Brian Laundrie – update: Petito’s parents speak out in new interview as fugitive’s father rips sign from lawn

·43 min read
Brian Laundrie – update: Petito’s parents speak out in new interview as fugitive’s father rips sign from lawn

Gabby Petito’s parents have said that they “want vengeance and justice” for the loss of their daughter, and hope to see their daughters fiancé, Brian Laundrie, behind bars.

In an interview with 60 Minutes Australia, Ms Petito’s stepfather, Jim Schmidt, said: “We want vengeance and justice, and for him to pay for his crimes.”

Nichole Schmidt, Ms Petito’s mother, added: “I just want to get him in a cell for the rest of his life.”

Meanwhile, today marks the 31st day since Mr Laundrie was reported missing by his parents. North Port Police have not reported any new evidence, but have continued to search for him, alongside the FBI, in the Carlton Reserve, a 24,000-acre nature preserve, where he was reportedly hiking alone before going missing in September.

Authorities have previously said there is believed to be a 50 per cent chance that Mr Laundrie is still alive.

Read More

What would happen if Brian Laundrie is never found?

Gabby Petito: Autopsy confirms cause of death as strangulation

Gabby Petito timeline: When was she found and how did she die?

Key Points

  • Coroner alludes to domestic violence during Petito autopsy update

  • Teton County coroner reveals Gabby Petito died by strangulation

  • Protesters knock on door of Laundrie house, shout abuse

  • Chris Laundrie’s search efforts could be a positive sign, ex-FBI agents say

  • Experts question Brian Laundrie’s survival skills

  • What would happen if Brian Laundrie is never found?

  • Gabby Petito’s friends speak out after learning what caused her death

North Port police have no substantive updates on search for Brian Laundrie

18:45 , Graig Graziosi

Reporters in Florida asked the North Port police to update them on the state of the search for Brian Laundrie. The press gathered in North Port was especially curious as there has been no search activity at the swamp today.

According to a police spokesman, there are no updated, but the case is still ongoing and still being led by the FBI.

ICYMI: Dog the Bounty Hunter reportedly leaves search for Brian Laundrie

18:27 , Graig Graziosi

Duane Chapman, aka Dog the Bounty Hunter, reportedly left the search for Brian Laundrie last week.

The move comes after Mr Chapman announced he planned to leave the search and nurse an injured ankle, but reversed course after a slew of headlines proclaimed he was “quitting.”

Mr Chapman stayed in Florida for several days before reversing course again and leaving for Colorado, saying he would return the moment a “solid lead” arose. He claims his team will remain in the state and continue searching for Mr Laundrie while he is away.

Brian Laundrie look-a-like ambushed by armed US Marshals

17:03 , Graig Graziosi

A man who resembles Brian Laundrie found himself staring down US Marshal pistols after a witness mistook him for the fugitive.

The Independent’s Graig Graziosi has more on the man’s harrowing encounter with federal agents below...

Brian Laundrie look-a-like ambushed by US Marshals near the Appalachian Trail

Carlton Reserve reportedly “quiet” this morning

16:28 , Graig Graziosi

The Carlton Reserve, where Brian Laundrie was believed to be hiding, is reportedly quiet today.

Last week, police - led by the FBI - brought human remain sniffing dogs into the reserve. The next day, a large group of officers entered the swamps with rifles, but a police spokesman said they were participating in a training exercise.

On Monday, reporters noted little activity around the reserve. Whether that means the police have given up on searching the swamp or simply refocused their efforts remains to be seen.

Gabby Petito Foundation brings in nearly $14,000 after first fundraiser

15:45 , Graig Graziosi

The Gabby Petito Foundation - established by the woman’s parents in the wake of her death - held a fundraiser over the weekend that brought in nearly $14,000.

The six-hour event featured food, live bands and an auction and was attended by hundreds of people.

Brian Laundrie look-a-like ambushed by armed federal agents while hiking the Appalachian Trail

14:43 , Graig Graziosi

US Marshals pulled their guns on a man from upstate New York who was napping near the Appalachian Trial. While the man bears a strong resemblance to Brian Laundrie, in reality he is Severin Beckwith, who was traveling with his wife along the trail.

Mr Beckwith was eventually cleared after US Marshals confirmed his identity, The New Yorker reports.

According to the hiker, the US Marshals advised him to shave his beard. Mr Beckwith believes someone at the hotel he was visiting saw him and possibly even photographed him before handing the pictures over to the police.

A student wellbeing team is warning women not to ‘get spiked’ – yes, apparently that’s our responsibilty too

13:55 , Eleanor Sly

Another day, another classic example of victim blaming: this time, it’s courtesy of Durham University’s student wellbeing team, which recently launched a campaign against spiked drinks.

So far, so good, you might think – except for one vital component. For, rather than coming down hard on the male perpetrators who slip so-called “date rape” drugs into women’s drinks, the campaign seemingly places all of the responsibility on... women.

