- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Brian Laundrie’s parents have altered the timeline on when they last saw their missing son.

The family attorney told reporters Tuesday that Chris and Roberta Laundrie now say they saw him longer ago than they previously had said.

Brian Laundrie was reported missing by his parents on Sept. 17, a week after fiancee Gabby Petito was officially reported missing and two days before her body was found in a Wyoming national park.

The Laundries told authorities they had last seen him on the 14th as he left their North Port, Florida, home to hike in a nearby nature reserve.

In a text to reporters, attorney Steven Bertolino said that the family misremembered the date and that it was actually Sept. 13.

“The Laundries were basing the date Brian left on their recollection of certain events,” Mr. Bertolino said. “Upon further communication with the FBI and confirmation of the [family’s Ford] Mustang being at the Laundrie residence on Wednesday September 15, we now believe the day Brian left to hike in the preserve was Monday September 13.”

His parents therefore waited four days, not three, to report their son, already the object of national attention over Petito’s disappearance, was missing.

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.

Mr. Laundrie has been classified as a person of interest in Petito’s death and has been charged with other federal crimes involving her. But he has not been named a suspect in her death.

Earlier Tuesday, Mr. Bertolino released a statement purportedly explaining why the missing Mr. Laundrie had returned to Florida without Petito.

Brian flew home to Tampa from [Salt Lake City] 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 in a statement to New York TV station WNYW.

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

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

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