Gabby Petito’s family urges Brian Laundrie: “Turn yourself in”

The family of Gabby Petito and their attorney thanked law enforcement and asked her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, a person of interest in her disappearance, to turn himself in to authorities. Laundrie, who police said was initially uncooperative in the investigation, has been missing since he was declared a person of interest.

“The Laundries did not help us find Gabby, they’re sure as not going to help us find Brian. For Brian, we’re asking you to turn yourself in to the FBI or the nearest law enforcement organization,” said attorney Richard Stafford, speaking on behalf of the family at a news conference.

Petito, 22, was reported missing after Laundrie, 23, returned home to Florida from a cross-country road trip without her in their 2012 Ford Transit van. The FBI later confirmed a body found in Wyoming was identified as Petito, and an initial autopsy ruled her cause of death a homicide.

On Tuesday, her parents also showed off new tattoos in memory of Petito, including ones based on a design Petito drew and one she had that say “Let it be” and “Believe.”

Missing Traveler
Nicole Schmidt, mother of Gabby Petito, wipes tears from her eyes during a news conference on Sept. 28, 2021, in Bohemia, N.Y.  Schmidt, along with Petito’s father and two stepparents, recently got tattoos in memory of Gabby with the words, “Let it be.” John Minchillo / AP

“Our focus is still on mourning Gabby and honoring Gabby. The FBI is doing everything they can and we have our full faith in them,” said her stepfather, Jim Schmidt.

Police have been searching for Laundrie in dense swampland in Florida, and the FBI issued an arrest warrant for Laundrie, charging him with unauthorized use of a bank card for allegedly withdrawing sums of money around the time Petito went missing. The FBI visited the home of Laundrie’s parents on Sunday and removed personal items belonging to the missing man, Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolini confirmed to CBS News.

The family will also form the Gabby Petito Foundation, Stafford said.

“We need positive stuff to come from the tragedy that happened. We can’t let her name be taken in vain. We need positive stuff, so anything that we can do to bring that up and help people, that’s what we want to do,” said her father, Joe Petito.

Her family and friends gathered for a memorial service Sunday on Long Island, in a service that drew hundreds of people after her family opened it to the public.

“We’ve received letters, emails, cards, from all over the world. From Australia, from Europe; we had people from Italy. We had people at the funeral that came from as far away as Texas, as Florida, as California. People from all over the country have called and sent their well wishes,” said Stafford on Tuesday.