Why Brian Laundrie Flew Home on August 17

And more of the latest on Gabby Petito case
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2021 1:19 AM CDT
Updated Oct 10, 2021 9:00 AM CDT
Why Brian Laundrie Flew Home on August 17
This Aug. 12, 2021 file photo from video provided by The Moab Police Department shows Brian Laundrie talking to a police officer after police pulled over the van he was traveling in with his girlfriend, Gabrielle "Gabby" Petito, near the entrance to Arches National Park.   (The Moab Police Department via AP, File)

Investigators are looking for Brian Laundrie in North Carolina after a dozen sightings of the 23-year-old have been reported since Thursday. Tipsters reported seeing Laundrie, a person of interest in the disappearance of his fiancee, Gabby Petito, who was later found murdered, in the western part of the state near its border with Tennessee, NBC News reports. However, the FBI has not yet publicly confirmed any reports of a Laundrie sighting, which have also come in from Alabama, Montana, and Canada.

One tipster called 911 in the wee hours of Saturday from a parking lot near the Appalachian Trail to report, "He was talking wild. He said that his girlfriend left him and he had to go out to California to see her. He was acting funny. And I wasn’t sure what [Laundrie] looked like. And then … I went and parked and pulled up the photographs of him. And I’m 99.99% sure that was him."

On Tuesday, an attorney for the Laundrie family told Fox News Laundrie's parents originally reported they'd last seen their son in Florida on Sept. 14, but "upon further communication with the FBI" and considering other details, they now believe their initial recollection was wrong and that they last saw Laundrie Sept. 13. And Laundrie's sister, Cassie, spoke to ABC News calling for her brother to come forward: "Get us out of this horrible mess," she said. If she knew where he was, "I'd turn him in," she said, per USA Today.

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She also confirmed on Monday, per NewsNation, that her brother flew home Aug. 17, five days after his and Petito's encounter with police in Moab, Utah. Following that, the Laundrie family lawyer released this statement to Fox 5: "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." (More Brian Laundrie stories.)

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