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North Port Police Chief requests boyfriend of missing Gabby Petito to speak with authorities

Posted at 8:46 AM, Sep 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-16 15:27:07-04

NORTH PORT, Fla. — The boyfriend of a missing north port woman, is now being called a "Person of interest."

Gabby Petito has been missing since September 11, after not returning home from a cross-country trip with her boyfriend Brian Laundrie.

The police chief took to Twitter, asking Laundrie's attorney to arrange a conversation. Fox 4 has also obtained a police report regarding a fight between Petitio and Laundrie in Utah just weeks before she was last seen.

Petito and Laundrie lived with his family in North Port before setting out on their cross-country road trip. Laundrie arrived back, alone, on September 1 in Petito’s 2012 white Ford Transit van. We’re learning the couple may have been fighting during their trip.

According to a police report, a witness told Utah police he saw Petito and Laundrie arguing over a phone. He said it looked as though Laundrie had locked Petito out of the car and saw her hitting his arm, attempting to climb through the driver’s window. The two eventually drove off. Police say they caught up with Laundrie and Petito, who was quote “crying uncontrollably” and they both told police that Petito suffers from “serious anxiety.” The two insisted things were fine and did not want to be separated.

Police considered this incident a mental health crisis and put Laundrie in a hotel and Petito took the van.

On September 11, Gabby’s family reported her missing. Brian Laundrie has yet to say a word to police about where she is. Investigators say Petito’s van will be examined for evidence, while the Laundrie family have hired a lawyer.

Speaking to media on Wednesday, North Port Police Department Public Information Officer Josh Taylor said, “I think we are just pleading with him to please speak with us. We need to understand these details. They put out a release yesterday saying they remain in the background, that is not good enough. We need the details.”

Petito & Schmidt Letter To Laundrie Family

Also in that police report from Moab Police, there is mention of body camera footage of the altercation between Petito and Laundrie. Fox 4 has filed a request for that footage.

Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI.