Gabby Petito's stepfather says Brian Laundrie is 'hiding' not missing and that he wants 'vengeance and justice'

·2 min read
Brian Laundrie in the desert with a cop behind him
This police camera video provided by The Moab Police Department shows Brian Laundrie talking to a police officer after police pulled over the van he was traveling in with Gabby Petito near the entrance to Arches National Park on Aug. 12, 2021. The Moab Police Department via AP
  • Gabby Petito's stepfather said Brian Laundrie is "hiding" after Petito was found strangled to death in Wyoming.

  • Jim Schmidt said he wants "vengeance and justice" in an interview with "60 Minutes Australia" on Sunday.

  • Laundrie - the sole person of interest in Petito's death - has been missing since mid-September.

Gabby Petito's stepfather said Brian Laundrie - the sole person of interest in the 22-year-old's death - is "hiding" not missing.

Jim Schmidt told "60 Minutes Australia" in an interview which aired Sunday that he wants "vengeance and justice" and for Laundrie "to pay for his crimes and to spend [the rest of his life] in prison."

Jim Schmidt made the comments in an interview with "60 Minutes Australia," which aired Sunday.

Schmidt also pinned responsibility on the Laundrie family, and expressed frustration that they weren't doing more to find Brian.

"We were up every day and every night until we found Gabby," he said. "Are the people that love him doing the same for him? And why not? Cause if they were, maybe he'd be found by now."

Gabby Petito was reported missing by her family in New York on September 11, 10 days after Laundrie returned home to Florida alone with the converted van he and Petito were traveling in. Laundrie was later reported missing himself on September 17 by his own family.

Petito's body was found days later near a camping area of Grand Teton National Forest in Wyoming. A Wyoming coroner determined she had been strangled to death and deemed her death a homicide.

"Her life was stolen from her," Schmidt said in the interview. "She was stolen. She was taken from us."

Authorities have been searching for Laundrie at Carlton Reserve, a 25,000-acre nature preserve in Florida, but have not found any signs of him.

Survival experts previously told Insider that it's unlikely Laundrie would be alive if he had been hiding out for so long.

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