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Gabby Petito’s boyfriend returned home 10 days before Gabby was reported missing, police say

North Port Police said Brian Laundrie is now a ‘person of interest’ in the investigation

Gabby Petitio is still missing.
A photo of Gabby Petito from the Suffolk County Police Department.
Suffolk County Police Department

Gabby Petito’s boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, is now a “person of interest” in the disappearance of Petito, the North Port Police said Wednesday.

Laundrie returned to North Port, Florida — where Petito and Laundrie were living together — on Sept. 1, which is 10 days before Petito’s family reported her missing, the department said.

  • “We have no information that a crime occurred here in North Port,” the police said.

Petito, a 22-year-old from New York, was reported missing on Sept. 11. She was last seen on a road trip with her boyfriend, Laundrie, which spanned across the country. Petito stopped in Utah, visiting Mystic Hot Springs and Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands and Arches national parks, among other locations during her time in the Beehive State. The couple documented their trip on Instagram and YouTube.

  • Petito’s last photo came on Aug. 25. She held a small knit pumpkin in front of a mural of butterflies, located in Ogden, Utah.

Suffolk County Police in New York said in a statement that Petito’s last known appearance was at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

  • Her mother, Nicole Schmidt, said she received text messages from her daughter on Aug. 27 and Aug. 30, as I wrote for the Deseret News.
  • However, she said she’s unclear if those texts came from Gabby because they didn’t speak on the phone or through FaceTime, which they had been doing throughout the trip.

The North Port police said they will continue to seek out what happened to Petito.

  • “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,” North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison said in a statement. “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.”