“Don’t get spiked”, the post reads. “Contact the police as soon as possible after a suspected incident of drink spiking.”

Victoria Richards has more:

Opinion: Now women are being warned not to ‘get spiked’ – so that’s on us, too?

Petito’s mum: Laundrie ‘just seemed like a nice guy’

13:22 , Eleanor Sly

Gabby Petito‘s mother has said that Brian Laundrie ‘just seemed like a nice guy’ and that he ‘was very polite and quiet.’

In an interview with 60 Minutes Australia which was posted online on Sunday, Ms Petito’s mother Nichole Schmidt said that although she had concerns about her daughter going on a road trip with Mr Laundrie, she felt ok about it “because she was was Brian.”

Ms Schmidt said: “It felt safe because she was with Brian and I felt that she would be ok.”

She added: “I thought he would take care of her.”

When asked about Mr Laundrie, both of Ms Petito’s parents agreed that he was “very police” and told viewers how he used to visit the family’s home and draw pictures and read books with Ms Petito’s younger siblings.

Earlier in their relationship, he would visit the family’s home, and draw pictures and read books to Petito’s younger sibling.

‘He was very polite and quiet,’ she said. ‘He just seemed like a nice guy.’

The family now say that they have a very different impression of Mr Laundrie.

Police say a woman was raped on Pennsylvania train while others sat and did nothing: ‘I have no words’

12:29 , Eleanor Sly

Several passengers on a moving train in Pennsylvania saw a man sexually assaulting a woman last week but did not intervene, officials said. The man is now facing criminal charges for rape and assault.

The attack took place around 11pm on 13 October when the woman was riding a train to Upper Darby town on the Market Frankford line of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (Septa).

The man, identified as 35-year-old Fiston Ngoy, sat next to the woman and tried to start a conversation with her. Over the next few minutes, Mr Ngoy was seen getting aggressive and harassing her.

Arpan Rai has more:

Woman raped on Pennsylvania train while witnesses did nothing

Gabby Petito timeline: When was she found and how did she die?

11:45 , Eleanor Sly

The focus of the Brian Laundrie manhunt has shifted back to the Carlton Reserve in Florida after the family attorney said he believes the missing fugitive is still hiding out in the 25,000-acre nature reserve.

Steve Bertolino said Mr Laundrie, 23, may be unaware of the nationwide manhunt for him, telling Fox News: “I believe Brian is still in the preserve. And as such I don’t think he has access to the news.”

As law enforcement ramped up their search of the park on Wednesday, Mr Bertolino also revealed that Brian’s father Chris Laundrie had been asked to join in the hunt for his missing son.

Read more here:

A timeline of events in the Gabby Petito case

Florida governor Ron DeSantis wants Laundrie ‘brought to justice’ if found guilty

11:08 , Eleanor Sly

Florida governor Ron DeSantis said on Friday that he he hopes fugitive Brian Laundrie “is apprehended and brought to justice” if he is eventually found guilty of having committed a crime.

Mr DeSantis’ comments came after a press conference in North Port, Florida during which he announced a $1.69 million (£1.23 million) grant would be awarded to the city to help with job creation.

“You know, my view would be, it’s a little disappointing that we still don’t have this guy’s whereabouts,” Mr DeSantis said in response to a question about Mr Laundrie.

‘We’re going to get justice for you Gabby’, protestor shouts in the night

10:34 , Eleanor Sly

A screaming protestor appeared on the front lawn of Brian Laundrie’s family home in North Port, Florida, early on Monday morning.

The man, who called himself Frankie Santana, appeared to reorganise signs on the front lawn, adding two more posters and trying to disturb the Laundrie family.

Mr Santana says he is from the area and has been following the case since Gabby Petito was first reported missing in September.

He shouted: “We’re going to get justice for you, Gabby, we will.” Before adding that he hoped Mr Laundrie’s parents aren’t getting any sleep because he is not, Fox News reported.

Gabby Petito Foundation fundraiser takes place Sunday

09:47 , Eleanor Sly

The first fundraiser for the Gabby Petito Foundation saw a huge number of attendees on Sunday afternoon in Ms Petito’s Long Island hometown.

Approximately 200 people stopped in to pay their respects to Ms Petito within the first hour of the planned six hour long event, reported Fox News.

The Gabby Petito Foundation aims to support and aid organisations who support locating missing persons.

The website writes: “The mission of the foundation is to address the needs of organisations who support locating missing persons and to provide aid to organisations who assist victims of domestic violence situations, through education, awareness, and prevention strategies.

“We wish to turn our personal tragedy into a positive. It is our hope that Gabby’s foundation will bring these important issues into the forefront of the public eye to the benefit of all our communities.”

Brian Laundrie’s father emerges from house to tear down protest sign from lawn

08:48 , Eleanor Sly

Brian Laundrie’s father briefly emerged from his besieged home on Saturday to tear a protest sign from his lawn, multiple photos and videos show.

