News and Commentary

Laundrie Family Cancels Press Conference Following FBI Raid
NORTH PORT, FL - SEPTEMBER 20: FBI agents begin to take away evidence from the family home of Brian Laundrie, who is a person of interest after his fiancé Gabby Petito went missing on September 20, 2021 in North Port, Florida. A body has been found by authorities in Wyoming that fits the description of Petito, who went missing while on a cross country trip with Laundrie. (Photo by Octavio Jones/Getty Images)
Octavio Jones/Getty Images

The attorney for Brian Laundrie’s family canceled a press conference over the disappearance of Laundrie’s fiancée Gabby Petito following an FBI raid on the Laundries’ home.

Attorney Steven Bertolino told the New York Post Monday evening that he had scrapped the press conference after having a conversation with the FBI. He denied that the FBI had urged him to cancel the press conference and said that he nixed the plans because they were not in the family’s “best interest.”

“As per my conversation with the FBI this evening there will be no press conference tomorrow,” Bertolino told the Post, adding that it was “just not in my clients’ best interest.”

Laundrie, 23, is a person-of-interest in Petito’s disappearance. He went missing as well and was reported by his parents as being last seen on September 14. The FBI raided the Laundrie family home on Monday and carried out boxes of files amid its investigation into Petito’s disappearance.

Remains, believed to be Petito’s, were found over the weekend. The official autopsy on what authorities believe to be the 22-year-old’s body is taking place on Tuesday.

Prior to Petito’s disappearance, Laundrie and Petito were questioned by several law enforcement officers responding to a domestic disturbance call. Melissa Hulls, a park ranger and one of the responding officers, spoke to Petito during the stop and urged her to “find another path” and end her relationship with Laundrie. As The Daily Wire reported:

“I can still hear her voice,” Hulls said. “She wasn’t just a face on the milk carton, she was real to me.”

Hulls said that she warned Petito that her relationship with Laundrie seemed “toxic.” Body camera footage from the stop captured a distraught and crying Petito.

“I was probably more candid with her than I should’ve been,” Hulls said. “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.”

“She had a lot of anxiety about being away from him, I honestly thought if anything was going to change it would be after they got home to Florida.”

Petito stayed with Laundrie after the officers’ intervention. About a month later, Petito’s family reported her missing, and on Sunday, authorities found human remains in Wyoming that are believed to be Petito.

“I honestly haven’t looked at my body camera footage for that night. It’s hard to think about now because I feel like I could’ve said more to help her,” Hulls said. “It’s hard not to second-guess myself, and wish I said more, or wish I had found the right words to make her believe that she deserved more.”

The domestic disturbance was reported by a 911 caller in Moab, Utah, where the couple had been staying. The caller reported witnessing Laundrie “slapping” Petito and gave authorities a description of the couple as well as of their van and its license plate number.

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