- A US District Court in Wyoming issued a federal arrest warrant for Brian Laundrie on Wednesday.
- Petito’s death has preliminarily been ruled a homicide; Laundrie has been missing for a week.
- The couple’s friends said their relationship was full of “high highs and very low lows.”
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The FBI’s Denver office announced the update on Thursday.
“While this warrant allows law enforcement to arrest Mr. Laundrie, the FBI and our partners around the country continue to investigate the facts and circumstances of Ms. Petito’s homicide,” the Thursday statement said. “We urge individuals with knowledge of Mr. Laundrie’s role in this matter or his current whereabouts to contact the FBI.”
“No piece of information is too small or inconsequential to support our efforts in this investigation,” FBI Denver Special Agent Michael Schneider said in a statement.
It tweeted: “The ground search for Brian Laundrie has been halted for the evening. Nothing found. We will be back out Thursday, similar operation.”
—North Port Police (@NorthPortPolice) September 22, 2021
They are searching the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve by air and by foot with K-9 units.
Laundrie’s family reported him missing on September 17 — six days ago.
“They had very high highs and very low lows. But she always said he was a good boyfriend,” Alyssa Chen, a high school friend of Petito’s, told People.
But Petito’s close friend, Rose Davis, told New York outlet News 12 that Laundrie was controlling, manipulative, and often jealous.
“He was always charismatic, and making Gabby breakfast almost every morning, but you know, you can see the jealousy side,” she said.
Some even claim that Petito doesn’t actually exist.
Within an hour of the news breaking that a body fitting Petito’s description was found at a remote campsite near the Grand Teton National Park, Insider saw multiple posts spring up on the QAnon-focused Telegram channels GhostEzra, which has more than 330,000 subscribers, and WeTheMedia, which has more than 246,000 subscribers, where comment threads spiraled into lengthy discussions about Petito’s case.
Authorities are still searching for Laundrie, who has been missing since last Tuesday, and is a person of interest in Petito’s homicide.
Charlene and William Guthrie said they told authorities they saw Christopher and Roberta Laundrie attach what appeared to be a new camper to their truck and drive off for what the couple assumed was a weekend-long camping trip with their son.
“I saw them doing some work. And then when they prepared for their trip, I saw them loading the camper,” William Guthrie told Fox.
The Guthries said they reported the incident to police after authorities came to their home while investigating the disappearance of 22-year-old Petito. They were not sure if Laundrie returned from the trip with his parents.
Nina Celie Angelo and her boyfriend Matthew England went to lunch at the Tex-Mex restaurant, Merry Piglets, in Jackson, Wyoming, on August 27, when they said they saw a man who appeared to be Laundrie arguing with a waitress.
Angelo said she couldn’t overhear the conversation but described Laundrie’s body language as “aggressive” and that he left the restaurant and returned several times. At one point, Angelo said a woman who appeared to be Petito entered the restaurant and apologized for Laundrie’s behavior, according to the Fox News report.
A few hours later, Angelo said she and her boyfriend passed the couple’s white van — a 2012 Ford Transit — at a campsite north of town.
“As far as the law is concerned this law firm may be immune due to attorney/client privilege,” Steven Petito wrote in an Instagram post on Tuesday.
“But in the eyes of the public you are as guilty and complicit with this massive cover-up and stalling tactic,” the uncle said.
Authorities are scouring Florida’s Carlton Reserve by air and by foot with K-9 units.
Laundrie’s family reported him missing on Sept. 17, which was less than a week after Petito’s family reported her missing.
North Port Police said Tuesday that their “search of the Carlton & nearby lands concluded for the evening” and yielded “nothing of note.”
Moab City PD sent Insider a redacted version of the statement from “Chris,” who said they saw the couple engaged in the argument that prompted a police callout to their ill-fated road trip.
The statement from Chris says that the pair were in “some sort of dispute,” potentially over Petito’s phone.
Rumors and suspected sightings have spanned from Florida to Alabama, but no investigations have borne fruit.
—North Port Police (@NorthPortPolice) September 21, 2021
The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office also denied rumors that he had already been found: “Despite rumors on social media this evening, #BrianLaundrie is NOT IN THE CUSTODY of our agency at this time,” it tweeted late Tuesday.