The sign, according to Fox News, had read, “What if it was Cassie?” – apparently in reference to Brian’s sister, Cassie Laundrie.

Chris and Roberta Laundrie have rarely left their home in North Port, Florida, since the news broke that their son’s fiancée, Gabby Petito, had gone missing. She was later found dead in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, where she and Brian had been traveling on a cross-country van trip. A coroner said the cause of death was strangulation.

Nathan Place reports:

Brian Laundrie’s father emerges from house to tear down protest sign

A new mural celebrates Gabby Petito

07:08 , Maroosha Muzaffar

A new mural celebrating Gabby Petito has cropped up in New Port Richey in Florida, one of several impromptu memorials built in her name.

The mural, created by the artist Adonis Hunter, is outside a business called US 19 Sign on the junction of US 19 and Trouble Creek Road in the town, according to Channel 10 Tampa Bay.

In the mural, Petito’s face is painted on the side of the building alongside the words “She Touched the World.”

Hunter said: “I have a 20-year-old son and I just can’t imagine. I just couldn’t imagine that.” He added: I really painted it for the parents and now I know they’re thankful.”

‘Gabby’s wings’ mural artist says he is 'honoured'

06:23 , Maroosha Muzaffar

The mural artist behind a painting of wings in Colorado — 5-foot rainbow-coloured wings spanning out from a central heart where Gabby Petito posed for one of her most widely reproduced Instagram photos — says he feels “honoured” and “sad” that his art has become a symbol for Petito’s spirit.

The Argentinian artist, Diego Jaguart, painted the wings mural on the exterior wall of The Colorado Shop on West Colorado Avenue around Valentine’s Day in 2019.

Jaguart says: “I don’t feel happy because my wings are famous, I feel sad. But this now for me is an honour.”

In 2019, Petito had stopped in Colorado Springs and struck a pose in front of the mural. After she was found dead, that photo appeared in newspapers, billboards and came to be used online to celebrate her legacy.

Jaguart’s wife, Adhya Spencer added: “This used to be a wearable art boutique, and we wanted to draw attention to the store and also have something that people could interact with, so we did an event here and he painted it live.” She added: “His focus at first was the bird, the phoenix, and the idea of being reborn. Reborn from the ashes....”

The artist said: “This is power for me, they come here and take a photo and feel power, that is my focus. But later it changed.”

He also recently touched up the colours of the mural. Recalling the image of Petito in front of his mural, the artist said: “She looks like an angel. She looks free.”

Gabby Petito’s father posts poignant photo of Wyoming lake

05:48 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Joseph Petito, the father of Gabby Petito, shared a photo of Jenny Lake in Jackson, Wyoming — one of the last places his daughter visited before she was killed.

Mr Petito wrote below the picturesque photo of the lake: “I now know why you came here. #gabbypetito has a beautiful view from now on.”

Mr Petito also wrote: “Love you, and miss you.”

He was also last seen leaving a funeral home, clutching an urn containing Gabby Petito’s ashes.

Protesters outside Laundrie home divide opinions online

05:20 , Maroosha Muzaffar

For weeks now there have been clusters of protesters camped outside the home of Brian Laundrie’s parents, either calling on them to do more to solve Gabby Petito’s murder or to reveal their son’s location (the family lawyer says they don’t know where he is).

While some of the protesters are believed to be local to North Port, Florida, one woman at the house has proved particularly controversial as she has been identified as a YouTuber from Pennsylvania.

Reporters at the scene describe how she has demanded “justice for Gabby”, shouting at the Laundries that “this is gonna keep on going” and that “I don’t have the energy. More of these missing kids need our energy.”

She has been identified as 46-year-old streamer Molly Golightly, whose real name is Marissa Zdazinsky. Earlier this month she told the media at the Laundrie home that she travelled from Hershey, Pennsylvania to Florida to be “Gabby’s voice” and to confront the Laundrie family on her behalf.

Some have responded unkindly online, however, accusing her of seeking “15 minutes of fame” and using the homicide case to seek more followers for herself.

One user said: “This woman is only here for publicity to drive people to her Youtube channel.. she does this for attention which y’all just supplied in abundance.”

Another said: “Are there no women’s shelters in Hershey, PA that could benefit from her time & money? Must be nice.”

Earlier this month, Golightly placed a laundry basket and a sign which read “Dirty Laundrie Come Clean” outside the Laundrie home.

Gabby Petito Foundation fundraiser raises $13k

04:40 , Maroosha Muzaffar

The first fundraiser for the Gabby Petito Foundation was held on Sunday and saw an impressive turnout, according to the family’s attorney, raising around $13,700.

An estimated 200 people stopped by to donate and pay their respects in just the first hour of the six-hour event at 89 North, a music venue at Patchogue in New York.

The event director, Christian Cabrera, said: “We’re here to raise money and have some good food and a good time in her memory.”

‘This was evil’: Petito’s mother and stepfather react to learning she was strangled

02:00 , Nathan Place

Nichole and Jim Schmidt, Gabby Petito’s mother and stepfather, tearfully told 60 Minutes Australia their reaction to learning she had died of strangulation.

“This was evil,” Ms Schmidt said.

“Gabby was 22 years old,” Mr Schmidt said through tears. “Her life was stolen from her. She was stolen from us.”

‘I thought he would take care of her’: Gabby Petito’s parents speak out

Protesters continue to put photos of Petito around Laundrie house

01:00 , Nathan Place

Fox News footage shows a protester placing photos of Gabby Petito outside Chris and Roberta Laundrie’s home in North Port, Florida.

The protester was apparently undeterred by Chris Laundrie, who has recently mowed the lawn around the protest signs and yanked one of them out of the ground.

Gabby Petito’s hometown holds fundraiser for her foundation

Monday 18 October 2021 00:00 , Nathan Place

About 200 people in Blue Point, New York are at a fundraiser tonight for the Gabby Petito Foundation, Fox News has reported. The Long Island town is where Ms Petito was born and raised.

Petito’s mother recalls the moment she realized her daughter was missing

Sunday 17 October 2021 22:42 , Nathan Place

In a new interview with 60 Minutes Australia, Gabby Petito’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, described the agony of not hearing from her daughter and beginning to worry something had happened to her.

About four days into Ms Petito’s van trip with her fiance, Brian Laundrie, Ms Schmidt says her daughter stopped answering her phone.

“Probably day 4 and 5, I was texting her every day, but I wasn’t getting any responses,” Ms Schmidt recalled. “By day 6 or 7, I was checking her social media. I didn’t see any activity.”

On day 10, she called the police to report Ms Petito as missing. By that time, it turns out, Mr Laundrie had been home for almost two weeks.

‘I thought he would take care of her’: Gabby Petito’s mom recalls fateful van trip

Sunday 17 October 2021 21:09 , Nathan Place

In a heartbreaking new interview, Gabby Petito’s mother and stepfather recalled Brian Laundrie as “quiet” and “polite,” and took a painful look back at the couple’s ill-fated van trip.

“I felt safe because she was with Brian, and I felt like she would be OK,” Ms Petito’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, told 60 Minutes Australia. “I thought he would take care of her.”

‘I know what she went through’: Domestic violence survivor pays moving tribute to Petito

Sunday 17 October 2021 20:29 , Nathan Place

A protester outside the Laundrie family’s home said through tears that she believed Ms Petito was a victim of domestic violence, and felt she could relate to her experience.

“I feel like I needed to be here for Gabby, basically because I know what she went through,” the woman, who said she’d traveled all the way from Minnesota, told YouTuber Joseph Morris. “This girl was completely helpless. She was stuck... And it hurts my heart, because I know how she was feeling. And I couldn’t just not do anything.”

‘This is gonna keep on going’: Protests continue outside Laundrie home

Sunday 17 October 2021 19:20 , Nathan Place

Protesters are continuing to picket and shout outside the home of Brian Laundrie’s parents in North Port, Florida.

“You just devalued this block!” yelled one woman who had traveled all the way from Hershey, Pennsylvania, according to Fox News. “I’m telling you, this is gonna keep on going!”

Footage shows Laundrie’s father tearing down protest sign

Sunday 17 October 2021 18:46 , Nathan Place

Brian Laundrie’s father, Chris Laundrie, stormed out of his house on Saturday to tear down a protest sign on his lawn, Fox News footage shows.

The sign had read, “What if it was Cassie?” – apparently referring to Cassie Laundrie, Chris’ daughter.

Protesters have been gathering outside the Laundrie home for weeks, waving protest signs and shouting at the family.

Former FBI agent believes Brian Laundrie is alive

Sunday 17 October 2021 18:15 , Nathan Place

Former FBI agent Jennifer Coffindaffer says she believes Brian Laundrie is still alive, judging by comments from the Laundrie family’s lawyer.

“The attorney has repeatedly said he is representing the family and he is representing Brian Laundrie,” Ms Coffindaffer told NewsNationNow. “You would not represent someone who is not alive.”

The Appalachian Trail – the land of Laundrie look-alikes

Sunday 17 October 2021 17:45 , Celine Wadhera

As the search for Brian Laundrie enters its second month, New Yorker writer Charles Bethea explored the ways that amateur sleuths have been looking for the fugitive along the Appalachian Trail – and mistaking other “archetypal, long-distance” hikers for him.

One couple, Severin Beckwith and Anna Brettmann, who were hiking from Georgia to Virginia along the trail in late September, had an unexpected encounter with a number of US Marshals who came bursting into their hotel room while they were taking a nap.

