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Police Want To Speak With Boyfriend Of 22-Year-Old Woman Who Disappeared During Cross-Country Trip
Gabrielle Petito and her boyfriend Brian Laundrie were traveling across the U.S. in a converted camper van when her family in New York lost contact with her.
Police in Florida would like to speak to the boyfriend of a woman who vanished while documenting the couple’s cross-country trip on YouTube.
Gabrielle Petito, 22, was reported missing on Saturday by her family in Long Island, New York after they lost contact with her, according to a statement from the Suffolk County Police Department previously obtained by Oxygen.com. Petito’s mother, Nicole Schmidt, told Fox News the last time she verbally spoke to her daughter was on Aug. 25 when she and her boyfriend, identified as Brian Laundrie, were camping in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
Laundrie, 23, has since returned to his home in North Port, Florida where investigators are attempting to contact him.
"We would like to talk to him," North Port Police spokesman Josh Taylor told Oxygen.com. "The fact he was the last person seen with her makes him someone we would be interested in talking to"
Taylor said that police had talked to Laundrie’s parents and they referred them to their son’s attorney.
Laundrie has not been identified as a suspect in the case and Taylor said there’s no evidence of a crime at this point.
Laudrie’s attorney released a statement on Petito’s disappearance Tuesday, according to New York station WABC-TV.
"This is an extremely difficult time for both the Petito family and the Laundrie family. I understand that a search has been organized for Miss Petito in or near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. On behalf of the Laundrie family, it is our hope that the search for Miss Petito is successful and that Miss Petito is reunited with her family. On the advice of counsel, the Laundrie family is remaining in the background at this juncture and will have no further comment."
Both Laundrie and Petito had been traveling across the country in a white 2012 Ford Transit van that they converted into a camper van. Police have since recovered the van at the home of Laundrie’s parents, WTVT in Tampa Bay reports.
On August 19, mere days before her family last heard from her, Petito posted an eight-minute video on YouTube documenting the couple’s journey. The video, entitled “Beginning Our Van Life Journey,” shows the couple laughing, kissing, and doing cartwheels on the beach.
Petito’s distraught father, Joe Petito, told Newsday her disappearance has been like “drowning with your hands tied behind you.”
Petito has been described by police as a white female, approximately 5 feet 5 inches tall and 110 pounds. She has blonde hair and blue eyes, along with several distinctive tattoos including one on her forearm that reads, “Let it be.”
Anyone with information on Petito’s disappearance is urged to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls can remain anonymous.
"The Murder of Gabby Petito: Truth, Lies and Social Media" will air on Oxygen on Monday, January 24 at 9/8c. It's also available to stream on Peacock now.