Missing Gabby Petito: Protesters outside Brian Laundrie’s home chant ‘where’s Gabbie’

·3 min read
Final text sent from Gabby Petito was a fake, her mother believes (Instagram.com/GabsPetito)
Final text sent from Gabby Petito was a fake, her mother believes (Instagram.com/GabsPetito)

Protesters have gathered outside the Florida home of missing YouTuber Gabby Petito's fiance Brian Laundrie, as he continues to decline to cooperate with the police after her disappearance.

People drove golf carts across the street carrying posters with messages such as "Where is Gabby" and "Speak up".

"We’re standing up for somebody who’s lost that's in our city, and we’re a big family in our city, in North Port. And we are definitely going to do whatever we can to help the family find this missing daughter," a protester told Fox News on Thursday.

"We all have children. If it were our child, we would want everyone to gather up and help us find our child too. So we’re going to do whatever it takes," the person added.

The North Port Police Department in Florida on Wednesday announced they were treating Mr Laundrie as a person of interest in their investigation. He has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

The couple, who were road tripping in Ms Petito's van for two years before her disappearance, were reportedly seen arguing and hitting each other in Utah's Moab City on 12 August. The family declared her missing when Mr Laundrie returned from the trip on 1 September without Ms Petito. The van has been seized by the police for examination.

Chief of police Todd Garrison in a tweet asked Mr Laundrie's lawyer Steven Bertolino to arrange a conversation with the suspect after he refused to cooperate with the ongoing investigation. "Two people left on a trip and one person returned," Mr Garrison tweeted.

The family of Ms Petito have called on the Laundrie family to help them find their daughter. The family asked them “as parents, how can you put us through this pain” and begged them to at least tell them where Ms Petito was last seen, or if they are even looking in the right area.

Nicole Schmidt, Ms Petito's mother, said that the last time she heard from her daughter was 30 August. That message was just a short text, however, and she has since questioned whether it was actually sent by Ms Petito herself.

Mr Laundrie has issued a single statement through his lawyer, in which he said he hopes the search for Ms Petito is "successful".

The family’s attorney Steve Bertolino released a statement saying: “This is an extremely difficult time for both the Petito family and the Laundrie family. On behalf of the Laundrie family, it is our hope that the search for Miss Petito is successful and that Miss Petito is re-united with her family."

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