It turns out that Mr Beckwith, like many bearded, skinny and pale hikers, resembled Mr Laundrie, and someone at the hotel had tipped off the marshals.

“The preponderance of such men,” Mr Bethea writes, “perhaps, has made the Appalachian Trail a locus of the manhunt among the amateur set.”

Dog the Bounty Hunter denies pitching show on the search for Brian Laundrie

Sunday 17 October 2021 16:45 , Celine Wadhera

Dog the Bounty Hunter has denied claims that he had pitched a show to A&E network that would follow the search for Brian Laundrie.

He told The Sun: “Anything about us ever going to A&E, that is a lie”. And added: “Will this search cause us to get a show? I doubt it.”

However, the 68-year-old told the newspaper that he would “absolutely” consider using some of the footage that he had captured in his search for Mr Laundrie in a show at a later date, but insisted that he was not currently producing a show.

Online trolls create Brian Laundrie Halloween costumes

Sunday 17 October 2021 15:45 , Celine Wadhera

With Halloween around the corner, a handful of internet trolls have taken it upon themselves to create DIY Brian Laundrie costumes.

One image shared online showed a man wearing a laundry basket around his waist, filled with laundry and tide detergent, The US Sun reported. “My name is Brian” was digitally added to the photo.

Another photo featured a man wearing a green morph suit with a flower mask on top. The image of a flowerbed was added to the photo, referencing an online theory that Mr Laundrie is hiding in a secret bunker below a flower bed in his parents’ backyard. This photo had been titled ‘Brian Laundrie’s Halloween Costume this year”.

17-year-old girl missing in Greenbelt, Maryland

Sunday 17 October 2021 15:15 , Celine Wadhera

Police have reported that a 17-year-old girl has been missing in Greenbelt, Maryland since 9pm on Friday night.

Evelyn Velasquez was last seen wearing blue jeans, a black and grey sweater, and pink Nikes when she left her home along the Greenbelt Station Parkway on Friday.

Authorities have noted that Evelyn is on the autism spectrum, and added that she is a “critical missing juvenile”.

In 2020, more than 260,000 women went missing across the US; the majority of them were under the age of 21, and none received anything close to the media coverage that the Gabby Petito case has garnered.

Petito friend: ‘We met on Bumble for friends’

Sunday 17 October 2021 14:45 , Celine Wadhera

Rose Davis, one of Gabby Petito’s best friends, has confirmed that she met the 22-year-old travel blogger on Bumble.

In a TikTok live in the early hours of Sunday morning, the 21-year-old said: “We met on Bumble for friends,” adding that she had known Ms Petito for “a few years”.

“Once I met Gabs, it was like, you’re stuck with me now,” she said affectionately.

She added: “I am very sad about Gabby, that’s why I’m not sleeping”.

Ms Davis had been expecting a call from Ms Petito on her birthday on 29 August, and had hoped to meet up with Ms Petito and her fiancé Brian Laundrie in Yellowstone National Park. Sadly, neither the call or the meeting ever occurred.

Petito family collect Gabby’s ashes

Sunday 17 October 2021 14:05 , Celine Wadhera

The Petito family collected Gabby’s ashes from the Valley Mortuary in Jackson, Wyoming, the MailOnline reported.

After visiting Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park – one of the last places the 22-year-old visited before she was killed – her parents were seen leaving the mortuary on Saturday morning.

Joseph Petito, Ms Petito’s father, was seen clutching an urn containing her ashes, while her mother, Nichole Schmidt, was visibly upset leaving the funeral home.

Ms Petito’s remains will now be taken to Long Island, New York, where she will be laid to rest.

Protesters chant ‘Justice for Gabby’ outside of Laundrie family home

Sunday 17 October 2021 13:35 , Celine Wadhera

Protesters gathered outside the Laundrie family house in North Port Florida on Saturday evening to demand justice for Gabby.

The small group could be heard chanting: “Justice for Gabby” and “Say her name – Gabby Petito”.

Retired US Marshal: ‘It just doesn’t make sense’

Sunday 17 October 2021 12:45 , Celine Wadhera

Retired US Marshal Lenny DePaul told 60 Minutes Australia that there was a lot about the case that just didn’t add up.

“I think Brian’s parents did help him,” he said. “Gabby lived in Florida with them. They got engaged. He shows up in the van without her. What does he tell his parents? ‘Oh, we broke up, I left her out there, I just decided to drive the van back home, and let’s go camping?’

“It just doesn’t make sense.”

Protests continue outside Laundrie family house

Sunday 17 October 2021 13:17 , Celine Wadhera

Protests continued outside the Laundrie family home in North Port, Florida, on Sunday morning.

Demonstrators could be seen holding signs that read “The Dirty Laundries” and “Never Forgotten” while chanting “Justice for Gabby”.

