Sunday, June 26

Gabby Petito’s father wants Brian Laundrie found alive

(CNN) — Gabby Petito’s father said he wants the young woman’s fiancé, Brian Laundrie, to be found alive.

“I just hope they find him. Really … I mean, alive,” Joe Petito said in an exclusive interview on “Dr. Phil” that aired Wednesday, following another segment that aired Tuesday.

“I want to look him in the eye,” added Nichole Schmidt, Petito’s mother.

On Tuesday’s show, Schmidt said he believes Laundrie’s parents know more about their son’s whereabouts than they have revealed while authorities are searching for him.

“Someone has to start talking,” Schmidt said.

“I think they know a lot more information than they’re sharing,” he said, after host Phil McGraw asked him if he thinks the Laundries know where his son is.

Schmidt appeared on the show with Joe Petito, their respective spouses, to discuss the death of his daughter, whose remains were found in Wyoming on Sept. 19 after Gabby and Laundrie took a truck trip across the country.

Petito’s body was found near an entrance to the Grand Tetons, on the Bridger-Teton National Forest border, his stepfather, Jim Schmidt, said during a second installment that aired Wednesday. He said his body was in a clearing right in front of the remains of a ring of fire.

“It is definitely not a high traffic area,” he added.

Jim Schmidt left a monument and sunflowers on the site, CNN previously reported.

5: things: reveal new images of Gabby Petito 2:39

Laundrie’s parents’ attorney, Steven Bertolino, has said they do not know where their son is and that they have not heard from him since he left his Florida home in mid-September.

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Authorities say Laundrie returned alone from the road trip to her parents’ home on September 1, and Petito’s family reported her missing on September 11 after they were unable to contact her. When police visited the Laundrie home that day, they were told to contact the family’s attorney, according to authorities.

Six days later, Laundrie’s parents told investigators that Laundrie had left home days earlier and had not been seen since, police said.

The Laundries initially said he was gone on Sept. 14, according to police. But on Wednesday, Bertolino said the parents now believe he left on September 13.

Bertolino has previously said that Laundrie’s parents “remain in the background” and would not comment on legal advice. Bertolino also canceled a press conference scheduled for September 21, saying he did so at the request of the FBI.

Although authorities have not explicitly linked Laundrie to Petito’s death, they are looking for him, in part because of a federal arrest warrant accusing him of illegally using someone else’s debit card.

CNN tracks Gabby Petito’s last steps 4:37

Before Petito’s parents reported him missing, they thought both their daughter and Laundrie were missing, Joe Petito told McGraw in the interview broadcast Tuesday.

Schmidt and Joe Petito called and texted Laundrie’s mother and “whatever phone number I could get for that family,” Joe Petito said.

The Laundries never responded, Schmidt and Joe Petito said.

“In one of the text messages, I said, ‘I’m going to call the police, just to let them know.’ … There were no responses,” Joe Petito said.

“A normal parent, when you text someone saying you’re going to call the police because you can’t find your son, they would reply. There was no response, there was nothing,” he said.

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Bertolino declined to comment Wednesday on the interview with “Dr. Phil.”

In late September, Laundrie’s parents issued a statement through their attorney, saying, “Chris and Roberta Laundrie do not know where Brian is” and are “concerned about Brian and hope the FBI can locate him.” “Speculation by the public and some in the press that the parents helped Brian get out of the family home or avoid arrest by an arrest warrant that was issued after Brian had been missing for several days is simply wrong,” the statement said.

Petito’s mother says she didn’t know the van was back in Florida until Sept. 11

Petito, 22, and Laundrie, 23, spent the summer riding in a white truck through the American West as she posted about their adventures on social media.

The posts came to an abrupt halt in late August and Laundrie returned to his parents’ home in North Port, Florida, with the truck but without his fiancée on Sept. 1, according to police.

In the portion of the interview that aired Wednesday, Nichole Schmidt said that Moab, Utah police body camera footage showed Petito crying after officers detained the couple due to a dispute report Domestic was a “blessing” because it was a reality that many people do not see often on social media.

“Although the police video was difficult to watch, I think it was a blessing to see that she is a real human being and that she was in pain,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt told McGraw in the interview segment above that she did not know the truck was at the Laundrie home until Sept. 11, after she reported that Gabby was missing.

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“A detective came to my door and told me the truck was in Florida,” Schmidt said.

Joe Petito also expressed frustration at what police said was the Laundries’ initial response to inquiries from authorities, which was directing them to an attorney.

“I mean, that’s not how you breed,” Joe Petito told McGraw.

The Laundries Now Say Brian Left Home On Sept. 13, Family Lawyer Says

On September 17, Laundrie’s parents told investigators that they last saw him leaving his home in North Port, Florida, on September 14 with a backpack, and told them that he was going to the Carlton Reserve of more than 10,000. hectares, according to the police.

But on Wednesday, Bertolino, Laundrie’s parents’ attorney, told CNN that after further communication with the FBI, “we now believe that the day Brian went on a tour of the reservation was Monday, September 13.” .

Since then, investigators have spent days searching for Laundrie in the preserve outside of Venice, Florida.

In the “Dr. Phil” interview that aired Tuesday, Joe Petito said he believes Laundrie is alive and in hiding.

“Because he’s a coward. Flat out. I’d use other words, but I can’t use them in your show,” Joe Petito said.

Laundrie’s sister reacts after interview about Petito 1:05

CNN’s Kristina Sgueglia, Melissa Alonso, Amanda Watts, Gregory Lemos, and Leyla Santiago contributed to this report.

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