“We can confirm we have received reports of ‘suspected sightings’ however, none have been accurate.”
These include her cause of death, what role Laundrie — whom authorities have called a “person of interest” — may have had, and what led to her death.
“May Gabby Rest In Peace,” attorney Steven Bertolino told Insider.
The statement came minutes after the FBI announced Petito’s manner of death had been ruled a homicide.
Laundrie, has been named a “person of interest” in the criminal case and remains missing, the FBI said on Tuesday.
The FBI’s Denver office confirmed on Twitter that the human remains were discovered in a remote area in Bridger–Teton National Forest in Wyoming were Petito’s.
An autopsy was performed on the body Tuesday and Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue’s “initial determination for the manner of death is homicide,” the FBI said.
“The cause of death remains pending final autopsy results,” according to the federal agency.
—FBI Denver (@FBIDenver) September 21, 2021
Petito’s fiancé, Brian Laundrie, has been named a “person of interest” in the case and remains missing, the FBI said.
Moments later, the FBI also confirmed the body belonged to Petito.
—FBI Denver (@FBIDenver) September 21, 2021
FBI investigators announced Sunday that human remains were discovered in a remote campsite in Bridger–Teton National Forest that were “consistent” with the missing 22-year-old.
The Teton County Coroner’s Office began performing an autopsy on the body Tuesday.
The governor said in a tweet that all agencies under his influence will assist federal and local authorities as they continue to search for Laundrie, who went missing last week.
“We need justice for Gabby Petito,” he wrote.
Facebook user Sam Bass posted on the social media site on Monday that his trail camera picked up an image of a man with a backpack who bears resemblance to Laundrie in Baker, Florida.
The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook Tuesday that “investigators did their due diligence in response to this report” and were wrapping up an “extensive search that took place in this area to include nearby farmlands.”
“I was probably more candid with her than I should’ve been,” ranger Melissa Hulls, the visitor and resource protection officer at Arches National Park, told Deseret News of her conversation with Petito.
Hulls added, “I was imploring with her to reevaluate the relationship, asking her if she was happy in the relationship with him, and basically saying this was an opportunity for her to find another path, to make a change in her life.”
“This is an FBI-led criminal investigation and North Port Police are assisting our federal partner in any way we can to bring this investigation to a close,” Florida’s North Port Police Department spokesman Josh Taylor said in a statement.
Authorities continue to search for Petito’s missing fiancé, Brian Laundrie.
Members of several law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, will head back into the sprawling Carlton Reserve where Laundrie’s parents have said the 23-year-old North Port, Florida, man went for a hike a week ago and never returned, police said.
“This time, moving in from the Venice side of the area, along with adjoining lands,” North Port Police Department spokesman Josh Taylor said Tuesday.
The remains were found on Sunday.
Charles Jones, FBI Denver’s supervisory senior resident agent in Wyoming, announced on Sunday night that the remains matched the description of Petito.
No new details about the autopsy have emerged since confirmation earlier this week that it would take place on Tuesday.
It is not clear when findings from the autopsy will be made public.
Cassie Laundrie shared them on Monday, when she also offered her condolences to Petito’s family in a statement, saying “Gabby was a fun and loving influence” on Cassie’s children.
Petito signed the cards to Cassie’s children as “Aunt Gabby,” and shared enthusiastic updates about her trip.
One included drawings of the rock formations they saw: “Uncle Brian and I have seen many different rock-types, I knew there were different kinds of rocks, but I didn’t know that some are different formations, did you?”
He said he did so after talking to the FBI, but told the New York Post it was “not true” that the FBI had advised him to cancel the event.
Instead, it was “just not in my clients’ best interest,” he told the Post in a text message.
FBI agents searched the home on Monday after declaring it a crime scene and saying it secured a search warrant in court.
It announced on Monday night that it had concluded its search, but its investigation was ongoing.
North Port Police Department have also filed for a warrant to search Brian Laundrie’s computer.
Bertolino said he canceled the presser after speaking with the FBI but did not give additional information on what was discussed.
Earlier on Monday, the FBI conducted a search of Laundrie’s home in North Port, Florida.
Laundrie, who has been missing since Tuesday, is a person of interest in Petito’s disappearance.
