Gabby Petito news – latest: ‘Concerned’ Brian Laundrie family insist they don’t know his whereabouts

·60-min read

On the ninth day of the search for Brian Laundrie, North Point police scaled back their search efforts, choosing instead to focus on a few specific spots within the Carlton Reserve. A Florida rancher told news outlets that he did not believe Mr Laundrie could survive in the swamps.

On Sunday, Gabby Petito was honoured with a memorial service in her home town of Blue Point, New York. The services were open to the public and drew crowds of supporters to the funeral home. Ms Petito’s father, Joseph Petito, spoke during the service and urged people to be inspired by his daughter’s life and to leave abusive relationships.

Later on Sunday evening, the FBI returned to Mr Laundrie’s home to collect items for use in DNA matching. When the Laundrie family lawyer, Steven Bertolino, was asked why the FBI would need those items, he said the collection was “routine.” An arrest warrant has been issued for Mr Laundrie, though not for the murder of Ms Petito.

Duane Chapman, aka Dog the Bounty Hunter, also joined the search for Mr Laundrie over the weekend. He was photographed knocking on the Laundrie’s house, though he was not invited inside, and Roberta Laundrie called the police to complain about him. He told media outlets he was confident he could track down Mr Laundrie.

In a statement released on Monday, the parents of Mr Laundrie said: “Chris and Roberta Laundrie do not know where Brian is. They are concerned about Brian and hope the FBI can locate him.”

Read More

Gabby Petito: Everything we know about YouTuber’s mysterious disappearance on road trip

Where is Brian Laundrie? Police hunt switches to missing boyfriend after Gabby Petito remains discovered

Gabby Petito: 911 call reveals witness saw Brian Laundrie ‘hitting’, ‘slapping’ girlfriend days before her disappearance

Gabby Petito: A timeline of the social media star’s disappearance

Key points

  • Search for Laundrie enters second week...

  • Laundrie family lawyer says ‘concerned’ parents do not know his whereabouts

  • Moab Police chief goes on leave of absence amid criticism

  • Dog the Bounty Hunter claims Laundrie could be hiding in a Florida campsite 75 miles from family home

  • ...as images reveal scale of ongoing manhunt

  • FBI returns to Brian Laundrie's home

  • Brian Laundrie left home without cellphone and wallet, source says

  • ‘Still no sign of Laundrie this morning,’ says CNN reporter

  • Neighbours claim Laundries went camping when son returned from trip with Petito

  • FBI call for public to help search for Laundrie

Gabrielle Petito’s stepfather flies to Utah to search for her

Wednesday 15 September 2021 19:07 , Graig Graziosi

Gabrielle Petito’s stepfather, James Schmidt, along with a family friend have flown to Utah to search for the missing woman.

Richard Stafford, the family’s lawyer, said Mr Schmidt and the family friend are planning to centre their search on Grand Teton National Park, as it is was last place Ms Petito was seen.

‘Beautiful girl’: Gabby Petito’s friends and family paid tribute to her at a vigil

12:12 , Ella Glover

At a memorial service on Sunday, Gabby’s family and friends paid tribute to her.

Her father, Joseph Petito said: “I want you to be inspired by Gabby, that’s what we’re looking for.

“That’s what I want to see. If there’s a trip that you guys want to take, take it now. Do it now, while you’ve got the time.”

Gabby’s stepfather, Jim Schmidt said: “Gabby loved life and lived her life every single day. She is an example for all of us to live by and to enjoy every moment in this beautiful world like she did. Love and give love to all like she did.”

Ted Malkiewicz, the brother of Gabby Petito’s adopted grandmother Noreen Gibbons, said: “The pictures you see of her smiling, that was her. A gorgeous, gorgeous girl.”

Ms Petito’s great aunt, who gave her name as Liz, said she was a “beautiful beautiful person” after coming out from the service.

“I almost don’t even have words. It’s just so heartbreaking what happened to her and we love her and we know she’s at peace.”

Gabby Petito: The ‘girl who touched the world’ remembered as a fearless adventurer

Dog the Bounty Hunter’s ‘lead’ on Brian Laundrie’s whereabouts ‘just wrong'

11:01 , Ella Glover

Duane Chapman, aka Dog the Bounty Hunter, a television personality and a “bounty hunter” by profession, said that the three members of the Laundrie family were camping at Fort DeSoto campground on two instances earlier this month — on 1 and 3 September and 6 and 8 September.

He alleged that Brian’s parents had helped him escape arrest.

In a statement released on Monday, the parents of Mr Laundrie said: “Chris and Roberta Laundrie do not know where Brian is. They are concerned about Brian and hope the FBI can locate him.”

The family’s attorney also said Mr Chapman’s unconfirmed lead was “just wrong.”

10:16 , ella glover

Norma Jean Jalovec, the second woman who picked up Brian Laundrie while he was hitchhiking in Wyoming days before Gabby’s body was found, has shared more details about their encounter.

She said there was “nothing extraordinary about him” until they neared the van he and Gabby had been travelling in.

She told PEOPLE: “He got agitated when I said, ‘Do you want me to take you past the gate, down the road [to the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area]?’”

She added: “He was like, ‘No, no, no, no, no. This is fine.’

“He said, ‘Just let me out here. You can let me out here.’”

He literally was getting out of the passenger seat,” before she stopped the car, she added.

She said his “antsy” demeanour was suspicious but she brushed it off at the time.

“But now we all know, obviously, there was a reason why he probably didn’t want me to go down that road,” she added.

Read the full story:

Woman Who Drove Hitchhiking Brian Laundrie Noticed 'Nothing Extraordinary' — Until They Got Near Van

ICYMI: Who is Gabby Petito?

09:56 , Ella Glover

Gabby Petito’s body was discovered in Wyoming by the FBI after a missing person case was launched. But who was the aspiring van-life blogger?

Here’s what we know about Gabby Petito:

Who is Gabby Petito? ‘Sweet’ waitress whose dream of influencer fame ended in tragedy

ICYMI: News anchor suspended for raising ‘missing white woman syndrome’ during coverage

09:04 , Ella Glover

An Emmy Award-winning news anchor has been suspended indefinitely after telling bosses he wanted to discuss “missing white woman syndrome” during coverage of Gabby Petito.

Frank Somerville, 63, was suspended by KTUV in Oakland after arguing with station news director about adding a “brief tagline” about how missing persons cases involving white women tend to attract far greater coverage than those of indigenous and Black people.

He was reportedly told by his boss Amber Eikel that it would be inappropriate, and the pair became involved in a disagreement that led to Mr Somerville’s suspension.

Bevan Hurley has the full story:

Anchor suspended for raising ‘missing white woman syndrome’ in Gabby Petito story

Tourist claims he saw Brian Laundrie at a bar

08:33 , Ella Glover

A tourist claimed to have an encounter with Brian Laundrie at a bar in Montana the day before Gabby was last reported seen alive.

Hunter Mannies, 44, told the New York Post that he and his friends had a strange encounter with a man who resembled Laundrie and was drinking alone at Bullwinkle’s Saloon in West Yellowstone.

“The convo got into hunting and guns and politics,” Mannies said, adding that’s when he realised that the man had been listening.

“The guy just looked mad and then at some lull in the conversation, he said, ‘Stupid southerners and f—ing Republicans.’”

Mannies said that his friend shot back, “Stupid southerners? She and I both have ‘Dr.’ in front of our names. Do you?”