Joseph Petito: ‘There has to be change’

Sunday 17 October 2021 12:30 , Celine Wadhera

Gabby Petito’s father has said that he hopes to use the media attention surrounding his daughter’s disappearance and death to drive change around missing persons and domestic violence cases.

“How many missing children, of all colours, of all races, of all genders, go missing? That don’t have this kind of social media explosion,” he told 60 Minutes Australia.

“I’m fortunate that it did, I’m very humbled that I did.

“But what kind of person would I be if I wasted it and not engage in a conversation that’s going to make a difference. There has to be change, there has to be meaning behind it.”

Jim Schmidt: ‘We want vengeance and justice’

Sunday 17 October 2021 12:15 , Celine Wadhera

When asked what justice looked like for their family, Jim Schmidt, Gabby Petito’s stepfather, told 60 Minutes Australia: “We want vengeance and justice, and for him to pay for his crimes and to spend his time in prison for the rest of his life.”

Nichole Schmidt: ‘I believe they know most of the information’

Sunday 17 October 2021 12:00 , Celine Wadhera

When the 60 Minutes Australia episode turned to the Laundrie family’s silence over Gabby’s disappearance and subsequent death, Ms Petito’s family expressed their frustration.

Gabby’s mother, Nichole Schmidt said: “I think silence speaks volumes. I believe they know probably, if not everything, they know most of the information”.

Joseph Petito, Ms Petito’s father, said that it was “torturous” and “cruel” for the Laundrie family to withhold anything about what happened to his daughter.

Nichole Schmidt: ‘I just hope that she didn’t suffer’

Sunday 17 October 2021 11:45 , Celine Wadhera

Gabby Petito’s mother and stepfather were teary-eyed as they contemplated the last moments of their daughter’s life on 60 Minutes Australia.

“I just hope that she didn’t suffer,” Nichole Schmidt said.

“Just hoping that at that moment…That she was in a place she wanted to be, looking at the beautiful mountains.”

Ms Petito’s father, Joseph Petito, also featured in the episode. When asked what his last words to his daughter were, he said: “My very last sentence to her was ‘I love you’, and her last sentence to me was ‘I love you too’”.

‘I wanted to jump through the screen and rescue her’

Sunday 17 October 2021 11:15 , Celine Wadhera

Responding to police body camera footage of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie, taken in Moab, Utah, following a 911 call about a domestic dispute, Ms Petito’s mother said that she “wanted to jump through the screen” and rescue her daughter.

Speaking on 60 Minutes Australia, Nichole Schmidt said: “I wanted to jump through the screen and rescue her.

“I saw a young girl that needed someone to just hug her and keep her safe. I just felt so bad for her. I wish that she reached out to me.”

Ms Schmidt added that she began to worry about her daughter on the fourth day that she hadn’t heard from her in August.

Nichole Schmidt: ‘I thought he would take care of her’

Sunday 17 October 2021 11:00 , Celine Wadhera

In a clip of the 60 Minutes Australia episode, Gabby Petito’s mother said that she believed her daughter would be safe, because she was with Brian Laundrie, whom she trusted.

About the cross-country trip that Ms Petito and Mr Laundrie had planned, Nichole Schmidt said:

“I worried, I told her to be careful, to be safe, to be aware of your surroundings…Don’t trust everybody.

“But I felt safe because she was with Brian and I felt that she would be okay. I thought he would take care of her.”

Petito parents to give exclusive interview on 60 Minutes Australia

Sunday 17 October 2021 10:45 , Celine Wadhera

Amid the ongoing media frenzy, 60 Minutes Australia will air an episode that seeks to “uncover the truth” about Gabby Petito’s “shocking” murder on Sunday evening.

Ms Petito’s parents feature in the episode, providing an exclusive interview that will be aired on channel Nine.

“Her laughter was so infectious, her was smile was so infectious, she was intriguing,” Joseph Petito says, in a clip released ahead of the episode.

Protester: ‘I want to send a message to them’

Sunday 17 October 2021 09:46 , Celine Wadhera

Tom Topps, of St Petersburg, Florida, was among the protesters outside the Laundrie residence on Saturday evening.

He told Fox News that he chose to attend the protest to “send a message” to Brian Laundrie’s parents.

He added: “I hope that we shine a light on this the same way a light was shone on domestic violence back in the OJ Simpson days.”

Dog the Bounty Hunter urges Laundrie to turn himself in

Sunday 17 October 2021 02:00 , Nathan Place

In the wake of a coroner’s announcement that Gabby Petito died of strangulation, Dog the Bounty Hunter has urged Brian Laundrie to “make a deal” with authorities and turn himself in.

“Strangulation is not an accident,” the blond-haired manhunter told WFLA. “It looks very bad right now for the Laundrie family.”