On August 27, the application states, Nichole Schmidt received an “odd text” from her daughter’s number “Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls,” the text stated, referring to Gabby’s grandfather.
That text came after a series of phone conversations with Gabby during which “there appeared to be more and more tension between her and Laundrie,” the application states.
The August 27 text raised concern because Gabby never previously referred to her grandfather by his first name. Accordingly, police said, “The mother was concerned that something was wrong with her daughter.”
That was the last message anyone ever received from Gabby’s phone.
Utah’s Moab Police Department responded to a fight between Laundrie and Petito on August 12, less than a month before Petito was reported missing by her family.
The couple told police that they had gotten into an argument in Moab that resulted in Petito slapping Laundrie, according to a police report and officer body-camera footage released by the Moab Police Department.
But according to a 911 call about the same incident obtained by Fox News, a witness can be heard telling dispatchers with the Grand County Sheriff’s Office that he saw Laundrie striking Petito.
The crime scene was declared just one day after a body believed to be Laundrie’s fiancée, Gabby Petito, was found.
“The FBI is executing a court-authorized search warrant today at the Laundrie residence in North Port, FL
Laundrie, who has been named as a person of interest in Petito’s disappearance by Florida police, went on a hike last week at the Carlton Reserve and didn’t return.
Steven Bertolino, the Laundrie family’s attorney, told ABC7 that the family went looking for him Wednesday and, despite not finding Laundrie, spotted the Ford Mustang he was driving with a police note on it.
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The North Port Police Department said it “currently has no plans to conduct a major search” of the 25,000-acre reserve on Monday.
Authorities have been searching the area since Saturday after Laundrie’s family told police on Friday that they believe the 23-year-old man went there for a hike earlier last week.
An earlier photo shows them together:
Their father, Joe Petito, posted a photo to Twitter on Sunday, similarly showing Petito in front of a winged mural.
—joseph petito (@josephpetito) September 19, 2021
Both posts followed news that a body had been found in the search for the missing 22-year-old, though neither relative specifically mentioned that development.
He said that officials would confirm the identity of the body by using photographs, personal identification or DNA.
Charles Jones, FBI Denver’s supervisory senior resident agent in Wyoming, said authorities need to confirm if the body is Petito’s, and also determine a cause of death, CNN reported.
It isn’t clear how soon after the procedure any findings would be made public.
“Due to today’s developments, we are asking the press and news media to have some decorum and sensitivity for Gabby’s family and allow them to grieve,” the statement said. “I will be in contact with you when Gabby’s family is ready to make a public statement.”
He also thanked the FBI, the Suffolk County Police Department, the North Port Police Department, and the Grand Teton Search and Rescue Team.
“Your tireless work and determination helped bring Gabby home to her parents,” he said. “The family and I will be forever grateful.”
Human remains believed to be Petito were found by search crews near Grand Teton National Park on Sunday.
The FBI said the remains matched the description of Petito, who was said to have been camping in the area with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, prior to her disappearance.
Laundrie, Petito's boyfriend who was on a cross-country road trip with her when she went missing, returned home to Florida without her on September 1.
He has not cooperated with authorities investigating her disappearance "on the advice of counsel," a prior statement from his lawyer said.
Laundrie's parents told police on Friday that they have not seen him since Tuesday. As of Sunday, officials in Florida were still searching for him.
He tweeted a broken heart emoji and wrote: "#GABBYPETITO she touched the world."
—joseph petito (@josephpetito) September 19, 2021
Jones said a full forensic examination still needs to be conducted, but that the FBI extends "heartfelt condolences" to the Petito family.
He said cause of death has not yet been determined.
The body was found in the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area of the Bridger-Teton National Forest.
In an interview with the outlet, the owner of Rustic Row in Victor, Idaho said that the couple made a stop at their store on August 25 or 26.
"They told me they were traveling from Florida. They had just been to Teton Park and they said they were interested in going to Yellowstone and I told them they could go to the west entrance," the owner told EastIdahoNews.com.
"They seemed happy and when they left, she hollered back from the door that they were engaged and then I said congratulations," she continued.
