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Search for Gabby Petito continues as investigators look for answers both near and far

Posted at 8:46 AM, Sep 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-17 08:46:35-04

NORTH PORT, Fla. — Investigators are working around the clock to bring missing 22-year-old Gabby Petito home.

It's now been six days since she was declared missing by her family after not coming home from a cross-country road trip with her fiancé Brian Laundrie. Meanwhile, we still haven't heard from Laundrie who was her travel companion. North Port Police are describing this investigation as a missing person's case and that's because of the amount of the evidence they have gathered at this point in time.

Gabby and Laundrie left on a cross country trip this summer, traveling in her van. Laundrie returned to North Port ten days before her family reported her missing. Her van was recovered at the home. Police say communication with her family stopped around the end of August. Before that, she was believed to have been in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming where a search is underway.

Investigators are focusing on Jackson, Wyoming near Grand Teton, where it is believed Gabby made her last communication with her family before disappearing. They say they are working with the FBI and other law enforcement to assist in the investigation.

Police have called Laundrie a person of interest. An attorney for his family told the media, they will not be speaking.

“At this time, none of the Laundrie family is going to issue a statement except through myself," said Steve Bertolino, Laundrie Family Attorney. When asked why, Bertolino responded saying, "Because I've advised them that that's the way it needs to be.”

The North Port Police Chief said he is respecting Brian's constitutional right to remain silent. Meanwhile, Gabby's family is still begging for him to come forward and give them some answers.

“I’m asking for help from the parents of Brian and I'm asking for help of the family members and friends of the Laundrie family as well,” said Todd Garrison, North Port Chief of Police.

Gabby's step father, Jim Schmidt, is part of the search party out in Grand Teton National Park. He says the family is pretty certain this was Gabby's last known location.

"She text her mom that they were up in the Grand Teton area, they were headed through there on their way to Yellowstone," said Schmidt in an interview with Fox News. "They had some stuff planned for this area and we just have a feeling that this is where they're going to be.”

He's also begging anyone who may have seen something to come forward.

“What I need from everyone here is help, because the goal is still not met and that goal is to bring Gabby home safely," Schmidt said. "Alright. I am asking for help from everyone here, I am asking for help for everyone at home.”

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