Boyfriend of Gabby Petito named ‘person of interest’ in disappearance

Posted at 5:14 PM, September 15, 2021 and last updated 2:10 AM, December 13, 2022

By: Jeff Tavss

NORTH PORT, Fla. — The boyfriend of Gabby Petito, a woman missing since traveling through Utah last month, has been named a person of interest in her disappearance by police.


In a Facebook post Wednesday, the North Port (Fla.) Police Department confirmed that Brian Laundrie has not cooperated in the investigation and that he is now “a person of interest in this case.”

North Port police is the primary investigating agency in the case, along with the FBI, due to the van Petito and Laundrie were traveling in was recovered in Florida on Sept. 11, and that the couple lived with his parents in the city.

After Laundrie was named a person of interest by police on Wednesday, the lawyer for Petito’s mother released a statement.

The white 2012 Ford Transit van was processed for evidence on Tuesday. Officials say Laundrie drove it home to Florida without Petito on Sept. 1. Petito’s family reported her missing 10 days later.

North Port Police Department

Officials appear frustrated with Laundrie’s refusal to provide any details about Petito’s disappearance.

“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. 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,” said North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison.

Later on Wednesday, Laundrie’s lawyer, Steven P. Bertolino released a statement.

Petito, 22, and Laundrie, 23, were on a trip to several national parks in Utah and Wyoming when she was last seen in August. Petito made her last social media post to Instagram on Aug. 25 from an Ogden business.

The Moab Police Department said its officers responded to an incident involving the couple on Aug. 12, but an investigation determined there was not sufficient evidence for criminal charges and no other details were released.

This story was originally published September 15, 2021, by KSTU in Salt Lake City, an E.W. Scripps Company.