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‘They’re cowards’: Gabby Petito’s father slams Laundrie family and says he believes Brian is hiding


Gabby Petito’s father has labeled the Laurdrie family ‘cowards’ in a new Dr. Phil interview – as the the search for ‘person of interest’ Brian enters its third week.

Joe Petito launched the scathing attack against the Laundries during a pre-tapped interview which airs on Tuesday, saying he believed Brian was still alive because ‘he is too cowardly to kill himself’.

Furious Petito then raged against Brian’s parents Chris and Roberta who are holed up in their North Port, Florida home as daily protests against their perceived dishonesty carry on outside. 

‘Anyone who lived in that house is a coward, said Petito, justifying that by saying ‘they don’t know how to stand up for their actions’. 

Gabby Petito’s family went on Dr. Phil on Tuesday and called out Brian Laundrie’s family. Pictured from L-R: step-mother Tara Petito, father Joe Petito, step-father James Schmidt, mother Nicole Schimdit

Joe Petito called Chirs and Roberta Laundrie, pictured, cowards for avoiding his family

Joe Petito called Chirs and Roberta Laundrie, pictured, cowards for avoiding his family

Gabby Petito, right, and Brian Laundrie, were on a cross-country van trip when went missing on Aug. 24. Brian was the key person on interest and went missing himself on September 17

Gabby Petito, right, and Brian Laundrie, were on a cross-country van trip when went missing on Aug. 24. Brian was the key person on interest and went missing himself on September 17

Joe and Nichole Petito said they had tried calling and texting the Laundries multiple times, asking for their daughters whereabouts to no avail. 

‘It’s infuriating, Nicole said. 

Joe added, ‘We actually thought that they were both missing at that time.’ 

In one of the text messages, Joe said ‘I’m going to call the police, just letting you know, because we have no idea.’

‘A normal parent when you text someone that [you] are going to call the cops because you can’t find your child, they would reply. No response. Nothing.’

Gabby’s step-father, James Schmidt, also revealed that he was the one to identify Gabby’s body, which was found in the Grand Teton National Park, in Wyoming, last month. 

Schmidt said that when the body was found on September 19, police showed him an article of clothing that he matched as one of her favorite sweatshirts from a local New York shop.  

‘We knew it was hers,’ Schmidt said.  

Schmidt was in Wyoming to help search for his missing step-daughter and set up a memorial for her at the site when it was confirmed that her body was found there. 

Gabby's step-father, James Schimdt (left), said he had helped identify Gabby's body

Gabby’s step-father, James Schimdt (left), said he had helped identify Gabby’s body 

The family’s interview comes as Brian Laundrie’s sister, Cassie, spoke to Good Morning America on Tuesday, urging him to ‘come forward’ and telling her parents to ‘come clean’ if they are involved in his disappearance. 

Cassie told ABC’s GMA she wished her brother had come to her first when he returned to North Port, Florida, without Petito on September 1.

‘I really wish he had come to me first that day with the van because I don’t think we’d be here,’ she said.

Cassie said she is feeling a mix of emotions as her brother is still on the run after more than two weeks while Petito’s death is being investigated as a homicide.

‘I worry about him, I hope he’s ok and I’m angry I don’t know what to think,’ she said.

‘I would tell my brother to just come forward and get us out of this horrible mess.’

Brian Laundrie's sister Cassie has urged her fugitive brother to 'come forward' and turn himself in, saying she doesn't know 'what to think' happened on his doomed cross-country trip

Brian Laundrie’s sister Cassie has urged her fugitive brother to ‘come forward’ and turn himself in, saying she doesn’t know ‘what to think’ happened on his doomed cross-country trip

Cassie first broke ranks and spoke out on Monday, saying she ‘didn’t know’ if her fugitive brother had murdered his girlfriend Gabby Petito and claimed that their parents refuse to talk to her.

Chris and Roberta Laundrie had been initially reluctant to cooperate with the investigation regarding the missing Gabby until Brian went missing on September 17. 

Cassie also said she is ‘livid’ at her parent’s lawyer Steve Bertolino, who told the press Friday that Cassie saw her brother twice since Gabby’s disappearance – on September 1 and 6 – despite her previously telling ABC’s Good Morning America, ‘I haven’t been able to talk to him. I wish I could talk to him.’ 

Cassie was seen confronting a group of protesters, which had rallied outside her home since Bertolino’s statement three days ago and interrogated her about them on October 4. 

