Gabby Petito's Family Speaks Out for 1st Time Since She Was Found Dead as Search for Brian Laundrie Continues
“For Brian, we’re asking you to turn yourself into the FBI or the nearest law enforcement agency," Petito's family attorney told reporters Tuesday. Meanwhile, Laundrie's parents are denying speculation they helped their son evade police.
Gabby Petito’s family lawyer told reporters Tuesday that “justice for Gabby is that we see justice for her homicide,” as authorities continue to investigate potential leads in their search for Brian Laundrie.
“The FBI has classified her death a homicide. They are the premiere agency in the country. They’re investigating her death. And we believe, through their investigation, we will have justice for Gabby,” Richard Stafford said.
“The Laundries did not help us find Gabby. They’re sure as not going to help us find Brian," Stafford continued, before addressing Laundrie directly. “For Brian, we’re asking you to turn yourself into the FBI or the nearest law enforcement agency.”
A federal arrest warrant issued for Laundrie last Thursday alleges that he spent at least $1,000 with an “unauthorized” debit card in the days following Petito’s death. Authorities have called him a person of interest in connection with the investigation into Petito’s death.
Stafford noted that Petito’s parents are “100% happy with the FBI” in their handling of the investigation so far.
United by grief, Petito’s mother, father and stepfather also spoke at the press conference — the first time publicly since the 22-year-old travel blogger was found dead in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park.
Petito’s stepfather, Jim Schmidt, said he hopes that through the tragedy, they can help other families in similar situations.
He said that through Petito’s case, “other law enforcement agencies are starting to look back on other missing persons cases and starting to reinvestigate them.”
The family also showed reporters new tattoos on their arms dedicated to and designed by Petito. “I wanted to have her with me all the time,” Petito’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, said.
“I just hope that people are inspired by her,” Nichole continued. “It’s hard to put into words, but it means a lot to me that she’s touched so many lives already.”
Meanwhile, through their attorney, Laundrie's parents say they don't know where their son has gone.
“They are concerned about Brian and hope the FBI can locate him,” Steven Bertolino said in a statement, adding that speculation the parents helped him evade police is "just wrong.”
Duane Chapman, best known as Dog the Bounty Hunter, is claiming there is surveillance video showing Laundrie and his parents at an island campground off the Florida coast in early September.
He says that Laundrie's parents left the campground without him.
“Three people came in on the 6th and two people left on the 8th. I think he's been here for sure,” Chapman said.
But John Walsh, host of “In Pursuit,” says he has tips showing Laundrie may be hiding out in Mexico, the Bahamas or the Appalachian Trail.
A new witness is coming forward to say he encountered Laundrie drinking alone at a restaurant in Montana on Aug. 26 — the night before Gabby was last seen alive.
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