The FBI and the police are now searching for Brian Laundrie, the fiancé and person of interest in the case of the disappearance of Florida woman Gabby Petito, and her parents believes the man is "hiding."
On Friday, Sept. 17, six days after her family reported her missing, cops were seen entering the home the couple shared with his parents, Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie, in North Port, Fla. Brian was not located and no arrests were made.
"The North Port Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigations are currently searching for 23-yr-old Brian Laundrie of North Port," the former agency said in a statement. "The attorney for the Laundrie family called FBI investigators Friday night indicating the family would like to talk about the disappearance of their son. The family now claims that they have not seen Brian since Tuesday of this week."
A lawyer for Gabby's family later said in a statement to multiple outlets, "All of Gabby's family want the world to know that Brian is not missing, he is hiding. Gabby is missing."
An attorney for Brian and his family has not responded to their remarks or commented otherwise on his client's alleged disappearance. Earlier in the day, Good Morning America ran an interview with Brian's sister, Cassie Laundrie, who said she has been unable to speak to her brother.
Gabby, 22, lost contact with her family in late August after traveling with Brian on a cross-country van road trip. The two documented their travels on YouTube and were believed to have been in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming before her disappearance. On Sept. 1, Brian returned to North Port alone. Gabby's parents reported her missing on Sept. 11. Police recently said say Brian is a "person of interest in this case" and "has not made himself available to be interviewed by investigators or has provided any helpful details."
In their latest statement, the North Port police described Brian as a white male with short brown hair, brown eyes and trimmed facial hair. He is 5'8" and weighs 160 pounds and was last seen wearing a hiking bag with a waist strap.
"We understand the community's frustration, we are frustrated too," the police statement said. "For six days, the North Port Police Department and the FBI have been pleading with the family to contact investigators regarding Brian's Fiancé Gabby Petito. Friday is the first time they have spoken with investigators in detail. It is important to note that while Brian is a person of interest in Gabby's disappearance, he is not wanted for a crime. We are not currently working a crime investigation. We are now working a multiple missing person investigations."
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The North Port Police Department, FBI, and agency partners are currently conducting a search of the vast Carlton Reserve for Brian Laundrie. His family says they believe he entered the area earlier this week. More details when available. <a href="https://t.co/I5x7DvQ3Jt">pic.twitter.com/I5x7DvQ3Jt</a></p>— North Port Police (@NorthPortPolice) <a href="https://twitter.com/NorthPortPolice/status/1439237015090839554?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 18, 2021</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
An attorney for Brian's family had said in a statement on Wednesday, Sept. 15, that Brian will not speak on the matter because "intimate partners are often the first person law enforcement focuses their attention on in cases like this and the warning that 'any statement made will be used against you' is true, regardless of whether my client had anything to do with Ms. Petito's disappearance." Brian, he added, "will continue to remain silent on the advice of counsel."
On Thursday, the lawyer for Gabby's family read at a press conference a letter from the woman's parents, Joe Petito and Nichole Schmidt, and her stepparents, Tara Petito and Jim Schmidt, that was addressed to Brian's parents, pleading for them to tell them the "location where Brian left Gabby," according to NBC News.
Two days prior, Brian's parents said in a statement released by their attorney that this is "understandably an extremely difficult time for both the Petito family and the Laundrie family" and that "it is our hope that the search for Miss Petito is successful and that Miss Petito is reunited with her family."
(E! and NBC News are part of the NBCUniversal family.)
For more true crime updates on your need-to-know cases, head to Oxygen.com.