I kind of laughed and said, ‘Well, where are you from? and he said, ‘New York,” Mannies said. “And I said, ‘Okay, New York’ and he said, “I have a name, it’s Brian.”

When the news broke of Gabby’s disappearance, Mannies’ friend called him: “She said that’s the crazy guy from the bar,” he said.

Mannies said he contacted the FBI and spoke with them for 45 minutes.

“How many people named Brian from New York who look exactly like him are in the middle nowhere at the bar?” he said.

Read the full story on the New York Post:

Tourist claims he saw ‘mad’ Brian Laundrie alone in bar just prior to Gabby Petito disappearance

ICYMI: A press conference will be held later today

08:09 , Ella Glover

A press conference held by the Petito and Schmidt family is scheduled for later today in New York.

It will take place at 1pm PST (6pm BST) at the office of the Petito family’s lawyer, Richard Stafford, who announced the conference yesterday.

More online pro-Laundrie groups surface

07:47 , Ella Glover

Another online community in support of Brian Laundrie has surfaced on Reddit.

The subreddit, named r/FriendsOfBrian, has some 1,000 members and is similar to r/BrianLaundrie.

Some members of the subreddit claim that Laundrie was the real victim of domestic violence in his and Gabby’s relationship, with some accusing Gabby of being an “alt-right neo nazi”.

One user speculated that Brian was framed by the “real murderer” and is out “hunting revenge”.

The subreddit’s description says: “This community is dedicated to seeing that Brian receives the treatment that he is entitled to by the Constitution of the United States of America, which is innocence until guilt is proven.”

A number of the posts on the subreddit are intended to be sarcastic, while others replicate the same rhetoric seen elsewhere online.

Where is Brian Laundrie?

06:50 , Justin Vallejo

Authorities in Florida are continuing their search of an aligator-infested nature reserve close to the Florida home of Brian Laundrie after he went missing just prior to the body of his girlfriend Gabby Petito was discovered in a Wyoming national park.

Mr Laundrie, 23, has not been seen since telling his parents he was going for a hike in the “vast and unforgiving” Carlton Reserve on Tuesday 14 September amid intense media interest in the disappearance of Ms Petito, 22, a popular Instagram and YouTube star who had been documenting their cross-country roadtrip on social media until late August.

His disappearance came on the same day investigator’s into the branded him “a person of interest” in the Petito case. The FBI and Florida police subsequently executed a search warrant on the Laundries’ home in North Port.

Bevan Hurley reports.

Where is Brian Laundrie? Gabby Petito’s boyfriend remains on the run

Online community grows in support of Brian Laundrie

06:45 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Amid the huge interest online in the case of Gabby Petito’s disappearance and death and the whereabouts of her boyfriend Brian Laundrie, a growing community on Reddit and Facebook is speaking out in defence of the missing 23-year-old Brian.

A subreddit titled Justice for Brian Laundrie — r/BrianLaundrie — has recently cropped up on the platform and currently boasts some 2,000 members. On it, users discuss a mixture of conspiracy theories and suggestions that Mr Laundrie is himself a victim of abuse.

Some claim Mr Laundrie may have acted in self-defence – though police have still not filed any charges against him related to Petito’s death, a case in which he remains a “person of interest”.

Other more outlandish posts argue that Petito orchestrated her own disappearance to “divert resources from missing people of colour”.

Some users have even suggested that Mr Laundrie is being unfairly maligned on the basis that he is bald.

On the Facebook group that is also titled Justice For Brian Laundrie, one user declares that “Brian was framed. This entire thing was a government coverup to distract from Biden’s Afghanistan mistakes as the Taliban flaunts their new American weapons and the southern border turns into a s***show. Brian will not be reappeared until it’s timely for us to need further distraction.”

FBI take over search of alligator-infested Carlton Reserve

05:50 , Justin Vallejo

North Port Police said on Monday the search of the reserve was likely to be scaled back, as torrential rainfall had left trails under waist-deep water, hindering search efforts.

“I don’t think you’re going to see those large-scale types of efforts this week,” North Port Police Department spokesperson Josh Taylor said.

“Hopefully, water will lower in areas hard to currently access.”

Laundrie family lawyer says ‘concerned’ parents do not know his whereabouts

05:32 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Steven Bertolino, the attorney representing Brian Laundrie’s family, has claimed that his parents are “concerned” about him and rubbished speculation that they helped him leave the family home.

Mr Bertolino said on Monday that “Chris and Roberta Laundrie do not know Brian’s whereabouts. They are concerned about Brian and hope the FBI can find him.”

He added that the “speculation by the public and some by 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”.

Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie had set out on a road trip from New York in her converted white 2012 Ford Transit van on 2 July. On 1 September Mr Laundrie returned home without Petito. And last week on Tuesday, the FBI confirmed that Petito was a victim of homicide. Mr Laundrie has been missing for almost two weeks now. He has been declared a “person of interest” in the case and is also a subject of a federal arrest warrant.

Moab Police chief goes on leave of absence amid criticism

05:20 , Maroosha Muzaffar

The chief of the Moab Police Department is taking a leave of absence just days after city officials announced that the officers involved in handling the 12 August domestic violence incident between Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie are being investigated.

Bret Edge, the Moab Police chief, has requested a leave of absence that began on Monday under the Family Medical Leave Act, Fox News first reported.

Lisa Church, communications director for the City of Moab, didn’t clarify whether the leave of absence had anything to with the investigation.

Tourist claims he saw ‘mad at the world’ Brian Laundrie prior to Gabby Petito's disappearance

05:13 , Maroosha Muzaffar

A Louisiana man has claimed that he had a “strange encounter” with a drunk Brian Laundrie just a day before Gabby Petito was reported missing.

Hunter Mannies, 44, told the New York Post that on the night of 26 August he saw a man who resembled Mr Laundrie at Bullwinkle’s Saloon in West Yellowstone, in Montana.

Mr Mannies was on a road trip through Montana at the time.

He said: “He [Mr Laundrie] was just mad at the world it seemed like” adding that “I didn’t pay attention to him other than that he and this other couple were the only ones in there.”

Meanwhile, Dog the Bounty Hunter has claimed that he has received more than 1,000 leads on the whereabouts of Mr Laundrie.

Police have scaled back the search for the missing boyfriend of 22-year-old Gabby Petito in the Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County in Florida.

A timeline of the social media star’s death

04:50 , Justin Vallejo

Gabby Petito, a 22-year-old YouTuber and Instagram star, went missing in late August, having embarked on a cross-country road trip with her fiancé Brian Laundrie, 23, that she was documenting on social media.

Key dates:

2 July - Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie set out from New York in her converted white 2012 Ford Transit van.

12 August - The pair are seen bitterly arguing in Moab City, Utah. Bystanders call 911.

1 September - Mr Laundrie returned to North Port alone.

11 September - Mother Nicole Schmidt contacted police and a missing person’s investigation commenced.

14 September - Mr Laundrie went missing.

21 September - Gabby’s body found in Wyoming

23 September - A federal arrest warrant is issued for Mr Laundrie.

See the full timeline:

A timeline of the death of Gabby Petito

Dog the Bounty Hunter claims Laundrie could be hiding in a Florida campsite 75 miles from family home

04:39 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Duane Chapman, also known as Dog the Bounty Hunter, is “investigating” a lead that claims Brian Laundrie went with his parents to a Florida campground that is almost 75 miles away from their house in early September — but only two of them were seen leaving.

