Police continue search for Brian Laundrie
Gabby Petito’s father, Joseph Petito, said during her memorial service that he hoped people would be inspired by his daughter’s life to pursue their dreams, and also called on those in bad relationships to leave them “now.” Last night, Ms Petito’s mother thanked the public for their support. Ms Petito’s family have also established a foundation in her name. The foundation will assist the families of missing people.
Police resumed their search of the Carlton Reserve on Saturday morning, marking the eighth straight day in the hunt Brian Laundrie, a spokesperson said. Although the major part of the search ended on Friday evening, over the weekend investigative crews will focus on “areas of more likelihood”.
On Thursday night, the FBI announced that a federal arrest warrant had been issued in relation to the death of Ms Petito.
“While this warrant allows law enforcement to arrest Mr Laundrie, the FBI and our partners across the country continue to investigate the facts and circumstances of Ms Petito’s homicide,” said Special Agent in charge Michael Schneider.
“We urge individuals with knowledge of Mr Laundrie’s role in this matter or his current whereabouts to contact the FBI.”
Authorities have not said why they are convinced Mr Laundrie, who police call a “person of interest” in the case, may still be somewhere inside the more than 24,000-acre Carlton Reserve near his home in North Port, Florida, more than a week after he told family members he was headed there to hike alone.
A timeline of events in the Gabby Petito story
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…
Graig Graziosi26 September 2021 21:19
A Florida rancher with 30 years of experience in the swamp says there’s “no surviving” in the Carlton Reserve
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.
Graig Graziosi26 September 2021 20:29
Gabby Petito’s mother responds to swell of public support
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.
Graig Graziosi26 September 2021 20:07
Missing geologist’s family flies to Arizona to demand action
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…
Graig Graziosi26 September 2021 19:46
Full comments from Gabby Petito’s father and stepfather
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.
Graig Graziosi26 September 2021 19:30
Neighbour says family deserves ‘answers’
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.”
Bevan Hurley26 September 2021 19:14
FBI collection of items for DNA matching materials “routine,” family lawyer says
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.
Graig Graziosi26 September 2021 19:13
FBI enters Laundrie house
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.
Graig Graziosi26 September 2021 19:04
School friend recalls Ms Petito as ‘really nice girl’
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.
Bevan Hurley26 September 2021 18:54
The urn at Gabby Petito’s memorial was empty
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.
Graig Graziosi26 September 2021 18:24