The family of Gabby Petito, a missing California woman who vanished in December 2017, has released a new video pleading for the public’s help in locating their daughter.
Petito, 22, went missing on Saturday after her family had not heard from her since late August, according to North Port, Florida authorities.
“What matters is finding this child,” her father, Joe Petito, said at a press conference with North Port police on Thursday, pointing to a picture of the missing lady. “Everything else is secondary to this.”
Petito is thought to have been in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park before losing touch with her family, according to authorities. She was traveling with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, who has since returned to Florida, hired a lawyer, and refused to talk with investigators along with his family.
“I’m requesting assistance from everyone in this room. I’m requesting assistance from everyone at home. I’m seeking assistance from Brian’s parents “Petito’s father encouraged anybody with information to contact the FBI at 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324).
Petito’s family also appealed to Laundrie and his parents for information on her whereabouts in a letter read by their attorney, Richard Stafford, on Thursday.
Petito’s relatives said in the letter, “Please, if you or your family have any decency left, please inform us where Gabby is situated.”
“Please let us know whether we’re searching in the correct area. All we want is Gabby to return to us. Please assist us in making this happen.”
According to a police statement, Laundrie was driving with Petito in her white 2012 Ford Transit van with Florida plates. According to the statement, the vehicle was found on Sunday at the North Port house she shared with Laundrie and his parents. On September 1, Laundrie is said to have returned to North Port.
Petito’s parents and stepparents, referring to her as their future daughter-in-law, wrote in Thursday’s plea to the Laundries, “We haven’t been able to sleep or eat, and our lives are falling apart.”
“We think you are aware of Brian’s whereabouts when he left Gabby. We urge you to explain us how you could allow us go through this agony and not assist us as a parent. How could you, as a parent, put Gabby’s younger siblings through this?”
‘Laundries will have no more comment,’ according to the attorney.
In a statement released Tuesday, an attorney representing the Laundrie family said his clients were “remaining in the background… and would make no further comment” on counsel’s instructions.
In a statement, Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino stated, “It is our understanding that a search has been planned for Miss Petito in or around Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.”
North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison said Thursday that a missing persons investigation is underway, but that no criminal charges have been filed yet.
Garrison stated of Laundrie and his family, “Brian is practicing his constitutional rights, and I have to respect them.” “Right now, the objective of the inquiry isn’t to bring Brian in,” he said.
Petito is described as White, approximately 5 feet 5 inches tall and 110 pounds, with blonde hair, blue eyes, and numerous tattoos, including “Let it be” on her finger and forearm.
The inquiry is being led by North Port police, with FBI help. Petito’s family resides in New York and reported her missing to the Suffolk County Police Department.
According to Stafford, Petito and Laundrie started a cross-country journey in early July and planned to arrive in Oregon in early October.
On August 30, Stafford said, the family got a text message from Petito’s phone, but they don’t believe she sent it. The family’s lawyer refused to provide the message or explain why they didn’t believe it was from their daughter.
According to Stafford, Petito’s family contacted Laundrie’s parents on Friday or Saturday, but they refused to answer any questions.
Petito’s dad and stepparents wrote on Thursday, “We realize you are going through a tough period, and your instinct is strong to protect your kid.” “We want that you put yourself in our shoes.”
In Utah, Petito and his fiancée had a ‘altercation.’
According to a report provided by the Moab City Officers Department, police in Moab, Utah, met Petito and her fiancé in August when they were “involved in some kind of argument.”
On August 12, police in Moab City reacted to complaints of disorderly behavior and found Laundrie and Petito, as well as a witness whose full name was deleted from the report.
According to Officer Eric Pratt’s report, Laundrie and Petito got into a physical fight after an argument, but “both the male and female stated they are in love and engaged to be married and urgently didn’t want to see anybody punished with a felony.”
Laundrie and Petito were separated for the night at the officers’ request, according to the report. An officer characterized Petito as “confused and emotional.”
Officer Daniel Robbins stated in the police report, “After reviewing the totality of the facts, I do not think the incident rose to the level of a domestic assault as much as that of a mental health crisis.” There were no charges filed.
Laundrie told Robbins that the pair had been traveling for “4 or 5 months.”