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May 23, 2022

Brian Laundrie has disappeared as search for Gabby Petito continues, attorneys say

Gabby Petito, 22, left Blue Point, New York, on a cross-country trip with her boyfriend of two years on July 2. Her disappearance is not related to a double homicide case in which two women were killed near Moab last month, law enforcement officials confirmed Friday. (Suffolk County Police Department)

MOAB — Federal investigators now say they don’t know the whereabouts of Brian Laundrie, the boyfriend of a missing woman who has been listed as a person of interest in her disappearance.

Gabby Petito, 22, was seen traveling through Utah and Wyoming in her van with Laundrie before she disappeared. Petito and Laundrie left from Blue Point, New York, in early July and were in Utah from Aug. 12 to 24 before they drove north to Grand Teton National Park.

The FBI office in Denver announced Saturday that its agents and partners at the National Park Service, Teton County Sheriff’s Office and Jackson Police Department are currently conducting ground surveys in areas of Grand Teton National Park where she was last seen.

Friday afternoon, police in North Port, Florida, said they were speaking with the Laundrie family at the family’s request. Police weren’t speaking with Brian on Friday afternoon, and FBI officials later said they couldn’t locate Laundrie after speaking with his family.

“Be advised that the whereabouts of Brian Laundrie are currently unknown,” Laundrie’s attorneys said in a statement Friday evening. “The FBI is currently at the Laundrie residence removing property to assist in locating Brian. As of now the FBI is looking for both Gabby and Brian.”

Laundrie has been named a person of interest in the case, according to police. Laundrie drove the van back to North Port, Florida, where the pair lived with Laundrie’s parents, and arrived on Sept. 1. Petito’s family reported her missing 10 days later. Family members say they last heard from her in late August, and she is believed to have been last seen in Grand Teton National Park.

“We do not consider Brian missing — Gabby is missing, he was home! He left — he is hiding and running from the authorities after being named a person of interest,” a family friend told KSL-TV.

Law enforcement officials on Friday also confirmed Petito’s disappearance isn’t related to a double homicide case in which two women were killed near Moab last month.

The killings of Crystal Turner and Kylen Schulte are not related to Petito’s case, the Grand County Sheriff’s Office said in a one-line news release.

The sheriff’s office didn’t say how it determined that he two cases aren’t related.

Investigators processed the van for evidence on Sept. 11, but have not said what they found in the vehicle. Authorities have been searching for Petito near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

Meanwhile, a news conference about Petito’s disappearance that was planned for Friday afternoon near Grand Teton National Park was abruptly canceled. National Park Service and FBI officials did not offer an explanation for why the event was canceled.

Schulte, 24, and Turner, 38, were found dead in the South Mesa area of La Sal Loop Road on Aug. 18. Police in Florida had previously said they were sharing information with the Grand County Sheriff’s Office about the Schulte and Turner case and Petito’s disappearance.

Later Friday afternoon, the sheriff’s office said an altered press release with false information was being circulated on social media. The sheriff’s office has not scheduled a press conference for Saturday, and people should disregard the altered release, the sheriff’s office said.

Contributing: Garna Mejia, Morgan Wolfe, Matt Rascon

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