He believes that the campsite in the woods in Florida could be where Mr Laundrie is hiding.

Mr Chapman has said that he received more than 1,000 leads in the Gabby Petito homicide case and that within 48 hours, he would be ready to start his search on the ground.

He told Fox News on Monday that he received a tip that Mr Laundrie’s parents spent the night in Fort De Soto Park with their son twice in early September.

He said: “They were registered, went through the gate. They’re on camera. They were here. We think at least if he’s not here right now, we are sure he was caught on camera as he went in the gate — that he was here for sure. Not over in the swamp.”

Police ban flowers at Brian Laundrie home as search scaled back

03:50 , Justin Vallejo

Authorities have banned members of the public from leaving flowers at a makeshift Gabby Petito memorial at the Laundrie family home in Florida.

A delivery worker from a local florist in North Port who tried to leave flowers at the home on Monday afternoon was ordered to remove them by police.

“There’s no memorial here,” the police officer says. “Public works are going to come here and throw it in the garbage.”

After police left, more members of the public arrived and were able to leave flowers at the address.

Bevan Hurley reports.

Police ban flowers at Laundrie home as search scaled back

ICYMI: Utah officers were told man was seen hitting woman before couple was pulled over

02:50 , Justin Vallejo

Police officers in Utah were told that a 911 caller who reported an argument between Gabby Petito and her fiancé Brian Laundrie had seen a man hitting a woman, dispatch records show.

According to the records, the person who reported the incident “states a seeing male hit a female, domestic”. the dispatcher said shortly before the couple was pulled over by the police.

“He got into a white Ford Transit van, has a black ladder on the back, Florida plate.”

After the couple were pulled over by police, body cam footage shows Ms Petito saying that she had hit Mr Laundrie, with police appearing to view the incident as a mental health crisis rather than domestic violence.

Gino Spocchia reports.

Officers told man was seen hitting woman before Petito and Laundrie were pulled over

Sandy Hook tribute song featuring slain YouTuber aged 14 to be re-recorded to raise money for her foundation

01:50 , Justin Vallejo

A musician who wrote a moving tribute song to the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre featuring a 14-year-old Gabby Petito in the music video is planning to re-record the track to raise money for the Gabby Petito Foundation.

Deb Henson says she was inspired to write the song “Irreplaceable” after the “horrific” 2012 school shooting in Newton, Connecticut which claimed the lives of 20 children and six teachers.

“After Sandy Hook I was devastated like the rest of the world, it was just horrible. I woke up at 2am and picked up that guitar and wrote that song.”

The Independent’s Bevan Hurley reports.

Song featuring Gabby Petito aged 14 to be re-recorded to raise money for her charity

Friends, family flock to Long Island to mourn Gabby Petito

Tuesday 28 September 2021 00:50 , Justin Vallejo

Lines of mourners paid their respects Sunday for Gabby Petito, the 22-year-old whose death on a cross-country trip has sparked a manhunt for her boyfriend.

Among those who congregated in Holbrook, about 35 miles (56 kilometers) east of New York City, were family members, friends, co-workers and people who were touched by Petito’s story even though they didn’t know her.

“She was a beautiful soul; she was full of life, always smiling,” said Desiree Keeffe, a friend of Petito’s mother, Nicole. “She gave you love. She was just a beautiful soul. She touched everybody like she did now.”

Two fire trucks were positioned one on either side of the funeral home, each with its ladder extended, and a line of firefighters was seen filing into the building. Across the street, a chain link fence was adorned with posters featuring Petito’s image and messages such as, “She touched the world.” - Associated Press.

FORWARD LOOK: Petito family holding press conference Tuesday

Tuesday 28 September 2021 00:20 , Justin Vallejo

The family of Gabby Petito just announced they will be holding a press conference in New York on Tuesday, 28 September.

The incoming update from the Petito and Schmidt families comes after lawyers for the parents of Brian Laundrie issued a statement on Monday denying speculation they helped their son avoid arrest.

DOG UPDATE: Authorities called to campground visited by Laundrie parents

Monday 27 September 2021 23:51 , Justin Vallejo

Dog the Bounty Hunter is reportedly waiting for authorities to arrive at his “HOT lead”.

Local WFLA Reporter Josh Benson just got off the phone with Dog’s team, who says the bounty hunter is at a campground he says was visited twice by Brian Laundrie’s parents in recent weeks.

He is waiting for authorities to arrive at what they are calling a “big lead in the woods”.

It comes as Laundrie’s parents issued a statement saying speculation they helped him avoid arrest was “just wrong”.

‘We do not know where Brian is’: Laundrie family issue statement amid speculation ’

Monday 27 September 2021 23:31 , Justin Vallejo

The family of Brian Laundrie has issued a statement amid speculation his parents helped him avoid arrest.

Released by the family’s attorney, the statement says:

“ "Chris and Roberta Laundrie do not know where Brian is. They are concerned about Brian and hope the FBI can locate him.”

The statement, issued by Steven Bertolino, continues:

“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."

‘We do not know where Brian is’: Laundrie family issue statement amid speculation ’

Monday 27 September 2021 23:31 , Justin Vallejo

The family of Brian Laundrie has issued a statement amid speculation his parents helped him avoid arrest.

Released by the family’s attorney, the statement says:

“ "Chris and Roberta Laundrie do not know where Brian is. They are concerned about Brian and hope the FBI can locate him.”

The statement, issued by Steven Bertolino, continues:

“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."

BREAKING? Dog the Bounty Hunter has a ‘HOT lead’ on Laundrie location

Monday 27 September 2021 22:59 , Justin Vallejo

After the family of Brian Laundrie called 911 on Dog the Bounty Hunter, the reality TV star may have a “HOT” lead on his location.

This is according to Dog’s daughter Lyssa Chapman, who says her dad, also known as Duane Chapman, has alerted the proper authorities.

“Please remember by sister Barbara Katie was taken away at the exact age as Gabby was. This is why dad has taken this case so personally,” she said in a tweet.

Chapman rolled up uninvited to the Laundrie home on Sunday. Reports quickly emerged that Roberta Laundrie called 911.

Police ban flowers at makeshift Gabby Petito memorial

Monday 27 September 2021 22:49 , Justin Vallejo

A local florist delivering flowers to the Laundrie family home in Fort Lauderdale was turned away from the makeshift memorial for Gabby Petito on Monday.

“There’s no memorial here,” a police officer says in a video captured by journalist Brian Entin. “Public works are going to come here in the middle of the night and throw it in the garbage.”

They were redirected to City Hall where the official memorial is being held.

WATCH: Gabby Petito was in 2013 Sandy Hook music video ‘Irreplaceable’

Monday 27 September 2021 22:31 , Justin Vallejo

Eight years ago, a 14-year-old Gabby Petito starred in a music video uploaded to YouTube to raise awareness for violence against children after the Sandy Hook massacre.

Titled “Irreplaceable”, it was uploaded in 2013 after the mass shooting that left 26 people dead in Newton, Connecticut a year earlier.

The song was written and produced by Deb Henson, who told The Sun it was about violence against kids and domestic violence in general.

"The lyrics are almost eerie now," Ms Henson told The Sun. "It’s ironic and tragic that she’s in this video and that this happened to her.”

In the video, Petito can be seen holding up a sign that says “I’m irreplaceable”. Henson told said she hopes the track will remind people that all lives are irreplaceable.

