Gabby Petito’s family and police urge her fiancé to come forward with any information about her disappearance

“I believe Brian has the information,” said Police Chief Todd Garrison of North Port, Florida, referring to Brian Laundrie.

“I believe people around Brian may also have the information, and we are pleading to those people to come forward. Provide us the information that we need to find Gabby and reunite Gabby with her family because she deserves it and her family deserves it,” he said.

Petito, 22, was traveling with Laundrie in her white 2012 Ford Transit van with a Florida license plate, police said. When her family didn’t hear from her since late August, they reported her missing on September 11. Police believe she was in the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming before the last communication with her family, who lives in New York.
“We are conducting a missing person investigation. Two people went on a trip, and one person returned. And that person is Brian. And we’re looking for Gabby, and he is not willing to provide us any information,” Garrison told CNN’s Don Lemon on Thursday night.

Authorities believe Laundrie was the last person to see Petito before she went missing.

On September 11, police found the van the couple was traveling in at the home Petito shared with Laundrie and his parents in North Port, Florida. Laundrie allegedly returned to North Port on September 1, police said in a news release.

Authorities are investigating some materials they found in the van after they processed it, though they didn’t clarify what exactly they’re looking into, Josh Taylor, a spokesperson for the North Port police department, said in a news briefing.

Taylor also added that Laundrie and his family directed police to their attorney when investigators went to their home Saturday to question them.

“That is the extent of our conversation with them,” Taylor said. “It’s my understanding we have had some conversations with his attorney but certainly nothing to the level of providing us the details that we would like.”

And the Laundries haven’t been talking to Petito’s family, who have been pleading people to come forward.
Gabby Petito's family makes plea for information about missing daughter
“We’ve had no communication between our family and theirs. It’s absolutely absurd. We don’t understand why,” Petito’s stepfather, James Schmidt, told CNN affiliate Court TV.

Schmidt explained that he is in Jackson, Wyoming, as a liaison between his family and law enforcement as investigators search for Petito. He said he believes Laundrie knows information about his stepdaughter’s disappearance and is “hiding behind” his attorney.

“He grew up with Gabby; they went to school together. They’re not strangers. They’ve known each other for a long time,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt addressed Laundrie during the interview with Court TV, calling on him to come forward with information he may know.

“This is the love of your life. It’s been out there on social media. You posted on your accounts. If that is true, then do the right thing. You need to do it now. Stop waiting,” Schmidt said.

Gabby Petito was reported on September 11, 2021. Police believe her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, has information about her disappearance but won't come forward.

‘We don’t have a crime,’ police say

Garrison told CNN that his department isn’t working on obtaining a search warrant for Laundrie’s home because they haven’t concluded that a crime has occurred. “In order to get a search warrant, you have to be tied to a crime. Right now, we don’t have a crime,” Garrison explained.

Police looking for missing woman Gabby Petito ask for her boyfriend's cooperation
He added that Laundrie has invoked his Fifth Amendment right, which generally means that a person cannot be forced to make statements that he or she feels might be negative or used against them. The amendment is usually invoked so a person can avoid answering specific questions. The right must be affirmatively waived.

“So I can’t compel him to speak. All of our information has been directed through an attorney. That can change. The attorney can come forward and say, ‘listen, Brian wants to provide a statement now,'” Garrison said.

The couple, though, did have a recent interaction with police in Moab, Utah.

Last month, officers with the Moab City Police Department responded to reports of disorderly conduct involving Petito and Laundrie, which ended with a report describing them as having “engaged in some sort of altercation.”

The report, which was released by the police department, indicates that Laundrie and Petito had a physical fight following an argument, but “both the male and female reported they are in love and engaged to be married and desperately didn’t wish to see anyone charged with a crime,” according to the report from Officer Eric Pratt.

The officers who responded to the incident suggested that Laundrie and Petito should separate for the night, according to the report. Petito is described by one officer as “confused and emotional.”

“After evaluating 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,” Officer Daniel Robbins wrote in the police report.

No charges were filed. Robbins wrote Laundrie said the pair had been traveling together for “the last 4 or 5 months.”

CNN’s Artemis Moshtaghian, Mirna Alsharif, Christina Maxouris, Jenn Selva, Ben Norbitz, Andy Rose, Claudia Dominguez and Halimah Abdullah contributed to this report.

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