Who is Brian Laundrie? Everything we know about Gabby Petito’s boyfriend

Sunday 17 October 2021 01:00 , Nathan Place

Police and the FBI are still searching for Brian Laundrie, the primary person of interest in Gabby Petito’s death. Who is he? What did he do for a living? Is he really a ‘survivalist’? Here’s everything we know about Ms Petito’s missing fiancé:

Everything we know about Brian Laundrie as manhunt continues

Gabby Petito: Everything we know so far

Sunday 17 October 2021 00:00 , Nathan Place

From the cause of death announcement to the ongoing search for Brian Laundrie, here’s a look at everything we know so far about the Gabby Petito case:

Everything we know about Gabby Petito’s murder on ‘dream’ road trip

The disturbing trend of Brian Laundrie ‘supporters’

Saturday 16 October 2021 23:00 , Nathan Place

As the death of Gabby Petito continues to dominate the news, a disturbing online trend has begun to take shape. Incels, trolls, “men’s rights activists”, and self-described alpha males have begun rushing to Laundrie’s defense. It is not a new phenomenon, but it does reflect the throbbing heartbeat of misogyny thriving and surviving both on and offline.

The Independent’s Kathleen N. Walsh takes a look at this unsettling trend here:

The disturbing trend of online Brian Laundrie ‘supporters’ tells us so much

‘The Dirty Laundries’: See the signs protesters are holding outside Brian Laundrie’s house

Saturday 16 October 2021 21:30 , Nathan Place

Protesters have been picketing outside the Laundrie family home in North Port, Florida for weeks. Here’s a look at some of their signs, photographed by journalist Jonathan Lee Riches:

Who are Brian Laundrie’s parents?

Saturday 16 October 2021 20:51 , Nathan Place

Brian Laundrie’s parents, Christopher and Roberta Laundrie, have remained steadfastly silent as their son became the subject of a nationwide FBI manhunt. Here’s a look at who they are and what they’ve done since Brian returned home alone from his ill-fated van trip:

Who are Brian Laundrie’s parents?

Former FBI agent believes Laundrie, if alive, is ‘getting some kind of help’

Saturday 16 October 2021 20:17 , Nathan Place

A retired FBI agent says that if Brian Laundrie is still alive, someone is almost definitely helping him.

“For him to survive this long, if he is still alive – and probably, chances are, he is – he’s getting some kind of help,” Dennis Frank told NewsNationNow. “It’d be very, very difficult to be able to survive for this period of time, especially in the wilderness, without some kind of help.”

Five key questions about the Gabby Petito case

Saturday 16 October 2021 19:36 , Nathan Place

Gabby Petito’s body has been found, and her cause of death has been revealed. But many important questions remain.

The biggest question is obvious: Where is Brian Laundrie? But also, why did Mr Laundrie buy a new phone? Why did he and his parents go camping in Florida in the days after he returned from his trip with Ms Petito, alone?

The Independent’s Bevan Hurley takes a look at these and other questions here:

After Gabby Petito’s death is confirmed as strangulation, these key questions remain

Can Brian Laundrie be tried in absentia?

Saturday 16 October 2021 18:44 , Nathan Place

Brian Laundrie has been missing for more than a month. Searches led by both the North Port Police and the FBI have turned up no new clues as to his whereabouts, and a scattering of reported sightings across the country have largely been proven false.

Though Mr Laundrie has not been charged with Gabby Petito’s death, he has been named a person of interest in the case. But what happens if he’s never found? Can he be tried in absentia? Can his family be charged with a crime? The Independent’s Graig Graziosi takes a look at all the different possibilities:

What would happen if Brian Laundrie is never found?

‘It makes me sick’: Petito’s friends react to learning her cause of death

Saturday 16 October 2021 17:58 , Nathan Place

Friends of Gabby Petito have reacted with anger, sickness, and horror to the news that she died of strangulation.

“It makes me sick to my stomach,” Alyssa Chen, a friend of Ms Petito, told People magazine. “I wonder what was going through her mind, knowing she was probably about to die. She must have been so scared.”

“If Brian strangled her, I hope he burns in hell,” said Ben Matula, who was friends with Ms Petito and her fiancé, Brian Laundrie. “That’s all I have to say.”

Read more here:

Gabby Petito’s friends speak out after learning what caused her death

Petito’s parents and stepmother visit park where she was found dead

Saturday 16 October 2021 17:28 , Nathan Place

Gabby Petito’s father has retweeted a photo of her mother and stepmother in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, where the young YouTuber’s body was found last month.

“Two amazing moms @Nikischmidt927 @TaraPetito being there for each other,” Joseph Petito tweeted alongside a photo of Gabby’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, and his wife, Tara Petito, at Jenny Lake. “@Jim_Schmidt416 and I are very lucky husbands.”

The three parents were in Wyoming to recover Ms Petito’s remains.

