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Boyfriend of missing traveler Gabby Petito ‘hindering’ investigation, Florida cops say

Gabrielle Petito was reported missing Saturday after her family hasn’t heard from her for weeks. 

Gabrielle Petito was reported missing Saturday after her family hasn’t heard from her for weeks. 

Screengrab from gabspetito on Instagram

A 22-year-old was traveling through national parks when she vanished. Now her boyfriend is a person of interest, police said.

Gabby Petito, was reported missing Saturday after her family said they hadn’t heard from her since the end of August, police said.

She was believed to be in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming when she disappeared, police said.

Police said Petito’s boyfriend, Brian Laundrie has “not made himself available to be interviewed by investigators.”

Petito, from Blue Point, New York, lived with Laundrie and his parents in North Port, Florida. She was on a cross-country trip to national parks with him when she disappeared, officials said.

Laundrie returned home to Florida on Sept. 1, 10 days before Petito’s family reported her missing, North Port authorities said.

Police said Laundrie is a person of interest in the case.

“We are pleading with anyone, including Brian, to share information with us on her whereabouts in the past few weeks,” North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison said in a news release. “The lack of information from Brian is hindering this investigation. The answers will eventually come out.”

Pettio’s family released a statement on Tuesday, saying Laundrie is not answering the questions they want answered.

“Brian is refusing to tell Gabby’s family where he last saw her. Brian is also refusing to explain why he left Gabby all alone and drove her van to Florida,” the family said in a statement to WNBC. “These are critical questions that require immediate answers.”

Laundrie’s attorney Steven Bertolino told 2News Tuesday that it’s “an extremely difficult time” for the Petito and Laundrie families.

“On behalf of the Laundrie family it is our hope that the search for Miss Petito is successful and that Miss Petito is re-united with her family,” the attorney told 2News. “On the advice of counsel the Laundrie family is remaining in the background at this juncture and will have no further comment.”

The FBI set up a national tip line for information at 1-800-CALLFBI, or 1-800-255-5324. They’ve already received hundreds of tips that are being vetted.

Police said Petito is 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs 110 pounds. She has blonde hair and blue eyes, and a forearm tattoo that says “let it be,” according to police.

This story was originally published September 15, 2021 1:21 PM.

Maddie Capron is a McClatchy Real-Time News Reporter focused on the outdoors and wildlife in the western U.S. She graduated from Ohio University and previously worked at CNN, the Idaho Statesman and Ohio Center for Investigative Journalism.

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