Family travel vloggers Jenn and Kyle Bethune of the "Red White & Bethune" YouTube channel shared the video to social media on early Sunday. The footage was captured on August 27 around 6 p.m. in Grand Teton National Park's Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area.
"We passed by a white van and both Kyle and I recognized that they had Florida plates (we are from Florida too) and wanted to stop to say hi, but the van was dark and it didn't look like there was anyone there," Jenn Bethune wrote on Instagram.
She said she reviewed GoPro footage from the trip on Saturday night and found footage of the van, which appears to be the 2012 Ford Transit van that Petito and Laundrie were traveling in.
"I INSTANTLY got a bone chilling feeling. I leapt up and ran to my laptop. I watched the rest of my footage and sure enough, her van was in the video," Bethune wrote.
The Bethune family did not immediately return Insider's request for comment.
In a Twitter update on Saturday, the North Port PD it's searching the T. Mabry Carlton, Junior Memorial Reserve — known to locals as the Carlton Reserve — for Laundrie.
The heavily wooded area — with about 80 miles (129km) of hiking trails — is "vast," police said.
It was taken at around 5 pm, an hour and a half before investigators showed up at the family home after Laundrie's attorney reported him missing.
Josh Taylor, the spokesperson for the North Port Police Department, told the New York Post that they were aware of the picture but cannot yet say whether it is of Laundrie.
Taylor also noted that the man in the image appears to have tattoos on his left arm, which Laundrie does not.
"Other than that, sure as heck looks like him," he added, according to the Post.
Gabby Petito's fiancé, Laundrie, who is a person of interest in her missing person case, disappeared as of Tuesday, according to police.
On top of the search for Petito in Wyoming, police spent Saturday looking for Laundrie in Florida's massive, wooded T. Mabry Carlton, Junior Memorial Reserve — known to locals as Carlton Reserve.
The scale can be seen in these photos tweeted by North Port Police Department:
—North Port Police (@NorthPortPolice) September 18, 2021
Fox 13 Tampa Bay also published helicopter footage of the search from the air:
The 24,545-acre Carlton Reserve has more than 100 miles (161km) of trails, according to the reserve's website.
The search is to resume Sunday morning, North Port Police stated.
Gabby Petito, 22, and Brian Laundrie, 23, set out on their road trip from Blue Point, New York, on July 2.
Laundrie returned to his parents' home in Florida on September 1 without Petito. Petito's mother said she last spoke with her on August 24 and reported her missing on September 11.
This map shows everything we know about the timeline of the road trip and the stops they made along the way.
Dozens of law enforcement officers along with drones and bloodhounds are searching the Florida reserve for Gabby Petito's missing boyfriend, according to the Daily Mail.
Ahead of his disappearance, Laundrie, who is a person of interest in Petito's disappearance, told his parents he'd be at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, which is part of the Carlton Reserve, the Daily Mail reported.
The reserve has about 80 miles (129km) of hiking trails, most of which are currently flooded, according to a warning posted on its website Saturday.
The North Port Police Department is expected to release more information as the search continues.
—North Port Police (@NorthPortPolice) September 18, 2021
At one point in the livestream, two people approached the woman filming to tell her they were driving in the area and saw someone running on the street behind Laundrie's home.
"We've been driving around here and saw this guy. We don't know for sure it was him, but it looks exactly like him," one woman said, showing a picture of the man.
The man pictured is wearing a brown T-shirt, sunglasses, and sweatpants. He appears to be wearing headphones and is looking down. It is unclear whether this man is Laundrie.
Baker said that Laundrie told them he was hiking alone.
"He approached us asking for a ride because he needed to go to Jackson and we were going to Jackson that night," Baker said in one of the videos. "He offered to pay us like $US200 ($AU274) to give him a ride like 10 miles (16km). So, that was kind of weird."
Laundrie reportedly told Baker that he had been camping for "multiple days without his fiancé," who was "working on their social media page back at their van."
When Baker mentioned to him that the couple was driving to Jackson Hole, Laundrie reportedly "freaked out" and asked them to pull over so he could get out out of the car, which they did.
"He said he was going to walk across the street to the parking lot, which was full of people, to continue hitchhiking," Baker said.
The TikToker said she spoke to police before publishing her videos. Joshua Taylor, a spokesperson for the department, confirmed to The Independent they had spoken to Baker.