‘I am losing my parents and my brother and my children’s aunt and my future sister-in-law on top of this and you’re not helping,’ Cassie told them. 

Cassie Laundrie refused to defend her brother Brian's innocence in the murder of Gabby Petito and claimed that their parents refuse to speak with her. She is seen above with her husband James Luycx in an interview with protesters outside her home on October 4

Cassie Laundrie refused to defend her brother Brian’s innocence in the murder of Gabby Petito and claimed that their parents refuse to speak with her. She is seen above with her husband James Luycx in an interview with protesters outside her home on October 4

She spoke to protesters who remained outside her house since the lawyer's statements, which contradicted media reports that Cassie hadn't seen Brian. Above, Brian and Petito were in an Instagram photo on their cross-country trip on June 26

She spoke to protesters who remained outside her house since the lawyer’s statements, which contradicted media reports that Cassie hadn’t seen Brian. Above, Brian and Petito were in an Instagram photo on their cross-country trip on June 26

A protester asked Cassie if she thinks her parents were involved in Gabby’s death, to which she said, ‘I don’t know. We have literally been finding out everything from the news like everyone else.’ 

Asked if she would you like your brother to turn himself in, Cassie says, ‘Of course.’

At one point, she is asked, ‘Based on all the stuff on the Internet, do you think that Brian killed Gabby?’

‘I don’t know,’ she says.

Cassie also said that she has never seen Brian hit Gabby or act violently toward women.   

Newly-released bodycam footage has revealed Gabby Petito told cops Brian Laundrie had hit her and cut her face by grabbing her 'with his nail' during the August 12 domestic incident

Newly-released bodycam footage has revealed Gabby Petito told cops Brian Laundrie had hit her and cut her face by grabbing her ‘with his nail’ during the August 12 domestic incident

Dispatch audio from the Moab Police Department, in Utah, revealed that Gabby and Brian had been in a fight on August 12, with police being told that Brian hit Gabby.  

Joe spoke out against domestic violence on Monday in a photo tribute of his late daughter.

He posted a photo of Gabby walking on the boardwalk holding two young boys’ hands, with the caption: ‘We have to do better. Changes are coming. Now is the time. Don’t be silent.’

It was hashtagged #domesticviolence and #domesticviolenceawareness.

In an Instagram post on Monday, Joseph Petito encouraged people to speak out about domestic violence

In an Instagram post on Monday, Joseph Petito encouraged people to speak out about domestic violence

He had previously tweeted that people have reached out to him to share that they have been inspired by her his daughter's tragic death to prep before leaving their abusive relationships

He had previously tweeted that people have reached out to him to share that they have been inspired by her his daughter’s tragic death to prep before leaving their abusive relationships

The post comes just a few days after he tweeted that people have reached out to him to share that they have been inspired by her his daughter’s tragic death to make preparations before leaving their abusive relationships.

‘She is already saving lives,’ he posted on Saturday. ‘So many stories being sent to us about relationships being left with proper planning for safety, and people are being found due to her influence. We have much more work to do, but it’s a start.’

Meanwhile, the nationwide manhunt for Laundrie continues, as authorities resumed their search of the nature preserve his parents claim he visited, and reality television star Dog the Bounty Hunter searches the Fort de Soto campsite on an island called Egmont Key, off the coast of St. Petersburg, Florida.

They had previously discovered a used campsite and a discarded can of Monster energy drink on the island, and on Sunday night, his team confirmed that it has handed over evidence to authorities they hope will prove Laundrie was there.

The FBI is examining surveillance footage from the Fort De Soto Park campsite. A map shows the campsite's location to the Laundrie family home and the Carlton Reserve where authorities have focused their search and Laundrie's parents say he was headed

The FBI is examining surveillance footage from the Fort De Soto Park campsite. A map shows the campsite’s location to the Laundrie family home and the Carlton Reserve where authorities have focused their search and Laundrie’s parents say he was headed  

North Port police continued their search of the expansive Carlton Reserve in Sarasota, Florida on Monday

North Port police continued their search of the expansive Carlton Reserve in Sarasota, Florida on Monday

Laundrie's parents said he went missing on September 14, when he said he was going for a walk at the nature preserve near their house

Laundrie’s parents said he went missing on September 14, when he said he was going for a walk at the nature preserve near their house 

The FBI is also getting involved in the search at the campsite, as the nationwide manhunt extends into another week, with many people reporting potential sightings of Brian Laundrie throughout the country.