What happened and when: The Gabby Petito timeline

Saturday 16 October 2021 16:58 , Nathan Place

From the moment Gabby Petito went missing to the moment she was found – and all that’s happened in the search for her ex-fiancé, Brian Laundrie, since then – here’s a timeline of everything we know so far:

A timeline of events in the Gabby Petito case

‘I know now why you came here’: Petito’s father visits park where her body was found

Saturday 16 October 2021 16:41 , Nathan Place

Joseph Petito posted a photo on Friday of Grand Teton National Park, where the body of his daughter, Gabby, was found last month.

“I now know why you came here,” the grieving father tweeted with a photo of Jenny Lake. “#gabbypetito has a beautiful view from now on. Love you, and miss you.”

Chris Laundrie removes sign from front lawn that reads ‘What if it was Cassie’

Saturday 16 October 2021 16:03 , Celine Wadhera

Brian Laundrie’s father, Chris Laundrie, was seen removing a sign from his front lawn early Saturday morning.

The sign read: “What if it was Cassie”, referencing Brian’s sister, Cassie Laundrie. It had been placed on the lawn in front of the Laundrie family house by two sisters from Minnesota.

Friend claims Brian Laundrie might have resources to leave US illegally

Saturday 16 October 2021 15:03 , Celine Wadhera

A long-time friend of Brian Laundrie has said that it is possible that he had the resources to leave the US illegally.

The friend, who knew Mr Laundrie from a young age, told The Sun that Brian was a good planner who could execute his plans precisely.

“I think he’d be able to put the resources together to get out of the country, either illegally or under some sort of fake identification,” the friend said.

“He’s the type of person that would be able to drop everything to secure his means of not being captured and to evade arrest or evade prosecution from what seems to be a pending crime.”

The friend also said that Mr Laundrie had often talked about New Zealand, and said that if he had the means, he would likely try to reach the Oceanic country.

“I’m sure if he had the time and the resources in a few years and he really needed to getaway from this issue, that’s probably somewhere he would end up,” Mr Laundrie’s friend told the paper.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Saturday 16 October 2021 14:42 , Celine Wadhera

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the United States, and the Gabby Petito case has drawn significant attention to the plight of domestic violence over the past two months.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the US. This equates to more than 10 million women and men per year.

If you are experiencing domestic violence and seeking anonymous, confidential help, you can reach the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. If you are in immediate danger, call 9-1-1 (999 in the UK).

Wyoming restaurant fight is key in Petito’s fate, FBI behavioural analyst says

Saturday 16 October 2021 13:42 , Celine Wadhera

The altercation between Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie witnessed near the Merry Piglets Tex-Mex restaurant in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in late August, could be the key to Ms Petito’s demise, a behavioural analyst has said.

Dr Ann Wolbert Burgess, who pioneered the FBI’s Behavioural Science Unit told Fox News Digital: “The restaurant incident … is the second and most important” of two events that raised red flags prior to the 22-year-old’s death.

Nina Celie Angelo, a witness to the incident, said that she believed Mr Laundrie had been arguing with staff over the bill, and described his body language as “aggressive”. At one point, Ms Angelo said that Ms Petito apologised for his behaviour.

“How she has to apologise for his behaviour is something that’s kind of characteristic, and this probably enrages him even more because he wants to appear in a certain way,” Dr Burgess said.

Dr Burgess added that the other incident that suggested there were serious issues in their relationship was the fight between Ms Petito and Mr Laundrie to which police were called on 12 August in Moab, Utah.

Petito case years away from going cold, crime scene investigator says

Saturday 16 October 2021 12:42 , Celine Wadhera

Sheryl McCollum, a crime scene investigator and director of the Cold Case Investigative Research Institute, said that the Petito case was far from going cold.

“As far as this being a cold case… it’s a department by department definition, but across the board, typically people will accept three to five years with absolutely no new leads, no new evidence, no new nothing (until it goes cold), and that is far from where we are,” she told CNN.

“That’s not the case here at all. Local departments, where they may believe there’s been a sighting, they will typically for years have that person at the forefront of their minds,” she added.

Memorial bench to be erected outside North Port City Hall

Saturday 16 October 2021 11:42 , Celine Wadhera

A Gabby Petito memorial bench will be erected outside North Port City Hall, where an impromptu memorial to the murdered 22-year-old stood until earlier this week, the city has confirmed.

The three-person bench will be made of steel and will be bright, colourful and inviting, Fox 7 News reported.

Aaron Betzner, bench designer and owner of metal-fabrication company A Squared Fabrication, said that when he heard a memorial for Ms Petito would become permanent, he wanted to help.

He told the outlet that he was working with a member of the Petito family to ensure the final piece would align with the family’s vision for the memorial.

“Butterflies was the number one biggest, biggest thing,” Mr Betzner said, and confirmed that the bench would contain 15 butterflies, alongside features designed to attract the beautiful winged insect.

He added that the bench would be “kind of a little sanctuary”, where people could “come and sit, reflect on their own life, reflect on Gabby”.

The final version will be white with colourful butterflies. It is expected to be delivered by the end of November.

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