"All of Gabby's family want the world to know that Brian is not missing, he is hiding. Gabby is missing," the short statement provided by their attorney said.
Police said earlier Friday evening that they are also looking for Laundrie after his family said they have not seen him since Tuesday.
—Megan Myers (@MeganMyersNews) September 18, 2021
He declined to say exactly when Laundrie's parents saw him last, but The New York Times reported a police spokesman said they hadn't seen him since Tuesday.
This contradicts earlier reports by police that they knew of Laundrie's whereabouts as of Wednesday.
The Laundrie family has not been fully cooperative in the investigation into Petito's disappearance. A lawyer for the family said Laundrie was not speaking to authorities "on the advice of council."
But Taylor said Laundrie's parents have been working with police on his disappearance.
"They are cooperating, now, in the search for their son," Taylor said.
Chief Todd Garrison said Friday evening police had finished a conversation with Laundrie's parents at their home and that information would be released soon.
—North Port Police (@NorthPortPolice) September 17, 2021
Law enforcement said they are not speaking to Laundrie, himself, at this time.
Local reporter Brian Entin posted a live-streamed video on Twitter titled, "Police just went into Brian Laundrie's house" around 6:30 pm local time.
According to a video posted by Fox13 reporter Evan Axelbank, authorities began searching a car on the Laundrie property around 7:35 pm local time for a brief moment.
Petito and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, were involved in a domestic dispute in front of the Moonflower Community Cooperative in Moab, Utah, that led a witness to call the police. Video of their subsequent encounter with law enforcement was released this week.
A day after that incident, August 13, was the last time Turner and Schulte had been seen alive. Schulte had worked as a cashier at Moonflower. A relative told a local news station that the couple had been on a camping trip when they said they had encountered a man who was "creeping them out."
"This is so out of character and I don't think anything that's going on is due to her own doing," said Nikki Passannante, a 23-year-old waitress living in Long Island who grew up 15 minutes away from Petito.
"I think that something more devilish is going on," she added.
"It looked typical of both of them," Cassie Laundrie told ABC News' "Good Morning America." "Whenever they fight they would take a little break and come back and be fine because that's what you do in a couple."
In the bodycam footage, Petito appeared visibly distraught as the couple told police that they had gotten in an argument.
"My gut tells me ..." said Joe Petito, taking a long pause and closing his eyes, "my gut tells me that something bad happened. And I am never, I am never going to be able to hold my baby girl again."
—HLN (@HLNTV) September 17, 2021
"But my head tells me that if I focus on that, I'm not going to be able to do the job that needs to be done, that her boyfriend or fiancé should be doing," he continued.
"He should be leading this charge, and instead he's not."
As of Friday, Petito has been declared missing for seven days.
An attorney for the family sent CBS News a statement saying: "Gabby's family was instructed by law enforcement to not discuss the details of Gabby and Brian's relationship."
The request is a mystery to the family, Petito's godmother told NewsNation's Marni Hughes on her show "Prime."
"We don't know why," Flora Rocco said.
—Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) September 17, 2021
On August 12, around a month before Petito was reported missing, police intervened in a fight between the couple in which police reported Petito had hit Laundrie.
Bodycam footage of the police stop was released Thursday, showing a distraught Petito. Police ultimately decided it was a mental health incident rather than domestic assault.
The friend, whom The Sun did not name, told the outlet that Petito also didn't call on her birthday, which was unlike her.
"[The] last time I talk [ed] to Gabby was the beginning of August when we were planning for me to meet her in Yellowstone after my birthday," the friend told the paper. She said that a date hadn't been set, but they had planned to talk and arrange the meet-up closer to the time.
"She wouldn't wander off and not contact her family," the friend said. "I know that for a fact."
"She wouldn't blow me off either," she added.
Petito's father, James Schmidt, also mentioned in an interview with DailyMail.com that Petito had planned to meet with a friend.
It was the same interview where Rocco discussed the instruction not to speak about the couple's relationship.
Petito had texted "No service in Yosemite" to her mother Nicole Schmidt on August 30. Schmidt said Wednesday that she did not believe Petito sent it.
"It just didn't sound like a Gabby text," godmother Flora Rocco told anchor Marni Hughes on Thursday.
