Tuesday, August 16

the Police are looking for the boyfriend to cooperate with the investigation


(CNN) — Authorities searching for Gabby Petito are hoping to speak with her boyfriend, who they believe was the last person who was close to her before her family reported her missing, a police spokesman said Wednesday.

Petito’s family reported the 22-year-old missing on September 11. They said they were last in contact with her during the last week of August, according to North Port police.

Prior to that communication, Petito is believed to have been in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, police said. She was traveling with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, in a white 2012 Ford Transit van with Florida license plates, police said in a press release on Wednesday.

His vehicle was recovered Sept. 11 at the North Port home he shared with Laundrie and his parents, according to the statement, which adds that Laundrie allegedly returned to North Port on Sept. 1.

The vehicle was searched and “there was some material there” that authorities will review, Taylor said at Wednesday’s news conference. He did not provide further information on the material.

There is currently no search warrant for that home, Taylor said.

North Port Police are leading the investigation with the help of the FBI. Petito’s parents had reported his disappearance to the Suffolk County Police Department in New York.

The Laundrie family “remains in the background”

In a statement released Tuesday, Petito’s parents, Nicole Schmidt and Joseph Petito, said Laundrie refused to tell them where he had last seen their daughter and “refuses to explain why he left Gabby alone and drove his truck. to Florida. “

An attorney representing the Laundrie family said in a statement Tuesday that the family “remains in the background at this time and will not comment further” on the attorney’s advice.

“We understand that a search has been organized for Miss Petito in or around Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming,” Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino said in the statement.

The police describe the circumstances of the disappearance as “strange”

At Wednesday’s news conference, Taylor said police are doing “everything possible to bring her home safely or potentially hold anyone responsible for her harm accountable.”

“Someone who has been traveling and contacting their family and suddenly stops contacting … that’s obviously strange“Taylor told CNN on Tuesday.

“We are concerned and we are working as fast as we can to get a resolution,” Taylor said.

Police say Petito is white, about 1.65 meters tall and 50 kilos, has blonde hair, blue eyes, and several tattoos, including one on his finger and one on his forearm that says “Let it be “.

The FBI made a nationwide hotline, 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324), available for tips, according to police.

“So far, we have received hundreds of leads that are being investigated through multiple agencies. If anyone has seen the photographed vehicle or has information that could be helpful, please let us know,” police said.

They also created a verified page of GoFundMe to raise money and help in the search for Petito, with the consent of his family.

“Our trust and safety team is working with the GoFundMe organizer to ensure that the funds are transferred directly to the family,” confirmed GoFundMe communication officer Kelsi Gantt in an email to CNN.


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