NewsNational News


Police in Florida name boyfriend of missing woman 'person of interest'

Posted at 9:43 AM, Sep 15, 2021

NORTH PORT, Fla. — Authorities in Florida say the boyfriend of Gabby Petito, a woman missing since traveling through Utah last month, has been named a person of interest in her disappearance.

On Wednesday, the North Port Police Department stated in a Facebook post that Brian Laundrie has not cooperated in the investigation and that he is now "a person of interest in this case."

The department said in the Facebook post that they would be the "primary investigating agency" since both parties in the case reside in North Port. They added that they would investigate alongside the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Police said they recovered Petito's vehicle in North Port at home she shared with Laundrie and his parents on Sept. 11.

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.

Petito Van
Petito's van is seen in an FBI holding area after Brain Laundrie drove it back to Florida without her.

“As a father, I can imagine the pain and suffering Gabby’s family is going through," said North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison. "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."

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, Utah, business.

The Moab Police Department said its officers responded to an incident involving the couple on Aug. 12. Still, an investigation determined there was insufficient evidence for criminal charges, and no other details were released.

The department added that the couple was not the ones who called the police.

Jeff Tavss at KSTU first reported this story.