"Also it mentioned Yosemite, which is another I think like 300 miles (483km) in the opposite direction, which also did not make sense for their itinerary."
Petito's last known location is thought to be Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, where an on-the-ground search has been taking place.
"No-one really knows, but I will say that Gabby's mother does not think that was Gabby texting," Rocco said.
Asked who else could have sent it, she said: "There's only one other person that could have her phone. Maybe someone else did, but we don't really know."
It was an apparent reference to Petito's boyfriend Brian Laundrie, who has refused to cooperate with police since he returned alone from the trip he and Petito set out on together.
Laundrie has been named a person of interest in Petito's missing-person case.
Laundrie's unwillingness to help law enforcement find missing Gabby Petito prompted astonishment and anger from Petito's family.
"SPEAK UP!" "Where is Gabby?" "Bring Gabby home" were some of the messages protesters wrote on signs and chanted, Fox reported.
—Fox News (@FoxNews) September 17, 2021
Laundrie is a person of interest in the missing person case, and law enforcement believe he is likely to have important information that could lead to her whereabouts.
"Obviously me and my family want Gabby to be found safe," Laundrie's sister, Cassie, told ABC News on Thursday "She's like a sister and my children love her, and all I want is for her to come home safe and sound and this to be just a big misunderstanding."
Earlier on Thursday, Petito's family urged Laundrie's parents to help find her.
Gabby Petito's family pleaded with the parents of her fiancé on Thursday, begging them in an open letter to help them find their daughter if they "have any decency left."
"We are writing this letter to ask you to help find our daughter. We understand you are going through a difficult time and your instinct is strong to protect your son," Petito's family said in the letter read during a New York press conference held by their attorney Richard Stafford.
"Right now, it's a missing person case," North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison told reporters during a press conference on Thursday. He added they don't suspect criminality "at this time."
Garrison said authorities can't yet force Petito's boyfriend, Brian Laundrie — who has refused to speak publicly or to investigators — to speak to police about the case.
"Right now we're still analyzing all that data," Garrison said.
Gabby Petito and her boyfriend kept lists of campsites to visit on their cross-country road trip on a site called Dyrt.
Dyrt is a social media network for campers where people share campground reviews, photos, and camping tips. The couple appeared to keep lists of campgrounds across several states, including Idaho, Wyoming, and Utah.
Petito is believed to have disappeared near Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park.
Police opted not to when she said she didn't intend to hurt him, according to police body camera footage released on Thursday.
Petito and Laundrie were pulled over by police officers about a month before Petito's mother reported her missing.
The footage, which records the police response, can be watched below, via ABC7 New York. It is a little over an hour long:
Police classified the incident as a mental health crisis and separated the couple for the night, putting Laundrie in a hotel.
"Two people went on a trip and one person returned, and that one person is not talking to us," he said. "He's got all the answers. My number one question is, where's Gabby?"
Garrison said there are no efforts to obtain a search warrant for Laundrie's home at this time.
—Fox News (@FoxNews) September 16, 2021
Gabby Petito's dad Jon on Thursday told "Fox & Friends First" that his main priority is "to make sure we get my daughter home first" and criticized her boyfriend for refusing to help in the search.
"I don't care what happens to him right now," Jon Petito said about his daughter's boyfriend Brian Laundrie. "That can't be my primary focus if he's going to sit in the comfort of his home, you know, and get home-cooked meals, why my daughter's out, you know, God knows where, you know, I don't give two craps about him."
James Schmidt spoke to DailyMail.com in Wyoming, where he had traveled from his Long Island home to assist in the search for Petito.
"It's unacceptable," Schmidt told DailyMail.com. "It's unacceptable to us. We deserve more, Gabby deserves more information. She deserves to be found and brought home safe."
But John Van Steenkiste, the lead investigator for Florida-based private investigator Compass Investigations, also said someone with strong survival skills could survive.
He cited dangerous terrain, starvation, and extreme weather as possible threats.
Her step-father, James Schmidt, flew to the state to help look for her. He gave an interview Wednesday to DailyMail.com calling on her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, to cooperate with police.
