Brian Laundrie, originally from Long Island, is Gabrielle Petito’s fiancÃ© and a “person of interest” in her disappearance, as he was the last person known to have been with her before her disappearance, authorities said.
Mr Laundrie, 23, is himself reported missing after his parents reported to authorities that they had not seen him since September 14, days after refusing to speak to investigators about the whereabouts of Ms. Petito found, authorities said.
He had returned home to North Port, Florida on September 1 in the white Ford pickup truck he and Ms. Petito used on their cross-country trip, which began on July 2.
Mr. Laundrie first met Ms. Petito at Bayport-Blue Point High School on Long Island, according to Ms. Petito’s stepfather Jim Schmidt.
The couple began their trip in New York City, from where they embarked on what was supposed to be a four-month trip across the country to visit and camp in national parks, Schmidt said.
They documented their travels on their Instagram accounts and YouTube, posting clips that showed them kissing and climbing rocks, scenes set against the backdrop of blue skies and rugged terrain.
Ten days after Mr. Laundrie returned to Florida, Ms. Petito was reported missing.
North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison posted a plea on Twitter addressed to Steven Bertolino, Mr. Laundrie’s lawyer, asking him to set up a conversation with Mr. Laundrie.
At the time, Mr. Laundrie exercised his constitutional right not to speak to authorities, Chief Garrison said.
But on September 17, Mr. Laundrie’s parents called the police to their home in North Port and told them they had not seen Mr. Laundrie for three days.
Investigators then began searching for Mr. Laundrie in the Carlton Preserve, a 25,000-acre park about 13 miles from North Port, and where police said his family believed he had surrendered. As of Sunday evening, there was no police report indicating that he had been found.