"It was a magical weekend," Ms Henson said of filming the video. "And Gabby was just, just the sweetest kid, she was just so full of love, she just wanted to help and be involved in any way she could.

Law enforcement presence notably smaller outside Carlton Reserve

Monday 27 September 2021 22:00 , Graig Graziosi

Reporters outside the Carlton Reserve noted a much smaller law enforcement presence outside the swamp than in past days.

The FBI has taken over the investigation. Search efforts were scaled back after heavy rains flooded the swamp.

Person of interest in case for missing Florida woman found dead from suicide

Monday 27 September 2021 21:39 , Graig Graziosi

In the wake of Gabby Petito’s disappearance, there has been a renewed interest in missing person cases and calls for more coverage of those situations.

A person of interest in the disappearance of missing Florida woman Miya Mancano has been found dead from apparent suicide.

The woman was reported missing after she missed a flight and her dorm room was found empty and in disarray.

The Independent’s Justin Vallejo has more on the story below.

Suspect in Miya Marcano disappearance found dead from apparent suicide

More flowers arrive on the Laundrie’s lawn

Monday 27 September 2021 21:20 , Graig Graziosi

Video taken by reporters outside the Laundrie’s home in North Port, Florida, shows a growing collection of flowers on the couple’s lawn.

Social media users reportedly have been ordering flowers and sending them to property.

People send Gabby Petito memorial flowers to Laundrie home

Monday 27 September 2021 20:45 , Graig Graziosi

Social media uses are reportedly sending flowers to the Laundrie home in memory of Gabby Petito.

A small memorial is apparently growing outside the Laundrie’s home on their front lawn.

Police reportedly said it was all “going in the garbage.”

Florida police search for another missing woman after her dorm room is found empty and in disarray

Monday 27 September 2021 20:28 , Graig Graziosi

In the wake of Gabby Petito’s disappearance there have been calls for equal attention for other missing person cases around the country.

Police in Florida are searching for another woman whose dorm room was found in disarray after her family became worried when she missed a flight.

The Independent’s Gustaf Kilander has more on missing college student Miya Marcano below...

Police search for missing woman, 19, after finding ‘signs of struggle’ in apartment

Aerial photos show scaled back search in Carlton Reserve

Monday 27 September 2021 20:10 , Graig Graziosi

Aerial photos provided by a news helicopter show the scaled back police search for Brian Laundrie in the Carlton Reserve.

Along with the decreased police presence, flooding caused by heavy rains overnight can also be seen in the photos.

News anchor suspended for raising ‘missing white woman syndrome’ during coverage

Monday 27 September 2021 19:45 , Graig Graziosi

A Bay area news anchor was suspended after getting into a heated argument with his producers over whether they should include allegations that interest in the Gabby Petito case was an example of “missing white woman syndrome,” which claims missing white women get more attention in the public than missing people who are not white women.

The Independent’s Bevan Hurley has more below...

Anchor suspended for raising ‘missing white woman syndrome’ in Gabby Petito story

Video of flooding inside the Carlton Reserve

Monday 27 September 2021 19:25 , Graig Graziosi

Police searching for Brian Laundrie in the Carlton Reserve had to pull back their search efforts after heavy rains flooded the swampy natural area.

Reporters on the ground captured video of the roads leading into the preserve covered with water.

FBI takes the reigns on the search for Brian Laundrie

Monday 27 September 2021 19:00 , Graig Graziosi

The FBI reportedly has taken charge of the search for Brian Laundrie in Florida.

Previously the North Point police were leading the Florida effort to find the man.

Dog the Bounty Hunter says he’ll have a solid lead on Brian Laundrie in 48 hours

Monday 27 September 2021 17:57 , Graig Graziosi

Duane Chapman, better known as Dog the Bounty Hunter, claims he will have a solid lead on Brian Laundrie in 48 hours.

The Independent’s Bevan Hurley has more on the reality TV star and his decision to join in the search for Brian Laundrie in the story below...

Brian Laundrie’s mother reportedly called 911 after Dog the Bounty Hunter knocked on her door

Monday 27 September 2021 17:44 , Graig Graziosi

Roberta Laundrie, Brian Laundrie’s mother, reportedly called 911 when Dog the Bounty Hunter - real name Duane Chapman - knocked on her door.

According to Fox News, Ms Laundrie reported that Mr Chapman was on their property and knocking at their door.

Mr Chapman said it was “unfortunate” that the Laundries declined to speak with him.

Search for Brian Laundrie in Carlton Reserve is scaled back

Monday 27 September 2021 16:40 , Graig Graziosi

Reporters on the ground in Florida are reporting that the police presence around Carlton Reserve, where law enforcement believes Brian Laundrie may be hiding, has been scaled back.

It’s unclear if the reduced police presence is evidence that law enforcement is focusing elsewhere in its search or if it’s the side effect of a Sunday rain storm forcing police to pull back and wait for water levels to recede.

Dog the Bounty Hunter tells Fox News he’s gotten more than 1,000 leads

Monday 27 September 2021 16:19 , Graig Graziosi

Duane Chapman, better known as Dog the Bounty Hunter, appeared on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends” this morning to discuss his involvement in the search for Brian Laundrie.

Mr Chapman claims he’s received more than 1,000 leads and said that within 48 hours he would be ready to start his search on the ground.

Memorial for Gabby Petito in Blue Point continues to grow

Monday 27 September 2021 15:41 , Graig Graziosi

A memorial honouring Gabby Petito in her hometown of Blue Point continues to grow as more mourners leave gifts to remember the 22-year-old.

Ms Petito’s memorial service was held in Blue Point on Sunday.

‘There’s no surviving out here,’ rancher says of Carlton Reserve

Monday 27 September 2021 15:23 , Graig Graziosi

An experienced cattle rancher who has reportedly spent 30 years exploring the Carlton Reserve has cast doubt on whether Brian Laundrie is there.

“There's no surviving out here, I don't know how to say it,” Alan McEwen told Fox News.

“I've been in the woods in and out all my life … I have learned a lot in my life, and one thing I know is no one is gonna survive out there for two weeks on foot.”

The Independent’s Bevan Hurley has more from the rancher below...

Rancher says there’s ‘no surviving’ where Brian Laundrie said he was going

Overnight rain impedes police search of the Carlton Reserve

Monday 27 September 2021 14:51 , Graig Graziosi

North Point police continued their search for Brian Laundrie late Sunday night by air. Heavy rain causing increased water levels inside the park focused the police to pull back their on-ground search teams.

News Nation Now reporter Brian Entin spoke with the police about the search. According to Mr Entin, the police appeared poised to return to the swamps once the water level recedes.

Police were told Laundrie hit Petito on 12 August callout, new records suggest

Monday 27 September 2021 14:35 , Graig Graziosi

Police officers responding to the callout regarding Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie on 12 August were told that he had hit her, dispatch records allegedly show.

While it had previously been unclear whether officers knew a witness had claimed this, Fox13 reports that it has obtained records showing that a dispatcher told that the person who reported the incident “states seeing a male hit a female, domestic,”.

The dispatcher reportedly made a second reference, describing Petito as “the female who got hit”, Fox reported.

The Independent’s Harriet Sinclair has more in the story below...

Officers told man was seen hitting woman before Petito and Laundrie were pulled over

Protesters plan to make noise outside the Laundrie house every morning

Monday 27 September 2021 14:18 , Graig Graziosi

A couple with megaphones are reportedly pacing around outside the Laundrie family home yelling at the couple to produce their son, Brian.