The organizer, Gary Rider, said he set the page up with the family's permission. It was shared on the "Where's Gabby" Facebook page Sunday, which Facebook has verified as having been created by her family.
"The family will need funds and resources to travel and pay for expenses related to an investigation and search on the other side of the country, any help is appreciated," Rider wrote on the fundraiser's page.
"As such, on the advice of counsel, Mr. Laundrie is not speaking on this matter."
Bertolino said the police naming Laundrie as a "person of interest" in the case won't change his decision.
"Mr. Laundrie will continue to remain silent on the advice of counsel," the statement continued.
The latest decision comes after Petito's family called out Laundrie for refusing to cooperate with authorities.
The responding followed the van and pulled it over. He said the van was doing 45 mph (72km/h) in a 15 mph (24km/h) zone.
During the stop, the officer's report said the van crossed a double yellow line, switched lanes, and swerved to the right, hitting with the curb.
The officer said he found Petito crying in the passenger seat. He wrote in the report that she cried and seemed distraught in their conversation, and told him she had been arguing with Laundrie and was struggling with her mental health.
Laundrie also told the officer of an "emotional strain" and ongoing arguments between him and Petito. According to the police report, Laundrie said Petito hit him when she thought he was going to drive away without her after an argument.
"After evaluating the totality of the circumstances, I do not believe the situation escalated to the level of domestic assault as much of that as a mental health crisis," the officer wrote.
He said he suggested that Laundrie and Petito remain separated for the night.
While the couple didn't want to separate, the officer wrote, they ultimately agreed. Petito kept the van while Laundrie checked into a hotel for the evening, according to the police report.
Another officer said that Laundrie and Petito "reported they are in love and engaged to be married and desperately didn't wish to see anyone charged with a crime." Pratt said both Petito and Laundrie told him that Petito suffered from "serious anxiety."
The family said Laundrie was selfish for his decision to remain silent amid the ongoing search for Petito.
"Brian, your silence is reprehensible! We beg you to do the right thing and help us bring Gabby home. Brian, whatever happened in Wyoming, happened. The only thing you can control is what you do now. Tell us where Gabby is. You tarnish your love for her with your silence."
—North Port Police (@NorthPortPolice) September 15, 2021
North Port, Florida, police named Laundrie as a person of interest on Wednesday, and also said that he had refused requests to be interviewed by investigators.
Officers also fleshed out the timeline of Petito's disappearance. They said that Laundrie returned to the Florida home where he and Petito had been living with his parents on September 1, ten days before she was reported missing.
"They're trying to stay as close as they can to the Grand Teton National Park. That's the closest place I think they can find, so that they can spend as much time as possible looking for Gabby," Schmidt and Petito family lawyer Richard Stafford told Insider's Natalie Musumeci.
"Brian asked me to marry him and I said yes! @bizarre_design_ you make life feel unreal, and everyday is such a dream with you ????," Petito wrote on Instagram.
Laundrie said: "My biggest fear is that one day I'll wake up and it will have all been a dream, because that is what every second has felt like since the moment we found each other. Till death do us part or until I wake up, I'm so happy the answer was yes, Love you hunny."
But Schmidt said Tuesday the couple had called off their engagement ahead of their trip because they were too young to be married.
"I think they kind of put that on hold just because they felt it was a little fast. They were excited at first, but then they were like, let's just wait, we're very young. So they were really just boyfriend and girlfriend," mother Nichole Schmidt told DailyMail.com.
"The account was removed in error for impersonation and has now been reinstated," an Instagram spokesperson told Insider.
"Our officers did respond to an incident involving Brian Laundrie and Gabrielle Petito on 12 August 2021," said Edge. "However, neither Brian or Gabrielle were the reporting party."
Both Petito and Laundrie regularly posted about their van-life journey on Instagram. They also launched a YouTube channel on August 19 dedicated to their van life journey and posted just one video before Petito disappeared.
Petito meticulously documented her travels throughout the US, including the couple's trips to national parks in Utah. Several of the posts included photos of her and Laundrie embracing and kissing.
Her last post to Instagram was on August 25. The photo appeared to be taken in front of a mural of monarch butterflies in Ogden, Utah.
"I just want people to keep looking and not stop until we find her," Schmidt told Newsday. "We won't stop until we find her."