- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 5, 2021

The family of Brian Laundrie has released a statement from a lawyer on why he returned to Florida without fiancee Gabby Petito, who was later found killed in Wyoming.

Steven P. Bertolino, the Laundrie family’s Long Island lawyer, released a statement Tuesday to New York TV station WNYW purporting to explain trips between the family’s Florida home and Salt Lake City.

Brian flew home to Tampa from SLC on 08/17 and returned to SLC on 08/23 to rejoin Gabby. To my knowledge, Brian and Gabby paid for the flights as they were sharing expenses. Brian flew home to obtain some items and empty and close the storage unit to save money as they contemplated extending the road trip,” Mr. Bertolino said.

WNYW Fox-5 noted in its report that “the statement did not explain anything that happened after August 23rd.”

Petito was reported missing on Sept. 11 after not having been seen or heard from since late August. The pair had been documenting on social media a nationwide tour of national parks scheduled to end later this month on the West Coast.



She was found dead in a Wyoming national park on Sept. 19 and quickly declared a homicide victim.

On Sept. 17, Mr. Laundrie was reported missing by his parents, saying they had last seen him on the 14th. He has been classified as a person of interest in Petito’s death and has been charged with other federal crimes involving her but not homicide.

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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