‘The public has to be patient, and that can be hard to do in the time where we have feeling where we think we can be more helpful,’ Michelle Jenis, an assistant professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Department of Criminal Justice who specializes in missing persons told CNN.

‘We’re all just looking for red flags,’ she said, ‘and they could be meaningless.’ 

Timeline of missing Gabby Petito’s case

  • July 1: Gabby Petito and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie left Blue Point, New York for a cross-country road trip
  • August 12: Police in Moab, Utah respond to a domestic incident involving the couple
  • Aug. 21: Petito’s father, Joseph Petito, has his last FaceTime video call with his daughter who was in Salt Lake City, Utah 
  • Aug. 24: Petito is last seen at a hotel in Salt Lake City with Laundrie
  • Aug. 25: Petito makes final call to her mother, Nicole Schmidt, saying she was in Grand Teton National Park
  • Aug. 25 or 26: The couple chats with the owner of a shop called ‘Rustic Row’ in Victor, Utah for about 20 minutes 
  • Aug. 27: Video of Petito’s van was taken by blogger Jenn Bethune, of Red White & Bethune, around 6.30 pm at the Spread Creek Campground
  • Aug. 29: The day that Wisconsin TikToker Miranda Baker claimed that she and her boyfriend were approached by Laundrie at Grand Teton National Park and asked them for a ride at 5.30pm; Schmidt says she is not entertaining this claim and believes it possibly factual
  • Aug. 30: Schmidt receives the last text from Petito: ‘No service in Yosemite’
  • Sept. 1: Laundrie returns to his parents’ home in North Port, Florida in a van without Petito
  • Sept. 6-7: Laundrie and his parents visit Fort De Soto campsite in Florida
  • Sept. 11: Schmidt reports Petito missing to authorities in New York; Petito and Laundrie’s van was impounded by police in Florida that same day
  • Sept. 12: Grand Teton National Park rangers search for Petito
  • Sept. 14: Laundrie issues a statement about Petito’s disappearance through his lawyer; Also on this day, Laundrie allegedly left his parents’ home for a hike
  • Sept. 15: Laundrie is officially named a person of interest in Petito’s case
  • Sept. 17: Laundrie family attorney confirms his whereabouts are unknown
  • Sept. 18: North Port police and the FBI start searching the Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County for missing Brian Laundrie
  • Sept. 19: Bethune realizes she has video of Petito’s van around 12am and submits the FBI with the footage 10 minutes later; Officials announce a body was found near Grand Teton National Park that matched Petito’s description in the afternoon
  • Sept. 21: Coroner confirms remains found in Grand Tetons belong to Petito. Her death is ruled a homicide but her cause of death is still under invesetigation
  • Sept. 20 – 22: FBI and North Port police continue search for Laundrie in Carton Reserve 
  • Sept. 22: Neighbors say they saw the Laudrie family pack up their detached camper on the day Gabby was reported missing. DailyMail.com photos show the camper was back in the driveway two days later, on September 13 
  • Sept. 23: FBI issues an arrest warrant for Laundrie for ‘use of unauthorized access device’ for fraudulently using a Capitol One Bank debit card that was not his between August 30 and September 1 to spend $1,000; A probe is launched into the police handling of the Utah police incident on Aug. 12; Laundrie’s parents visit their attorney in Orlando 
  • Sept. 25: Dog the Bounty Hunter joins the search for Laundrie 
  • Sept. 26: A funeral is held for Petito in Holbrook, New York, and her family launch a charity to help parents find missing children 
  • Sept. 27: Manhunt for Laundrie in the Carlton Reserve is scaled back after 10 day search doesn’t find him. Dog the Bounty Hunter says Laundrie and his parents stayed at Fort De Soto Park from September 1-3 and September 6-8 – and that on the latter visit only the parents left 
  • Sept. 28: Laundrie’s mom is accused of using a burner phone to contact her son Sept. 29: Documents reveal Laundrie’s mom canceled a reservation for the Fort De Soto Park campsite for two from September 1 to 3 and booked for three from September 6 to 8; FBI seizes surveillance footage from site; FBI investigates lead Laundrie bought a burner phone on September 14; Dog the Bounty Hunter searches the area near Fort De Soto finding a recently drunk can of Monster Energy at a makeshift campsite deep in the woods 
  • Sept. 30: Bodycam footage from a second officer at the August 12 incident is released showing a distressed Petito admitting Laundrie hit her; FBI agents collect more evidence from the Laundrie home 
  • Oct. 1: It emerges Laundrie’s sister had contact with him after she said she did 



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