A Florida male sister who refused to talk to an investigator after her fiancé was reported missing warmly talked about her brother in an interview broadcast Friday, and she wanted to talk to him too. He said he was.
Brian Laundry, 23, a man, returned home alone on September 1 from a cross-country trip with his fiancé, Gabriel Petite, 22. Her parents reported that she went missing 10 days later.
In an interview aired on ABC’s Good Morning America on Friday, Laundry’s sister, Kathy Laundry, said she hadn’t talked to him since returning to her home near Fort Myers in Northport, Florida. rice field.
“I wish I could talk to him,” she said. “I have cooperated in the best possible way. I wish I had the information.
Laundry said her brother was the type of person who did the right thing for his family and Petit.
“He’s a great uncle,” she said. “He’s always there when I need him. Every time Gabby needed him, he was there.”
When part of the interview was announced Thursday night, Mr. Laundry became the first member of Mr. Laundry’s family and spoke publicly about the incident.
“Obviously, I and my family want to know that Gabby is safe,” Laundry told ABC. “She’s like a sister and my kids love her. All I want is that she can get home safely and be found. This is a big misconception.”
According to police, Mr. Laundry refused to talk to the investigator through a lawyer. He has not been arrested or declared suspect in this case. Police described him only as an interested person. This is a vague term often used by law enforcement agencies to identify people who may have been involved in a crime.
FBI agents, national park rangers, and police in at least two states have been searching for Petit since her parents reported her disappearance on September 11.
According to police, she left with Mr. Laundry in a white Ford van equipped for a cross-country adventure in July.
Petite’s father, Joseph Petite, told reporters in Florida on Thursday that she was determined to find her alive. “Everyone here needs help,” he said.
He called on Mr. Laundry’s parents, couple’s friends, and other family members to talk to the police and the FBI, which set up the tipline.
“Whatever you can do to make sure my daughter goes home, I’m asking for help,” Petit said. “There is nothing else important to me right now.”
In the letter, Petit’s parents and step-parents asked Laundry’s parents to say, “Where Brian left Gabby.”
The case received widespread attention as reporters gathered outside Mr. Laundry’s house and the general public scrutinized the couple’s Instagram account depicting the seemingly carefree nomadic “Van Life” in the western United States.
Petite and Laundry were scheduled to leave New York on July 2 for a four-month cross-country trip to a national park, said Petite’s stepfather Jim Schmidt.
Laundrie posted on Instagram, “We’re shrinking our lives into this little little van.” Petito posted that turning Ford Transit into a camper is an “adventure” in itself. Vans decorated with plants, small works of art and photographs were equipped with beds, small bookshelves and small wooden counters for preparing food.
But there was a clear problem in Utah, her family said.
On August 12, in Moab, Utah, Mr. Laundry had a “certain discussion” with Mr. Petite and told her to take a walk and calm down, according to Moab police in response to reports of “domestic problems.” .. “
Both Mr. Laundry and Mr. Petit told police that they were in love and engaged in marriage and “did not want to see anyone charged with the crime.”
“There have been problems between the two in the last few days,” Coin Laundry told a police officer.
Petit cried during the encounter According to the body camera footage of the episode, along with the police, she said she was suffering from anxiety. Police reported that Petit had slapped Laundry for fear of “leaving her in Moab without a vehicle.”
Both told police that the episode should be classified as a “break” of mental / emotional health, not as domestic violence.
Laundry said police body camera records of encounters were a familiar scene.
“It looked typical of both,” she told ABC. “Whenever they fight, they’ll take a short break and come back and get well, because that’s what you’re doing as a couple.”
In the report, police described Mr. Laundry as a victim of the incident. They arranged for Petit to stay at the hotel that night while he had the van. According to the report, no claim was made.
The couple recorded a cross-country trip on Instagram and an eight-minute video posted on YouTube on August 19. The video titled “Van Life” showed how the Utah sun was kissing, scaling rocks and laughing. I was melting chocolate in Mr. Laundry’s granola.
“I love vans,” Petit smiled at the laundromat.
On Instagram, she kept a personal blog on their journey. In many of the posts published before she disappeared, she was photographed posing with a smile against a natural background.
In a series of photos posted on August 12, the day of the police encounter in Moab, Petito was sitting on a pumpkin-colored rock in Arches National Park, Utah, protecting her face from the sun. ..
Petit, the oldest of the six brothers, worked as a pharmacy technician to save money on a trip. She met Mr. Laundry at Bayport-Blue Point High School in Long Island, Schmidt said. He said they started dating after graduation and moved to Florida two years ago.
In a post from 2020, the couple expressed excitement about their future.
On July 2nd, she shook her chopsticks and posted a photo of her first date head-to-head. “I love you so much that this is a picture from our first date. Brian asked me to marry him, and I said so!”
The next day he posted a photo of them smiling at each other. “My greatest horror was that when I woke up, it would all have been a dream,” he writes. “It felt like every second from the moment we found each other.”
Johnny Diaz Contribution report.