Attorney confirms Laundrie family camped together but 'they all left the park'
TIERRA VERDE, Fla. - Days before Gabby Petito’s family realized she was missing, her fiancé Brian and his parents all went camping at Fort De Soto Park.
The new details, confirmed by the family’s attorney Tuesday, help flesh out Brian Laundrie’s timeline but may not necessarily shed any new light on where he is right now.
Laundrie, 23, is only person of interest in the Gabby Petito case and is wanted on fraud charges in connection with the FBI investigation into her death. According to his parents, he left their North Port home two weeks ago and has not been seen since.
For a week, dozens of officers combed through the swampy Carlton Preserve near the family’s North Port home – the location where the family retrieved Brian’s car. But despite a reward and even the involvement of reality TV star Duane ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’ Chapman, there’s been no sign of Laundrie.
Fort De Soto visitor logs obtained by FOX 13 show someone by the name of Roberta Laundrie checked in to a waterfront campsite at the Pinellas County park for two days on September 6. That matches up with previously reported details that the family had left their home with a camper at that time.
Family attorney Steven Bertolino now confirms that all three members of the Laundrie family went camping at Fort De Soto from September 6 and left on September 7 – together.
"They all left the park," he stated.
Gabby and Brian had been on a cross-country ‘van life’ trip when Gabby disappeared. Her family reported her missing on September 11 after they realized Brian had returned to Florida on September 1 – with the van, but without her.
The family says they last spoke with Gabby on August 25, though they received what they call a "suspicious" text from her phone on August 30, which they doubt was sent by her.
The FBI believes Brian used someone else’s Capital One Bank card between August 30 and September 1, taking more than $1,000. His indictment does not say specifically to whom the cards belong.
Gabby’s body was found on September 19 near Grand Teton National Park after a tip from a vacationing Tampa family.
Via FOX News
Search for Brian
Details of the family’s Fort De Soto trip came one day after Chapman told FOX News he was investigating a lead that suggested Brian checked in to the campsite with his family and did not check out.
Pinellas County deputies said Tuesday that they were not working anything related to the ongoing search for Brian at Fort De Soto Park, nor were they aware of any reported sightings. The FBI, the lead agency in the search, declined to comment specifically on the new information.
The Laundrie family had already released a statement Monday in response to criticism they’ve faced over their reported refusal to help law enforcement while Gabby was still missing. They also addressed the accusation that they’ve helped their son escape.
"Chris and Roberta Laundrie do not know where Brian is. They are concerned about Brian and hope the FBI can locate him," Bertolino insisted. "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."
The grieving Petito family, meanwhile, called on Brian to turn himself in.
"The Laundries did not help us find Gabby. They sure aren’t going to help us find Brian," attorney Richard Stafford said. "For Brian, we are asking you to turn yourself in."
Anyone with information regarding Gabby's disappearance or Brian's whereabouts is asked to call the FBI national hotline at 1-800-225-5324 or submit tips to tips.fbi.gov.
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