According to News Nation Now reporter Brian Entin, the police were called out to the scene but they left.

The protesters claim they are going to continue yelling challenges at the Laundrie family every hour.

Monday 27 September 2021 13:54 , Andy Gregory

The FBI has asked for items that might have Brian Laundrie’s DNA during a visit to his family home, the family’s lawyer told news outlets.

“The FBI requested some personal items belonging to Brian Laundrie to assist them with DNA matching and Brian's parents provided the FBI with what they could,” the lawyer was quoted as saying.

Monday 27 September 2021 13:32 , Andy Gregory

Here’s a local video report on the latest developments in the FBI investigation, as agents visited Brian Laundrie’s home.

Monday 27 September 2021 13:10 , Andy Gregory

A neighbour of the Schmidt family in Long Island who came to pay her respects, Alexandra Kaluta, told The Independent: “This hit close to home for me because I recently survived a very abusive relationship, very similar to what she experienced and I know in my heart that she did nothing wrong,”

“I feel like it could have been me.”

The van-lifer who ‘touched the world’ remembered as a fearless adventurer at memorial service

Monday 27 September 2021 12:51 , Andy Gregory

Gabby Petito’s father told mourners at her memorial service that the “entire planet” now knows his daughter’s name, and asked that they take inspiration from her fearless pursuit of adventure, Bevan Hurley reports from Holbrook.

“I want you to be inspired by Gabby, that's what we're looking for,” Joseph Petito said during a heartfelt eulogy on Sunday at Moloney’s Holbrook Funeral Home in Holbrook, New York.

“That's what I want to see. If there's a trip that you guys want to take, take it now. Do it now, while you've got the time.”

Gabby Petito: The ‘girl who touched the world’ remembered as a fearless adventurer

Gabby Petito’s father has message for all women in toxic relationships

Monday 27 September 2021 07:17 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Gabby Petito’s father, Joseph Petito, issued a message to all women in toxic relationships at the 22-year-old YouTuber’s memorial service on Sunday. More than 1,000 mourners attended the service at the Petitos’ family home in New York. Mr Petito asked them to remember his daughter and to take inspiration from her life.

Read the full story here:

Gabby Petito’s father gives message to women in toxic relationships at her funeral

FBI visits Brian Laundrie’s home

Monday 27 September 2021 06:59 , Maroosha Muzaffar

With Brian Laundrie still believed to be in “hiding” in the Carlton Reserve in Sarasota, Florida, FBI agents have visited the Laundrie family home to collect some of his personal belongings. The reason - according to the Laundrie family’s lawyer - is to use in “DNA matching”.

Read the full story here:

FBI visits Laundrie home to investigate DNA match

Gabby Petito’s mother says she was planning trip for a year

Monday 27 September 2021 06:35 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Gabby Petito’s mother Nicole Schmidt has said that the 22-year-old had been planning for a year for her trip across the country visiting national parks with her boyfriend.

Nichole Schmidt told CBS News in an interview she knew “she wanted to take this trip”. She added: “She had told me about it probably a year before it started.”

Gabby Petito’s body was found last week on Sunday and the autopsy confirmed that it was her.

The FBI said that she was a victim of a homicide and her boyfriend Brian Laundrie was named a “person of interest” in the case. Last week, the FBI also announced that Mr Laundrie is now subject to a federal arrest warrant, on a fraud charge.

Law enforcement agencies have been searching the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve for Mr Laundrie for about a week now.

The police have said that they are “scaling back” the search and will keep it “targeted based on intelligence.”

Moderator of Gabby Petito subreddit calls on members to help solve other cases

Monday 27 September 2021 06:00 , Maroosha Muzaffar

The moderator of the Gabby Petito subreddit channel on Reddit, which currently boasts 129,000 members, has urged the community to “look into other missing persons’ cases” in the country.

The statement issued on Sunday adds that “it is a tragic fact that people go missing every day. The way to move forward is not by dividing ourselves but rather by familiarising ourselves with the statistics, and more importantly, the resources available to us all to better prevent something like this from happening to anyone in the future”.

The statement said that the moderator “did not foresee the onslaught of attention and interest” in the Petito case.

Interest in the case has seen renewed demands for similar attention to other missing person cases.

The statement said: “There have been an extremely high number of posts related to race, comparisons of other cases & how they were handled, as well as speculation about why people care about this case. We recognise that there are numerous missing persons across the globe, many of whom do not choose to disappear. All of these people are loved and missed by someone.”

Meanwhile, the family of Daniel Robinson — the 24-year-old geologist who went missing in June this year — are calling for more action and an upgrade to a criminal investigation.

Deb Haaland, the first Native American cabinet secretary had also said last week that her heart goes out to the Petito family, but that she also grieves for “so many Indigenous women” whose families have endured similar heartache “for the last 500 years”.

Rewards total $30,000 for tips on Brian Laundrie

Monday 27 September 2021 05:23 , Maroosha Muzaffar

The cash reward for any information that leads the law enforcement authorities to arrest Brian Laundrie now totals $30,000.

A neighbour of the Petito family, Jerry Torres, had initially offered $5,000 for any tips. It was later increased to $10,000 with help from Steve Moyer, the former deputy chief of police for Sarasota, Florida.

Mr Moyer had said that “money gets people to talk.”

Last week, a personal injury law firm — Boohoff Law — announced that it was offering $20,000 for any information on the whereabouts of Mr Laundrie, who is believed to be hiding in Carlton Reserve in Sarasota.

Dispatch audio confirms witness described Laundrie as aggressor during Moab argument

Monday 27 September 2021 05:16 , Maroosha Muzaffar

The dispatch audio of the “domestic” incident between Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito last month has revealed that the caller did inform the officers that Mr Laundrie had been the aggressor.

Police had tried to portray Petito as the one hitting her boyfriend.

The Moab Police department is to be investigated over its handling of the incident that was also captured on a bodycam video.

The city officials in Moab had said that they launched a probe into the officers who handled the incident on 12 August.

Experts had earlier claimed that the Utah officers “might not have had all information” when responding to the Moab incident.

The dispatch audio was first obtained by Fox 13 Utah.

Police scaling back search for Brian Laundrie

Monday 27 September 2021 04:35 , Maroosha Muzaffar

North Port Police has said that the search for Brian Laundrie will be “scaled back and targeted based on intelligence” after more than a week of search teams combing through the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve in Florida.

Josh Taylor, a spokesperson for the North Port Police Department said on Sunday night that since the FBI has taken over the search for the missing boyfriend of 22-year-old Gabby Petito — whose body was found last week in a national park in Wyoming — the search will be scaled back.

He said that “hopefully, water will lower in areas hard to currently access.”

He added: “I don’t think you’re going to see those large scale types of efforts this week.”

On Sunday, more than 1000 mourners attended the memorial service for Petito at a funeral home near her hometown of Blue Port, New York.

Meanwhile, a rancher had earlier said that there was “no surviving” in the Carlton Reserve where Mr Laundrie is believed to be hiding.

The disappearance of Daniel Robinson

Sunday 26 September 2021 23:00 , Graig Graziosi

Gabby Petito’s disappearance has sparked called for more equal coverage of other missing person’s cases. The family of geologist Daniel Robinson, who disappeared into the Arizona desert on 23 June, are among those begging the public to pay attention to their situation.

