Gabby Petito’s family ask for information on missing daughter
Petito, 22, was reported missing by his family on Saturday after they had not heard from him since late August, police in North Port, Florida said.
“Finding this girl is what matters,” her father, Joe Petito, said Thursday during a press briefing with North Port police, pointing to a photo of the missing woman. “Anything else … comes after that.” “
Petito is believed to have been in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming before his last contact with his family, police said. She was traveling with her fiance, Brian Laundrie, who returned to Florida, hired a lawyer and, along with his family, refused to speak to investigators.
“I ask for help from everyone here. I am asking for help from everyone at home. I am asking for help from Brian’s parents,” Petito’s father said, urging anyone with information to call the FBI hotline at 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324).
Separately, Petito’s family – via a letter read Thursday by their lawyer, Richard Stafford – also appealed to Laundrie and his parents for information on his plight.
“Please, if you or your family still have some decency, please tell us where Gabby is,” Petito’s relatives said in the letter.
“Tell us if we’re even looking in the right place. All we want is Gabby to come home. Please help us get there.”
Laundrie was traveling with Petito in his white 2012 Ford Transit van with Florida plates, according to a police statement. The van was picked up from the North Port home she shared with Laundrie and her parents on Sunday, the statement said. Laundromat would return to North Port on September 1.
“We haven’t been able to sleep or eat, and our lives are crumbling,” Petito’s parents and in-laws said in Thursday’s call to laundries, calling her a future daughter-in-law.
“We think you know where Brian left Gabby. We beg you to tell us as a parent, how could you let us go through this pain and not help us? As a parent, how could you put Gabby’s younger brothers and sisters through this? “
Laundries “will have no further comments,” lawyer said
A lawyer for the Laundrie family said in a statement Tuesday that his clients “were standing back … and would have no further comment” on the lawyer’s advice.
“We understand that a search has been arranged for Miss Petito in or near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming,” Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino said in the statement.
North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison said Thursday a missing persons investigation was underway and no criminal charges were pending at this time.
“Brian is exercising his constitutional rights and I must respect them,” Garrison said of Laundrie and his family. The purpose of the investigation, he added, “is not to bring Brian in at this time.”
Police describe Petito as being white, about 5ft 5in tall and weighing 110 pounds, with blonde hair, blue eyes, and several tattoos, including one on his finger and one on his forearm that says “Let it be” .
North Port Police are investigating, with assistance from the FBI. Petito’s family lives in New York and reported his disappearance to the Suffolk County, New York City Police Department.
Petito and Laundrie embarked on a cross-country trip in early July and were due to be in Oregon in early October, according to Stafford.
The family received a text from Petito’s phone on August 30, Stafford said, but they doubt she wrote it down. The family’s lawyer declined to share the message or why they doubted it was from their daughter.
Petito’s family contacted Laundrie’s parents on Friday or Saturday, but they declined to answer questions, according to Stafford.
“We understand that you are going through a difficult time and that your instincts are strong to protect your son,” Petito’s parents and in-laws said in Thursday’s letter. “We ask you to put yourself in our shoes.”
Petito and his fiancé had an “altercation” in Utah
In August, police in Moab, Utah, met Petito and her fiancé while they were “engaged in some sort of altercation,” according to a report released by the City of Moab Police Department.
Police in the city of Moab responded to the reports of disorderly conduct on August 12 and met with Laundrie and Petito, as well as a witness whose full name was redacted from the report.
Laundrie and Petito have been described as physically arguing over an argument, but “the man and woman said they were in love and engaged to get married and were desperate to see anyone charged with a crime” , according to the report by Officer Eric Pratt.
At the officers’ suggestion, Laundrie and Petito went their separate ways for the night, according to the report. Petito was described by one officer as “confused and emotional”.
“Having assessed all of the circumstances, I don’t think the situation escalated so much into a domestic assault as into a mental health crisis,” Officer Daniel Robbins wrote in the police report. No arrests have been made.
Robbins wrote that Laundrie said the couple had been traveling for “4 or 5 months”.