- Brian Laundrie’s parents are eager to help find their missing son, their attorney told Insider.
- Laundrie’s family said they believe he is somewhere in Florida’s Carlton Reserve.
- He is said to have told his parents he was hiking there the last time they saw him on September 13.
The parents of Brian Laundrie, the missing Florida man who is a person of interest in the case of his deceased girlfriend, Gabby Petito, are “hopeful” they’ll be able to join the search for their missing son soon, the family’s lawyer told Insider.
Attorney Steven Bertolino said Laundrie’s parents, Chris and Roberta, still believe their son is somewhere in Sarasota County’s vast Carlton Reserve, where he is said to have told his family he was going for a hike the last time they saw him on September 13. Laundrie’s parents told authorities he left with only a backpack.
Bertolino said Laundrie’s father, Chris, was asked to assist law enforcement in their search for Brian at the preserve on Wednesday, but was forced to postpone his involvement on orders from North Port Police.
“Since the preserve has been closed to the public Chris has not been able to look for Brian in the only place Chris and Roberta believe Brian may be,” Bertolino said.
“Chris and Roberta are hopeful there will be another opportunity to assist,” he added.
Laundrie’s parents initially told authorities they had last seen him on September 14, but changed their story via their lawyer earlier this week, saying it had actually been on September 13.
His parents reported him missing on September 17 — days after Petito, a 22-year-old travel vlogger, was reported missing by her family on September 11 after Laundrie returned to his parents’ home in North Port, Florida, alone on September 1 from the couple’s cross-country road trip.
On September 19, a body that authorities believed was “consistent with the description” of Petito was found in Grand Teton National Park. The FBI and the Petito family’s lawyer later confirmed that the remains belonged to Petito, and her death was ruled a homicide shortly after.
Laundrie, 23, is wanted for questioning in relation to a grand jury indictment regarding his activities following Petito’s death, the FBI announced last month. On September 22, a Wyoming court issued a federal arrest warrant for Laundrie, alleging he spent $1,000 on a debit card that did not belong to him.
Laundrie’s family has insisted they don’t know where he is and said any “speculation” that they assisted in his disappearance “is just wrong.”
“Chris and Roberta Laundrie do not know where Brian is,” Bertolino told Insider late last month. “They are concerned about Brian and hope the FBI can locate him.”
On Wednesday, Bertolino told Insider Chris Laundrie is “excited” to join the search for his son, “but not in the happy sense, but in the anticipatory sense.”