The Independent’s Shiela Flynn and Justin Vallejo explain everything currently know about Mr Robinson’s disappearance in their story below...

Everything we know about missing geologist Daniel Robinson

Everything we know about the disappearance of Lauren Cho

Sunday 26 September 2021 22:30 , Graig Graziosi

In the wake of Gabby Petito’s disappearance and death, there has been a renewed public interest in missing person cases. The family of Lauren Cho, who went missing on 28 June, has begged the public to give her the same attention Ms Petito received.

The Independent has more on Ms Cho’s disappearance below...

Everything we know about Lauren Cho, who went missing in California desert

What is Gabby Petito’s family experiencing behind the scenes?

Sunday 26 September 2021 22:00 , Graig Graziosi

Gabby Petito’s family was thrust into the national spotlight when the story of her daughter’s disappearance captured the public’s attention.

Matthew Searle has worked with thousands of families experiencing similar situations to the Petito and Schmidt families’, and shared his insight with The Independent.

Read his perspective below...

What Gabby Petito’s family are probably experiencing behind the scenes

A personal account of living through a missing person’s case

Sunday 26 September 2021 21:35 , Graig Graziosi

After her sister went missing and was later found dead, Jennifer Stavros knows what it’s like to live through the pain of a missing person investigation.

She shared her story with The Independent. Read her account below...

Like Gabby Petito, my sister went missing then was found dead

A timeline of events in the Gabby Petito story

Sunday 26 September 2021 21:19 , Graig Graziosi

Keep up to date with developments in the Gabby Petito story.

The Independent has compiled a complete timeline of events dating back to the day Ms Petito and Mr Laundrie left on their road trip.

Check out the timeline below...

A timeline of the death of Gabby Petito

A Florida rancher with 30 years of experience in the swamp says there’s “no surviving” in the Carlton Reserve

Sunday 26 September 2021 20:29 , Graig Graziosi

A Florida rancher with 30 years of experience navigating the same swamps the North Port police have been searching for eight days in hopes of locating Brian Laundrie said there is “no surviving” the swamps.

“I’ve been in the woods in and out all my life … I have learned a lot in my life, and one thing I know is no one is gonna survive out there for two weeks on foot,” Alan McEwen told Fox News.

Gabby Petito’s mother responds to swell of public support

Sunday 26 September 2021 20:07 , Graig Graziosi

Gabby Petito’s mother offered a public statement for the first time in more than a week last night in a Facebook post thanking people for their support.

“As I scroll through all the posts, my heart is full of love. I wish I could reach out and hug each and every one of you!!! Your support has been so overwhelming and we are so filled with gratitude. Please know what you are all doing for us does not go unnoticed, and with all of you by our side, we will get #justiceforgabby,” she wrote.

The post can be found here.

Missing geologist’s family flies to Arizona to demand action

Sunday 26 September 2021 19:46 , Graig Graziosi

The family of missing geologist Daniel Robinson has flown to Arizona to demand assistance in the search for the missing man. Calls for equal treatment of missing people have increased in the wake of wall-to-wall media coverage of Gabby Petito’s disappearance.

Mr Robinson disappeared on 23 June after he left a dig site seemingly confused and without telling anyone where he was going. He was last seen driving off into the desert.

The Independent’s Sheila Flynn has more in the story below...

Missing geologist’s family flies to Arizona to demand police action

Full comments from Gabby Petito’s father and stepfather

Sunday 26 September 2021 19:30 , Graig Graziosi

Gabby Petito’s father, Joseph Petito, and stepfather, James Schmidt, spoke during a memorial service held in Blue Point, New York, this afternoon.

Watch their comments in full in the video below.

Neighbour says family deserves ‘answers'

Sunday 26 September 2021 19:14 , Bevan Hurley

Alexandra Kaluta said she was a neighbour of the Schmidt family and had come to the memorial service to pay her respects.

“This hit close to home for me because I recently survived a very abusive relationship, very similar to what she experienced and I know in my heart that she did nothing wrong. She was just in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong person. I feel like it could have been me. I really hope there’s some type of closure for the family. They deserve answers.”

FBI collection of items for DNA matching materials “routine,” family lawyer says

Sunday 26 September 2021 19:13 , Graig Graziosi

The FBI collecting personal items for use in DNA matching is “routine,” Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino told reporters.

Earlier this afternoon FBI agents entered the Laundrie home to collect Brian Laundrie’s personal items for use in DNA matching.

FBI enters Laundrie house

Sunday 26 September 2021 19:04 , Graig Graziosi

The FBI reportedly entered the Laundrie’s house again today.

News Nation Now Reporter Brian Entin said the authorities were in the house for three minutes to collect items of interest belonging to Mr Laundrie to help them with DNA matching.

School friend recalls Ms Petito as ‘really nice girl'

Sunday 26 September 2021 18:54 , Bevan Hurley

Dominic Castiglione, a school friend of Gabby Petito, attended the memorial service.

He said Ms Petito transferred to his school district in 8th grade after Hurricane Sandy hit. They were in a few classes together.

“We ended becoming pretty close friends and at the end of that school year I asked her to the school dance and we ended up going together. She was a really nice girl. Really pretty, obviously, and I had a huge crush on her.”

He said he wanted to see Mr Laundrie brought to justice.

“Rotting away in a cell while being alive is better than being dead because you escape in a way,” Mr Castiglione said.

Mr Laundrie has been charged with bank fraud for allegedly using a debit card that didn’t belong to him after Ms Petito’s death. He has not been charged with any crime related to Ms Petito’s death.

The urn at Gabby Petito’s memorial was empty

Sunday 26 September 2021 18:24 , Graig Graziosi

The urn at Gabby Petito’s memorial service is actually empty, as the FBI has not relinquished her remains to her family yet.

FOX News reported that the family is unsure of when Ms Petito’s remains will be returned to them, or why the FBI deemed it necessary to hold onto the body.

Ms Petito’s death was ruled a homicide, but the cause of death and her final autopsy report are yet to be revealed.

Gabby Petito’s father tells people to learn from his daughter and leave bad relationships

Sunday 26 September 2021 17:49 , Graig Graziosi

Gabby Petito’s father said people should look to his daughter and be inspired to leave bad relationships.

“If there’s a relationship you’re in that might not be the best thing for you. Leave it, now,” he said during Ms Petito’s memorial service.

He said that his daughter was the most “amazing person” he had ever met.

Gabby Petito’s father tells memorial crowd he wants them to be “inspired” by his daughter

Sunday 26 September 2021 17:32 , Graig Graziosi

During her memorial ceremony, Gabby Petito’s father, Jospeh Peitio, said he wanted attendees to look at her photos and to be inspired. He said he hopes that people will “be inspired by the way she treated people” and that they pursue their dreams “now, while you have the time.”

Her stepfather, James Schmidt, said Ms Petito taught him that “you can always make money, but you can’t make up for lost time.”

Great aunt calls Gabby Petito ‘beautiful, beautiful person'

Sunday 26 September 2021 17:09 , Bevan Hurley

Gabby Petito’s great aunt, who gave her name as Liz, said Ms Petito was a “beautiful, beautiful person” after coming out from the service. “I almost don’t even have words. It’s just so heartbreaking what happened to her and we love her and we know she’s at peace.”

Memorial service live stream

Sunday 26 September 2021 17:00 , Graig Graziosi

The Maloney Funeral Home - where friends and family of Gabby Petito are gathering to mourn the woman’s death - is live streaming the memorial service.

