Gabby Petito’s parents say Brian Laundrie’s parents never replied to their calls
Gabby Petito's parents said in a new interview that the parents of her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, never responded to any of their worried texts or phone calls after the Petito family stopped hearing from their daughter.
As the manhunt for Laundrie continues more than two weeks after Petito's body was found on Sept. 19 in a Wyoming campground, Petito's parents and stepparents urged Laundrie to turn himself in while speaking to Dr. Phil McGraw on the "Dr. Phil" show.
They said they reached out to Laundrie's family after not having heard from their 22-year-old daughter and received no response. Petito was on a cross-country road trip with Laundrie before she went missing in late August.
"A normal parent, when you text someone that they’re going to call the cops because you can’t find your child, they would reply," Gabby's father, Joseph Petito, told McGraw. "No response, no nothing."
A lawyer for the Laundrie family told NBC News "no comment" after being asked about the Petito family's claims on "Dr. Phil."
Laundrie returned to his family's home in North Port, Florida, on Sept. 1 without Petito in the van they had been using on their trip, according to police.
Petito was reported missing by her family on Sept. 11, and Laundrie was uncooperative with investigators about her whereabouts, police said.
His family then told investigators last month that he went hiking in the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve in Florida and never returned.
"I do believe they know a lot more information than they’re putting out there," Nicole Schmidt, Petito's mother, said about Laundrie's family. "Somebody needs to start talking."
The Laundrie family attorney has previously told NBC News that his parents do not know about his whereabouts and did not assist in his disappearance. Laundrie's sister, Cassie Laundrie, also said in an interview Tuesday with ABC News she has no idea where her brother may be.
Laundrie has been labeled a person of interest by the FBI but is not a suspect.
A lawyer for the Laundrie family has also shed more light on the alleged timeline of events in the last two months, telling NBC News that he left Utah on Aug. 17, five days after the couple were stopped by police in Moab when a witness called 911 reporting a man hitting a woman. In additional bodycam footage from Aug. 12 released by police last week, Petito tells authorities an altercation between her and Laundrie got physical and says her fiancé struck her after she slapped him first.
The lawyer says Laundrie then flew back to Utah on Aug. 23 to rejoin Petito on their road trip. Her remains were found 27 days later after he had returned home to Florida.
The Petito family's attorney alleged in the "Dr. Phil" interview that Laundrie used her bank card for part of the journey back to Florida. Authorities have looked into his use of a card but have not confirmed it belonged to Petito.
A federal court in Wyoming issued an arrest warrant for Laundrie on Sept. 22, alleging he “knowingly and with intent to defraud, used one or more unauthorized access devices, namely a Capitol One Bank debit card” and personal identification numbers for two accounts.
Authorities have recently investigated reports of multiple sightings of Laundrie in North Carolina, where Petito's family said he and Gabby used to frequently camp and hike along the Appalachian Trail.
A statement from the Haywood Sheriff’s Office on Monday said investigators have “thoroughly” followed up on every tip, “but all to no avail.”
Petito's family believes Laundrie is still out there, and all of them urged him to turn himself in to police.
"You’re only making it worse," Petito's stepfather, Jim Schmidt, told McGraw. "For us, and for himself, and for his family. Let us have some closure."
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