Gabby Petito laid to rest as hunt for Brian Laundrie continues

Family, friends and strangers held a funeral service in Holbrook, New York, to pay their respects to Gabby Petito as the search for Brian Laundrie enters into its second week. CNN's Nadia Romeero reports.

Posted: Sep 28, 2021 9:42 AM
Updated: Sep 29, 2021 12:00 PM


Reports that Brian Laundrie camped with his family this month before Gabby Petito was reported missing appear to clarify a timeline of his movements after he returned to Florida without his fiancée, who eventually was found dead in Wyoming.

The Laundrie family stayed at a Florida campground dozens of miles from their North Port home between September 6-8, officials said, days before Petito's family reported her missing after the couple were on a cross-country van trip.

Though authorities have not explicitly connected Laundrie to Petito's death, they are looking for him, in part as a response to a federal arrest warrant accusing him of illegally using another person's debit card.

A publicly known timeline of Laundrie's movements this month, along with case milestones, looks like this:

September 1: He returned from the cross-country road trip, without Petito, to the home he shared with his parents in North Port, Florida, according to police.

September 6-8: The Laundrie family stayed at Fort De Soto Campground, about 75 miles from their home, county officials said. Brian's mother, Roberta Laundrie, was checked in at a waterfront site on these dates, according to a Pinellas County Parks campground check-in report provided to CNN.

A Laundrie family attorney, Steven Bertolino, has said Brian and his family were at the campground September 6-7, and that they left the campground together.

The weekend of September 10: This was the last weekend that a neighbor of the Laundries, Karyn Aberts, says she saw Brian Laundrie at his home.

September 11: Gabby Petito's family reports her missing after not being able to get in touch with her. North Port authorities go to Laundrie's home that night and ask to speak with him and his family, but are 'essentially handed the information for their attorney,' city police spokesperson Josh Taylor has said.

September 14-17: Laundrie's parents have said they last saw him leaving their home, with a backpack, on September 14, and that he said he was going to a nearby sprawling nature reserve, according to police. The parents told police this on September 17, three days after he allegedly left, police said.

September 19: Petito's remains are found in Wyoming's Bridger-Teton National Forest. A coroner later made an initial ruling that her death was a homicide.

As for the Florida campground that the Laundrie family visited in early September, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said it is not currently investigating at the campground, and it is 'unaware of any confirmed sightings of Brian.'

Attorney for Petito's family skeptical that Laundrie's family will help FBI search

On Tuesday, an attorney for Gabby Petito's family expressed skepticism that Laundrie's parents would help in the FBI's ongoing search for him.

'The Laundries did not help us find Gabby. They're sure not going to help us find Brian,' family attorney Richard Stafford said. 'For Brian, we're asking you to turn yourself in to the FBI or the nearest law enforcement agency.'

Speaking at a news conference alongside Petito's parents and stepparents, Stafford said the FBI had asked them not to discuss the relationship between the families. He said they were confident the FBI would thoroughly investigate the case and get justice for Petito.

Petito's parents and stepparents also announced the creation of the Gabby Petito Foundation, which they said would help keep alive her memory and help families in similar situations. And they revealed they got matching tattoos reading, 'Let it be,' in a script that their daughter designed.

'I wanted to have her with me all the time,' her mother Nicole Schmidt said.

For their part, Laundrie's parents affirmed they do not know his whereabouts two weeks after he was last seen, according to Bertolino, their attorney.

'Chris and Roberta Laundrie do not know where Brian is. They are concerned about Brian and hope the FBI can locate him,' Bertolino said Monday night. 'The speculation by the public and some in the press that the parents assisted Brian in leaving the family home or in avoiding arrest on a warrant that was issued after Brian had already been missing for several days is just wrong.'

Mystery deepens

Petito, 22, and Laundrie, 23, spent their summer traveling in a white van through the American West while she posted about their adventures across social media.

Those posts abruptly stopped in late August, and Laundrie returned to his parents' home in North Port, Florida, with the van but without his fiancée on September 1, according to police. Petito's family, unable to get in touch with her, reported her missing on September 11.

Petito's remains were found in a camping area in Wyoming's Bridger-Teton National Forest on September 19, near where the couple had last been seen.

In Florida, authorities conducted a large-scale search for Laundrie for a week at the Carlton Reserve. Police say his parents told them on September 17 that three days earlier he'd indicated he was going to that area.

The reserve is a sprawling swampland that stretches over 25,000 acres in southwest Florida, authorities said. A source close to the family told CNN that Laundrie left his parents' home without his cell phone and wallet and his parents were concerned that he might hurt himself.

The FBI, which has taken over the case, is leading a more targeted search based on intelligence, North Port police said, and agents visited his parents' home to get personal items that would assist with DNA matching, multiple news outlets have reported.

Laundrie has not been explicitly connected to Petito's death. Still, a federal warrant for his arrest was issued on suspicion of his using 'unauthorized devices' stemming from his alleged actions following Petito's death.

Laundrie allegedly used a debit card and PIN number for accounts that did not belong to him for charges exceeding $1,000 between the dates of August 30 and September 1, according to a federal indictment.

An attorney for Laundrie's family emphasized in a statement that the warrant was not for Petito's death but related to activities that allegedly took place afterward.

Two separate rewards totaling $30,000 have been offered to anyone who provides law enforcement officials with Laundrie's whereabouts.

The unanswered questions about what happened to Petito have spurred digital detectives to comb through the couple's online trail to try to solve the case and surfaced reports that tension may have been building between the couple.

The focus on Petito's case has also highlighted the tens of thousands of missing persons' cases across the country and raised questions about why some of those cases garner such intense interest and others do not.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2729595

Reported Deaths: 57534
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings35008110971
Queens32689410411
Suffolk2554533688
Nassau2261353332
Bronx2133646806
New York1767984665
Westchester1481672356
Erie1248032050
Monroe976581253
Richmond928091973
Orange62183944
Onondaga59393818
Rockland55509783
Dutchess37964510
Albany34399413
Oneida33196643
Niagara28724419
Broome28212434
Saratoga24658225
Schenectady19328245
Ulster19063291
Rensselaer17411193
Chautauqua14985195
Oswego14170135
Putnam13145101
Chemung12834175
St. Lawrence12815143
Steuben12484190
Ontario11683119
Jefferson11388106
Wayne10251103
Cattaraugus9983157
Cayuga9729113
Sullivan958890
Genesee8633144
Herkimer8312143
Clinton809948
Fulton7854115
Tompkins741461
Madison7365109
Warren730096
Livingston722176
Montgomery7191162
Washington668580
Tioga634473
Cortland609489
Allegany5988122
Columbia5693113
Chenango554795
Orleans549496
Franklin541526
Otsego537063
Wyoming530266
Greene493189
Delaware439951
Lewis420340
Seneca324567
Essex298438
Schoharie268124
Yates198534
Schuyler193320
Hamilton5133
Unassigned1432
Out of NY0339
Utica
Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 35° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 29°
Oneonta
Mostly Cloudy
34° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 25°
Herkimer
Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 29°
Old Forge
Partly Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 29°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
2022 WKTV Golf Card only $99.99
Game Day Deals - New Deals Each Week
Stuff the Bus Locations
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve