The family of missing 22-year-old Gabby Petito said on Thursday they believe her boyfriend’s family knows where their daughter might be and begged them to break their silence.
Petito and Brian Laundrie, 23, launched a cross-country road trip in a converted van earlier this summer. Petito had been regularly communicating with her family, as CrimeOnline reported, until near the end of August, when the communication stopped.
They filed a missing person report on September 11 after learning that Laundrie had returned home in the van — and without his girlfriend — on September 1.
“The family is devastated,” attorney Richard Stafford said at a press briefing with police in North Port, Florida, where Laundrie and Petito had been living before the road trip. “Every day that this goes on, they get more and more devastated.”
Stafford shared a letter Petito’s parents — father Joe Petito and his wife Tara and mother Nichole Schmidt and her husband Jim — sent to the Laundries,
“We understand you are going through a difficult time and your instinct to protect your son is strong,” the letter said. “We ask you to put yourselves in our shoes. We haven’t been able to sleep or eat and our lives are falling apart.”
The letter said the parents believe the Laundries know where their son left Gabby.
“Please, if you or your family has any decency left, please tell us where Gabby is located,” they wrote. “Tell us if we are even looking in the right place.”
The Laundries released a terse statement last week saying they planned to stay “in the background” for now, and Brian Laundrie has so far refused to speak with police, even though he’s been named a person of interest in Gabby Petito’s disappearance. Police have seized the van for the investigation.