The funeral home will continue the live stream until 1pm. Ms Petito’s memorial service will remain open to the public until 5pm.

The livestream can be seen here.

Large flag with heart hangs above funeral home

Sunday 26 September 2021 16:47 , Bevan Hurley

A large flag with a heart and the words Blue Point hangs above the Molony’s Holbrook Funeral Home, where mourners are gathering to farewell Gabby Petito.

There’s a huge presence of fire trucks, ambulances and officers officers from the Blue Point Fire Department, where Jim Schmidt, Ms Petito’s stepfather, was the fire chief.

 (Bevan Hurley/The Independent)
(Bevan Hurley/The Independent)

Mourners attending the Gabby Petito memorial given prayer cards

Sunday 26 September 2021 16:32 , Graig Graziosi

Mourners attending Gabby Petito’s funeral are being given prayer cards with Ms Petito’s image on one side.

The opposite side of the cards contain a written poem.

The memorial service, which is being held in Blue Point, New York, is open to the public today from 12pm to 5pm.

Lines of people arrive for Gabby Petito’s funeral

Sunday 26 September 2021 16:03 , Graig Graziosi

Lines of mourners have arrived at the Maloney Funeral Home in Blue Point, New York, to participate in Gabby Petito’s memorial service.

The service is open to the public today from 12pm to 5pm.

The Gabby Petito monument in North Port, Florida grows ahead of her memorial services

Sunday 26 September 2021 15:51 , Graig Graziosi

A collection of bears, flowers and hearts honoruing Gabby Petito is growing on the lawn of North Point City Hall.

In Ms Petito’s hometown of Blue Point, New York, funeral arrangements are being prepared for a memorial service later today.

The service will be opened to the public from 12pm to 5pm.

Gabby Petito’s father details the mission of the Gabby Petito Foundation

Sunday 26 September 2021 15:04 , Graig Graziosi

Gabby Petito’s father, Joseph Petito, detailed the mission of the foundation named after his daughter.

He explained that the foundation would go to assist the families of other missing persons.

The Independent’s Bevan Hurley has more on the foundation in the story below...

Gabby Petito’s father announces new charity to help parents of missing children

Search crews resume hunt for Brian Laundrie in the Carlton Reserve

Sunday 26 September 2021 14:44 , Graig Graziosi

North Point police search teams will continue to search for Brian Laundrie today in the Carlton Reserve. The natural area is mostly swampland infested with alligators, snakes and insects.

Mr Laundrie disappeared eight days ago. A warrant for his arrest has been issued, though he is not being sought for the murder of Ms Petito.

Police in Blue Point prepare for Gabby Petito’s funeral

Sunday 26 September 2021 14:38 , Graig Graziosi

A reporter in Blue Point, New York, shared images of police and firefighters preparing for Gabby Petito’s memorial service.

The service begins today at 12pm.

Gabby Petito Foundation will provide help to families with missing loved ones

Sunday 26 September 2021 14:22 , Graig Graziosi

Gabby Petito’s father, Joseph Petito, announced the formation of the Gabby Petito Foundation ahead of her memorial services on Sunday.

He said the foundation would be used to provide resources and guidance for the families of missing people.

“No one should have to find their child on their own. We are creating this foundation to give resources and guidance on bringing their children home. We are looking to help people in similar situations as Gabby,” he said in a tweet.

California news anchor suspended after dispute over Petito coverage, report says

Sunday 26 September 2021 13:57 , David Taintor

Frank Somerville, an anchor for the California-based KTVU, has been suspended after a disagreement with the network about Gabby Petito coverage, the Mercury News reports.

From the newspaper’s report on Mr Somerville, who is the father of an adopted Black teenager girl:

KTVU was prepared to air a news report detailing the latest developments in the case. Somerville wanted to add a brief tagline at the end of the report that questioned the extraordinary level of media coverage devoted to the story. Sources said he wanted to point out that the U.S. media often disproportionately covers tragedies involving young White women, while largely ignoring similar cases involving women of color and Indigenous people.

Scenes from Gabby Petito vigil in Florida

Sunday 26 September 2021 13:13 , David Taintor

A sizable crowd turned out for a vigil for Gabby Petito on Saturday evening in North Port, Florida, where Brian Laundrie’s family lives. Local reporter Brian Entin captured the scene. Funeral services are set to be held on New York’s Long Island, where Ms Petito is from. Our Bevan Hurley will be reporting live from the funeral services today.

Saturday 25 September 2021 22:47 , David Taintor

Warm sunshine and clear skies are forecast for Long Island on Sunday, where a memorial service is being held for Gabby Petito.

Ms Petito’s father Joe invited members of the public to a memorial visitation at the Moloney Funeral Home in Holbrook between 12pm and 5pm.

Ms Petito’s family have asked that donations be made to the Future Gabby Petito Foundation in lieu of flowers.

The forecast is for sunny conditions all day with a high of 73F (23C).

Saturday 25 September 2021 22:33 , Bevan Hurley

Staff at a Utah motel where Brian Laundrie stayed after a domestic violent incident with girlfriend Gabby Petito on 12 August are reportedly assisting the authorities with their investigation into the missing man.

The Sun reported that Mr Laundrie spent the night at the Bowen Motel in Moab after police separated he and Ms Petito.

Staff at the $78-a-night motel said they had been co-operating with police, who are conducting a nationwide search for Mr Laundrie after he disappeared from his Florida home last week.

Bodycam footage captured Mr Laundrie telling officers he could not afford a hotel room for the night, and he was assisted by a local domestic violence charity.

Brian Laundrie pictured on police bodycam footage after they were called to a domestic violence incident in Moab, Utah, on 12 August. (AP)
Brian Laundrie pictured on police bodycam footage after they were called to a domestic violence incident in Moab, Utah, on 12 August. (AP)

Saturday 25 September 2021 21:36 , Bevan Hurley

Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman showed up at the North Port home of Christopher and Roberta Laundrie on Saturday afternoon.

Mr Chapman arrived in a 4WD vehicle shortly before 4:30pm and knocked on the front door of the house. No one answered the door.

He walked around the property briefly before getting back in his vehicle, declining to speak to media as he left.

Dog the Bounty Hunter declined to speak to media as he left the Laundrie family home on Saturday (Twitter.com/BrianEntin)
Dog the Bounty Hunter declined to speak to media as he left the Laundrie family home on Saturday (Twitter.com/BrianEntin)

Saturday 25 September 2021 20:31 , Bevan Hurley

Dog the Bounty Hunter has announced he is joining the search for Brian Laundrie.

The reality TV personality, whose real name is Duane Chapman, said he his wife Francie Frane are currently searching in the Carlton Reserve in Florida where Mr Laundrie told family he was going hiking last week.

“Dog and Francie have experienced extreme loss themselves,” his team said in a statement obtained by Fox News.

“Their hearts go out to Gabby’s family for what they’re going through and want to help bring justice for her death.”

Mr Chapman is calling for anyone with tips on Mr Laundrie’s whereabouts to contact him and said that “all information will be kept confidential.”

Duane 'Dog the Bounty Hunter' Chapman and wife Francie Frane have joined the hunt for Mr Laundrie (Getty Images)
Duane 'Dog the Bounty Hunter' Chapman and wife Francie Frane have joined the hunt for Mr Laundrie (Getty Images)

Saturday 25 September 2021 20:09 , Bevan Hurley

Followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory are claiming Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie are “crisis actors” and coverage of the case is a distraction from the failures of President Joe Biden.

