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The attorney for Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito’s family has alleged that Brian Laundrie stole her credit card and used it to get back home to Florida.
Richard Stafford, an attorney and spokesperson for Petito’s parents and stepparents, made the claim during a “Dr. Phil” episode Tuesday.
“You can look at his state of mind by his actions,” he told Dr. Phil McGraw. “And he ran, he stole her credit card, he used her credit card to get home and then ran from the police.”
Laundrie, 23, has been named a person of interest in the investigation into Petito’s disappearance. The young couple were taking a trip across the country when she vanished. Laundrie returned to his parents’ Florida home, where both he and Petito had been living, without her on Sept. 1. The 22-year-old travel blogger was reported missing by her family on Long Island on Sept. 11.
Petito’s remains were found in Wyoming on Sept. 19. A federal arrest warrant has since been issued for Laundrie's arrest for the unauthorized use of a debit or credit card following Petito’s murder, though it doesn't specify whose card he allegedly used. Laundrie remains a fugitive.
Laundrie's parents say their son went missing after going for a hike at Sarasota County’s Carlton Reserve in mid-September. They initially told police he left on Sept. 14, but this week they noted that he actually vanished one day prior, on Sept. 13, according the Laundrie's family attorney. Multiple attempts to find him at that swampy reserve have not been successful. There have since been unconfirmed sightings of Laundrie on The Appalachian Trail in North Carolina.
Stafford believes he is hiding.
"I don't know what story he's going to try to tell, but it's not going to make any sense when you put it together with his actions from that moment forward – that he's running, that he's hiding, that he's trying to deceive everybody around him,” he said on “Dr. Phil.”
McGraw's interview with Stafford as well as with Petito's parents and stepparents continues on Wednesday.
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