(Trends Wide) — Reports that Brian Laundrie camped out with his family this month before Gabby Petito’s disappearance was reported appear to clarify a timeline of his movements after he returned to Florida without his fiancée, who was eventually found dead in Wyoming.
The Laundrie family stayed at a Florida camp dozens of miles from their home in North Port between Sept. 6-8, authorities said, days before Petito’s family reported their disappearance after the couple began. a truck trip across the country.
Although authorities have not explicitly linked Laundrie to Petito’s death, they are looking for him, in part in response to a federal arrest warrant accusing him of illegally using someone else’s debit card.
A publicly known timeline of Laundrie’s movements this month, along with the milestones of the case, looks like this:
September 1st: 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 to 8: Laundrie’s family stayed at Fort De Soto Campground, about 75 miles from their home, county officials said. Brian’s mother, Roberta Laundrie, checked into an oceanfront site around this time, according to a Pinellas County Parks Camp registration report provided to Trends Wide.
A lawyer for Laundrie’s family, Steven Bertolino, has said that Brian and his family were at the camp from September 6-7 and that they left the camp together.
The weekend of September 10: This was the last weekend a Laundrie neighbor, Karyn Aberts, says she saw Brian Laundrie at her home.
11 of September: Gabby Petito’s family reports her missing after being unable to communicate with her. North Port authorities go to Laundrie’s home that night and ask to speak to him and his family, but “essentially turn the information over to his attorney,” said city police spokesman Josh Taylor.
September 14-17: Laundrie’s parents have said they last saw him leave their home, carrying a backpack, on Sept. 14, and that he said he was heading to a nearby extensive nature reserve, according to police. The parents told police this on September 17, three days after he allegedly left, police said.
September 19th: Petito’s remains are located in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest. Later, a coroner initially ruled that his death was a homicide.
Regarding the Florida camp that Laundrie’s family visited in early September, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said it is not currently investigating the camp and is “not aware of any confirmed sightings of Brian.”
The doubts of the Petito family lawyer
On Tuesday, an attorney for Gabby Petito’s family expressed skepticism that Laundrie’s parents assist in the ongoing FBI search.
“The Laundries didn’t help us find Gabby. They sure won’t help us find Brian,” said family attorney Richard Stafford. “To Brian: We ask you to turn yourself in to the FBI or the nearest law enforcement agency.”
Speaking at a news conference with 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 that the FBI would fully investigate the case and obtain justice for Petito.
Petito’s parents and stepparents also announced the creation of the Gabby Petito Foundation, which they said would help keep his memory alive and help families in similar situations. And they revealed that they got tattoos that read “Let it be”, which their daughter designed.
“I wanted to have her with me all the time,” said her mother Nicole Schmidt.
For their part, Laundrie’s parents said they did not know his whereabouts two weeks after he was last seen, according to Bertolino, his lawyer.
“Chris and Roberta Laundrie don’t know where Brian is. They are worried about Brian and hope the FBI can locate him,” Bertolino said Monday night. “Speculation from the public and some in the press that the parents helped Brian get out of the family home or avoid arrest in a warrant that was issued after Brian had already been missing for several days is simply incorrect.” .
The mystery deepens
Petito, 22, and Laundrie, 23, spent the summer traveling in a white van through the American West as she posted about their adventures on social media.
Those 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. Petito’s family, unable to communicate 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 week-long, large-scale search for Laundrie at Carlton Reserve. Police say his parents told them on September 17 that three days earlier he had indicated that he was going to that area.
The preserve is a sprawling swamp that spans more than 10,117 hectares in southwest Florida, authorities said. A source close to the family told Trends Wide that Laundrie left her parents’ home without her cell phone and wallet and her parents were concerned that she might hurt herself.
The FBI, which has taken over the case, is leading a more specific intelligence-based search, North Port police said, and agents visited his parents’ home to obtain personal items that would help with the DNA match, they reported. various media.
Laundrie has not been explicitly linked to Petito’s death. Still, a federal arrest warrant was issued on suspicion that he used “unauthorized devices” stemming from his alleged actions after Petito’s death.
Laundrie allegedly used a debit card and PIN for non-owned accounts for charges exceeding $ 1,000 between the dates of Aug. 30 and Sept. 1, according to a federal indictment.
An attorney for Laundrie’s family emphasized in a statement that the arrest warrant was not for Petito’s death, but related to activities that allegedly took place afterward.
Two separate awards totaling $ 30,000 have been offered to anyone who provides law enforcement officials with Laundrie’s whereabouts.
Unanswered questions about what happened to Petito have prompted digital detectives to follow the couple’s online trail to try to solve the case and reports have emerged that tension may have risen between the couple.
The focus on the Petito case has also highlighted the tens of thousands of missing persons cases across the country and raised questions about why some of those cases attract such intense interest and others do not.
Trends Wide’s Eric Levenson, Madeline Holcombe, Rebekah Riess, Chris Cuomo, Rob Frehse, Sarah Jorgensen, Alison Kosik, and Gregory Lemos contributed to this report.