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Family of Missing Woman Calls Out Her Boyfriend: You Left Her ‘in the Wilderness with Grizzly Bears and Wolves’

Gabrielle Petito and Brian Laundrie camping.

Gabrielle Petito and Brian Laundrie.

The family of a missing 22-year-old woman called out the person they say knows her whereabouts: Her boyfriend.

Cops in Florida are saying Brian Laundrie, 23 hasn’t cooperated in the search for Gabrielle Petito, an avid camper. Authorities in the Sunshine State named Laundrie as a person of interest on Wednesday. Meanwhile, it turns out that officers in Utah previously took a report about the couple getting into a physical fight.

“Brian left Gabby in the wilderness with grizzly bears and wolves while he sits in the comfort of his home,” said a statement from attorney Richard Stafford, who represents the family of Gabrielle Petito. “In his home!”

The statement from the Petito family attorney took Laundrie to task.

“Brian, your silence is reprehensible!” the statement said. “We beg you to do the right thing and help us bring Gabby home. Brian, whatever happened in Wyoming, happened. The only thing you can control is what you do now. Tell us where Gabby is.”

As described by the North Port Police Department in Florida, Laundrie returned home to North Port on Sept. 1, 10 days before Petito’s New York-based family reported her missing.

Petito’s mother Nicole Schmidt has said that she received texts, ostensibly from her daughter, on Aug. 27 and 30. That was the last time she would have communicated with her. Cops in Suffolk County, New York, where Petito’s family first reported her missing, have said she was believed to have last been in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park.

Petito’s and Laundrie’s social media presence shows them to be enthusiasts for the great outdoors, traveling across the country. The sole video on their YouTube account “Nomadic Statik” is dated Aug. 19. They seem to be a happy, young couple in a passionate relationship.

But a police report dated Aug. 13 from Moab, Utah said they allegedly got into a physical fight, with Petito allegedly slapping Laundrie after she worried he was going to abandon her, and Laundrie grabbing her face to push her back. One of the officers did not consider this as rising to the level of domestic violence, however, saying it was instead a mental health incident and deescalated the confrontation by having Laundrie stay at a hotel.

“All three individuals [Petito, Laundrie and a witness] gave me a similar and consistent story, consisting of the basic idea that the driver of the van, a male, had some sort of argument with the female, Gabbie [sic], as I recall,” wrote another one of the officers. “The male tried to create distance by telling Gabbie to go take a walk to calm down, she didn’t want to be separated from the male, and began slapping him. He grabbed her face and pushed her back as she pressed upon him and the van, he tried to lock her out and succeeded except for his driver’s door, she opened that and forced her way over him and into the vehicle before it drove off.”

Both Laundrie and Petito reported having mental illness, which cops redacted from documents. They had been having arguments, the boyfriend allegedly said.

“Brian explained he and Gabrielle have been travelling together for the last 4 or 5 months,” police wrote. “That time spent created emotional strain between them and increased the number of arguments.”

Instagram accounts attributed to Petito and Laundrie shows pictures uploaded on Aug. 12 and 13, tagged as being in Moab or the nearby Arches National Park.

Law&Crime has sent requests for comment to Laundire’s account, but we have yet to receive a reply.

Police in North Port, Florida said the couple had lived there with Laundrie’s parents. He has not cooperated with the investigation, with the family only referring them to an attorney, according to a press conference on Wednesday.

From North Port police:

Several detectives are working around the clock to piece this complex and far-reaching situation together. Gabrielle’s vehicle was recovered here in North Port at her home on September 11th. A home shared with her boyfriend Brian Laundrie and his parents. That vehicle was fully processed for evidence along with FBI agents Tuesday evening. As of now, Brian has not made himself available to be interviewed by investigators or has provided any helpful details. We know Brian returned here to North Port on September 1st — ten days before her family reported her missing on September 11th. We have no information that a crime occurred here in North Port. Brian Laundrie is a person of interest in this case.

Police ask that anyone with information call 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324). From cops, who released a description of Petito and described the vehicle they recovered at her Florida home:

Petito and Brian were traveling in a white 2012 Ford Transit van with Florida license plate QFTG03. Gabrielle, 22, is white, approximately 5 feet 5 inches tall and 110 pounds. She has blonde hair and blue eyes, and several tattoos, including one on her finger and one on her forearm that reads “let it be.”

[Screenshot via Nomadic Statik]

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