North Port, Fla. – It has been one month since Brian Laundrie was last seen, having never returned after going for a hike at a Florida park while his fiancée, Gabby Petito, was nowhere to be found, according to his family’s attorney.
Laundrie, 23, left his family’s North Port, Florida, home on Sept. 13 to hike in the T. Mabry Carlton Jr. Memorial Reserve on Sept. 13. The date of his disappearance was previously said to have been Sept. 14, but the Laundries’ attorney, Steven Bertolino, later changed course and announced that it was actually one day earlier.
Since his disappearance, the state, local, county and federal law enforcement have extensively searched the Carlton Reserve and the attached Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, where Laundrie is said to have parked his car at the time.
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His family did not announce until on Sept. 17 – four days after he allegedly left – that he had not come back.
Laundrie and 22-year-old Petito left for a trip in mid-June with the plan to visit national parks in her white converted Ford Transit. The couple had met years earlier on Long Island, New York, where they grew up and later moved into the North Port home with his Brian’s parents, Chris and Roberta.
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But Brian Laundrie arrived back in North Port on Sept. 1 – with the van, but without Petito.
Petito’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, reported her missing to Suffolk County Police in New York on Sept. 11.
According to the woman’s family, Brian Laundrie never called them to say that his daughter was not with him. His parents then allegedly ignored phone calls and text messages from the Petito family, including one in which they told the Laundries they were going to call the police.
Investigators seized the white van on Sept. 11 and later executed a search warrant at the Laundrie home.
Search teams discovered Petito’s body near Wyoming‘s Grand Teton National Park on Sept. 19 and announced shortly thereafter that she had been the victim of a homicide.
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Authorities named Laundrie as a person of interest in connection with what was then Petito’s disappearance shortly after she vanished. On Sept. 23, the FBI issued an arrest warrant for Laundrie, accusing him of bank card fraud.
On Tuesday, Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue announced Petito died from “manual strangulation”
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In response to the news, the Laundries’ attorney said in a statement that Petito’s death “at such a young age is a tragedy.”
“While Brian Laundrie is currently charged with the unauthorized use of a debit card belonging to Gabby, Brian is only considered a person of interest in relation to Gabby Petito’s demise,” Bertolino said. “At this time Brian is still missing and when he is located we will address the pending fraud charge against him.”
Laundrie is still on the run. So far, he has not been charged directly with Petito’s death.