Three days after Gabby Petito was last seen alive at the Merry Piglets restaurant in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Brian Laundrie used her bank card in Wyoming, according to Petito family attorney Richard Stafford.
On Tuesday Stafford told Dr. Phil on his eponymous show, “You can look at his state of mind by his actions. He ran; he stole her credit card; he used her credit card to get home, and then ran from the police. That’s going to show a lot what he was thinking back then.”
“Federal authorities in Wyoming issued an arrest warrant for Laundrie on Sept. 23 for allegedly using a stolen card ‘on or about August 30, 2021, through and including on or about September 1, 2021’ and ‘obtained things of value aggregating to $1,000 or more,’” the New York Post reported.
Laundrie disappeared in September; according to Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino, the FBI believes he left his parents’ Florida home on September 13.
Gabby Petito’s parents and stepparents also appeared on the “Dr. Phil” show on Tuesday. Her father Joe stated of Laundrie, “He’s a coward. Flat-out. I’d use some other words, but I can’t use them on your show. Anyone that lived in that (Laundrie’s parents’) house is a coward, and they don’t know how to stand up for their actions.”
Petito’s parents said they had called and texted Laundrie’s parents over and over before they reported Gabby was missing; Joe Petito said, “One of the texts was, ‘I’m going to call the police, so let me know.’ No response. 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. … We thought they were both missing at that point in time when we were calling them.”
Gabby Petito’s mother, Nicole Schmidt, said, “We didn’t know the van was in Florida when we contacted (them). I was worried about both of them. The night of the 11th when I reported her missing, a detective came to my door and let me know the van was in Florida.”
Jim Schmidt, Gabby’s stepfather, added:
We received a call from the FBI that they had some information that they wanted to share with us. There was two people from the FBI that had called. We could see out the front window, and I saw basically the one agent come up, coming in pretty quickly because they wanted to speak to us before it got out and they wanted to make sure that we were notified. They described a piece of clothing to me that matched one of her favorite [sweaters] that we knew was hers. It was her.
In late September, as hundreds of mourners attended a service at a funeral home for Gabby Petito, her father told the audience, “If there is a relationship that you’re in that might not be the best thing for you, leave it. Now.”
Joe Petito told the gathering at Moloney Holbrook Funeral Home:
I want you to take a look at these pictures, and I want you to be inspired by Gabby. That’s what we’re looking for; that’s something that I want to see. If there’s a trip you guys want to take, take it. Now. Do it now while you have the time. If there is a relationship that you’re in that might not be the best thing for you, leave it. Now.