North Port Police spokesperson says

A spokesperson for the North Police police told CNN that authorities have recovered "material" from Gabby Petito's van but they cannot speak about what they found yet.

North Port Police spokesperson Josh Taylor said there is no evidence that Petito would be in Florida and the search continues in Wyoming.

He said police are interested in knowing about gas stations and interactions people had with Petito and her fiance Brian Laundrie, as the van traveled thousands of miles.

Taylor added that there were no previous incidents with the couple in North Port and that Laundrie "has a clean record."

However, Taylor said police have not spoken to Laundrie about Petito's disappearance and that he "would not consider the family having being entirely cooperative."

"There are holes that need to be plugged," Taylor said.

Tipster says she spotted Petito's van in Grand Teton National Park

The Teton County Sheriff's Office is investigating tips they receive spotting Gabby Petito's van inside Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

"All those little pieces can be little pieces of the puzzle to help us figure out where Gabby is," Sergeant Clayton Platt told KSLTV.

"I can't give you any specifics on areas of interest but we are certainly following up on all leads that we receive," he said.

Shannon Baker was on a trip with her family when she noticed a van she really liked.

"We drove through the Tetons and the only stop we made was at Jenny Lake," Baker told KSLTV.

She said she spotted Petito's van in the Jenny Lake parking lot at 5 p.m. on August 25.

"I'm sure of it," Baker said. "It had the black ladder on the back and the two black rooftops on top, the two bars, and we made the comment that would be the perfect little camper van to go around in."

Baker said they made the connection when they saw a breaking news story about Petito's disappearance Sunday.

"I said, 'Oh my god! That's the same van we saw,'" Baker said.

"You never know what you've got in a photo that you've thought and lo and behold, there was a van that matches the description of this van in this case," Platt said.

Utah police investigating possible connection between Petito's disappearance and double homicide near Moab

A Utah sheriff is investigating a possible connection between the disappearance of Gabby Petito and a double homicide at a campground outside Moab last month.

The Grand County Sheriff's Office said Thursday that it is "actively looking" into any connection between the two cases.

"The Sheriff's Office is not ruling anything out at this time and appreciate the concerns of the public and their willingness to contact this office with those concerns and information," the Grand County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

Newlyweds Crystal Turner and Kylen Schulte were found shot to death at a campground southeast of Moab on August 18, five days after they were last seen leaving a downtown bar.

Schulte's aunt, Bridget Calvert, told KUTV that the couple complained about a "creepy guy" who was making them uncomfortable in their campsite just days before they were killed.

Brian Laundrie's sister speaks out about Gabby Petito's disappearance

The sister of Brian Laundrie gave an exclusive interview with Good Morning America Thursday following the disappearance of Gabby Petito.

"Obviously me and my family want Gabby to be found safe," Cassie Laundrie said. "She's like a sister and my children love her, and all I want is for her to come home safe and found and this to be just a big misunderstanding."

Brian Laundrie was named a person of interest in the case and police said he was not providing any information about the disappearance.

His sister says she hasn't spoken to her brother since he returned from the trip earlier this month.

"We haven't been able to talk to him. I wish I could talk with him," she said.

She said she has cooperated with the police "in every way I can."

"I wish I had information or I would give more," she said.

Cassie Laundrie said that the police camera video of Petito and her brother arguing "looked typical of both of them."

"Whenever they would fight, they would take a break and come back and be fine because that's what you do in a couple."

She added that Laundrie is a "wonderful uncle" who has "always been there when I needed him" and "he's been there every time Gabby's needed him."