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Gabby Petito: Family of missing woman accuse fiancé of 'hiding' as hunt continues
21 September 2021, 14:02
The family of Gabby Petito - who went missing during a road trip with fiancé Brian Laundrie - have claimed he is in "hiding".
Mr Laundrie, 23, was last seen on Tuesday with a hiking bag, his family said. However, they did not tell police that he was missing until three days later.
The FBI were called on Friday evening to discuss Mr Laundrie's disappearance, marking the first time his family had been willing to speak with investigators over the search for his fiancé.
However, Richard B Stafford, an attorney for the Petito family, said in a statement late on Friday: "All of Gabby’s family want the world to know that Brian is not missing, he is hiding. Gabby is missing."
The couple had set out on a road trip across the US in July, documenting their travels online, but it was only Mr Laundrie that returned on 1 September.
Police said in a statement: "We understand the community’s frustration, we are frustrated too.
"For six days, the North Port Police Department and the FBI have been pleading with the family to contact investigators regarding Brian’s fiancé Gabby Petito.
"Friday is the first time they have spoken with investigators in detail.
"It is important to note that while Brian is a person of interest in Gabby’s disappearance, he is not wanted for a crime. We are not currently working a crime investigation.
"We are now working a multiple missing person investigations."
It comes days after Utah police released bodycam footage of the 22-year-old before she disappeared.
The video showed Ms Petito in tears and telling police the couple had been "fighting all morning" on their travels.