The bizarre theory is being spread across encrypted messaging apps and social media channels including Twitter, TikTok and Facebook, where users are claiming Ms Petito’s homicide is meant to divert attention from the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan or the bogus Arizona election audit.

“The FBI is clearly coordinating with (mainstream media) to put on over the top theatrics in what is a run of the mill investigation in hopes that the public will forget about all the FBI’s scandals and be fooled in thinking that they actually fight crime,” one QAnon believer wrote on Telegram, according to the Daily Dot.

QAnon is a complex and wide-ranging conspiracy theory that asserts that Donald Trump and his allies are on a secret mission to save the world from a cabal of celebrities and Democratic politicians who are involved in various crimes against children.

Tragic incidents such as the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012 and 2018’s Parkland school shooting have also been the target of false claims that they were somehow staged.

Saturday 25 September 2021 18:17 , Bevan Hurley

A former Utah police chief is defending the actions of the Moab police officers who pulled over Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito in the town on 12 August.

A witness called 911 to say he had seen Mr Laundrie hitting and slapping Ms Petito in Moab, two weeks before she disappeared.

The officers separated the couple for the night, but did not press charges after the couple claimed Ms Petito had instigated the altercation.

On Thursday, Moab Police Department announced it was investigating how the officers handled the incident, which was captured on their body-worn cameras.

Former chief Jim Winder told KSLTV he thought the officers did an “excellent job”.

“They treated them with dignity, respect and compassion,” Mr Winder, who left the job in 2019, said.

“People ascribing particular psychological traits to Mr Laundrie and Ms Petito from a video, indicating that had one path been taken versus another… had they arrested someone, no one would have ever died.

“These are interesting topics of conversation but they’re not real,” he added.

Saturday 25 September 2021 17:02 , Bevan Hurley

Several moving trucks were spotted on the street where Brian Laundrie’s parents live in North Port, Florida, on Saturday morning.

Brian Entin, a NewsNation reporter, shot down claims that the trucks were at the Laundrie home.

Memorial service for Gabby Petito being held Sunday in Holbrook, Long Island

Saturday 25 September 2021 15:46 , Bevan Hurley

There are currently no plans to stream Gabby Petito’s memorial in Long Island tomorrow, but it will be open to the public, funeral directors say.

The memorial will be held at Moloney’s Holbrook Funeral Home at 825 Main St, Holbrook, from 12pm to 5pm.

Ms Petito grew up about five miles from the funeral home in Blue Point.

The Petito family have asked that donations be made to the Future Gabby Petito Foundation in lieu of flowers.

Florida lawyer, mom of two, puts $20,000 bounty on Brian Laundrie

Saturday 25 September 2021 14:01 , Celine Wadhera

A prominent Florida attorney and mother of two has put a $20,000 bounty on Brian Laundrie.

Tatiana Boohoff, told Fox News on Friday: “I think a missing child is every parents worst nightmare. Our hearts go out to her family and the community, and we hope that together we can get some answers and get justice for Gabby.”

Ms Boohoff, whose children are seven and 17-years-old, said that she would give $20,000 to “the first person to supply information leading directly to the exact whereabouts” of Brian.

She added that she had already received a number of tips which she forwarded on to the FBI, and said that she encouraged anyone else with leads to provide them directly to investigators.

Candlelight vigil in Blue Point, New York

Saturday 25 September 2021 13:40 , Celine Wadhera

Along the main streets of Gabby’s hometown of Blue Point, New York, friends, family and community members came together to honour the 22-year-old on Friday night.

Thousands of people lit candles and sat at the ends of their driveways, lighting candles in memory of Gabby, ahead of her memorial service on Sunday.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Gabby was like a granddaughter to me

Saturday 25 September 2021 13:10 , Celine Wadhera

Noreen Gibbons, a close friend of the Petito family, was in New York to attend Gabby’s memorial service on Sunday.

Speaking to NewsNation’s Brian Enton, she said: Gabby’s like a granddaughter to me”

“She was like a bright shining star... Now she is a star.”

“I don’t know if I want him (Brian) to be dead or if I want him to be alive to face the consequences,” she said, fighting tears. “I loved him, and I loved Gabby”.

She added that she had never seen any signs of trouble between the young couple.

Honouring Gabby Petito

Saturday 25 September 2021 12:45 , Celine Wadhera

Hundreds of candles glowed along the sidewalks and front walks of homes in Gabby Petito’s hometown of Blue Point, New York, in memory of the 22-year-old whose body was discovered on Sunday.

Search for Brian Laundrie to resume on Saturday in ‘areas of more likelihood’

Saturday 25 September 2021 12:18 , Celine Wadhera

The search for Brian is set to resume on Saturday morning, after police ended the “major” part of their search on Friday evening, a spokesperson said.

North Port police spokesperson Josh Taylor announced that Saturday and Sunday’s investigative efforts in the Carlton Reserve would focus on “areas of more likelihood”.

Mr Taylor added that local law enforcement would not be providing regular updates on the search over the weekend, unless something of note was discovered.

Authorities have not said why they are convinced that Mr Laundrie may still be somewhere inside the more than 24,000-acre nature preserve more than a week after he told family members he was headed there to hike alone.

The Carlton Reserve has more than 80 miles of hiking trails but is dominated by swampy water.

Photos of Gabby left in front of Laundrie family home

Saturday 25 September 2021 11:33 , Celine Wadhera

Reporting from outside the Laundrie family home in North Port, Florida, Brian Entin, Correspondent for News Nation Now reported that someone had been leaving photos of Gabby around the front yard.

“There are these memorials popping up all over the place. There are posters that appeared outside the Laundrie family home.”

Mr Entin pointed to pictures of Gabby had been attached to palm trees close to the Laundrie’s front door, as well as a number of laminated photos of her closer to the sidewalk.

One of the photos also contained the text “I was here once”.

“This is obviously a message someone is trying to send the family,” he said.

Mr Entin added that the Laundrie family had not come out of the house to see or remove the pictures on Friday.

Gabby Petito timeline

Saturday 25 September 2021 10:48 , Celine Wadhera

2 July – Gabby and fiancé Brian Laundrie leave New York for road trip.

12 August – The couple is seen arguing in Moab City, Utah. Concerned bystanders call the police, who intervene, capturing the altercation on video on the officers’ body camera. One officer describes the incident as a “mental health crisis”.

24 August – Gabby was spotted checking out of a hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah, with Brian.

25 August – Gabby has a video call with her mother – last known citing of the 22-year-old.

26-27 August – Last text messages sent from Gabby’s phone.

1 September – Brian returns to North Port, Florida, where the couple lived, without Gabby.

11 September – Gabby’s family launch missing person’s investigation

14 September – Police declare Brian a “person of interest” in the case.

17 September – Brian’s family call investigators to their home, admit Brian has been missing since 14 September.

19 September – FBI announce that a body has been discovered in Wyoming, believed to be Gabby.

20 September – FBI search the Laundrie home, now declared a crime scene.

21 September – Petito family attorney confirms that the body found in Wyoming is Gabby. FBI confirm her death to be a homicide.

23 September – FBI issue federal arrest warrant for Brian Laundrie, related to “activities following the death of Gabby”

24 September – People gather to honour Gabby in her hometown, Blue Point, New York

A timeline of the death of Gabby Petito

Click here to read the full blog on The Independent's website

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