Great Britain

Gabby Petito news – latest: Family hold press conference as new Brian Laundrie witness ‘saw him drinking’

FBI visits Brian Laundrie home to investigate DNA match

It’s been nine days since Brian Laundrie went missing after telling his parents he was going for a hike in the “vast and unforgiving” Carlton Reserve. He disappeared the same day he was made a person of interest in the missing person case of his girlfriend Gabby Petito, whose body was subsequently found later that evening.

Today, the Petito and Schmidt family will hold a press conference at their lawyer Richard Stafford’s office in New York. The press conference will take place at 1pm PST (6pm BST) and comes after new witness stories have emerged about Mr Laundrie.

One tourist, 44-year-old Hunter Mannies told the New York Post that he and his friends had a strange encounter with a lone man who resembled Mr Laundrie while drinking at Bullwinkle’s Saloon in West Yellowstone. It became apparent the man had been listening when the conversation turned to “hunting and guns and politics,” Mannies said.

He told the New York Post: “The guy just looked mad and then at some lull in the conversation, he said, ‘Stupid southerners and f—ing Republicans.’”

He continued: “I kind of laughed and said, ‘Well, where are you from? and he said, ‘New York,’ and I said, ‘Okay, New York’ and he said, “I have a name, it’s Brian.”

When the news broke of Gabby’s disappearance, Mannies’ friend called him: “She said that’s the crazy guy from the bar,” he said.

Mannies said he contacted the FBI and spoke with them for 45 minutes. “How many people named Brian from New York who look exactly like him are in the middle nowhere at the bar?” he said.

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Gabrielle Petito’s stepfather flies to Utah to search for her

Gabrielle Petito’s stepfather, James Schmidt, along with a family friend have flown to Utah to search for the missing woman.

Richard Stafford, the family’s lawyer, said Mr Schmidt and the family friend are planning to centre their search on Grand Teton National Park, as it is was last place Ms Petito was seen.

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Brian Laundrie’s parents called police on Dog the Bounty Hunter

Audio emerged Monday indicating that Brian Laundrie’s parents called 911 to report the presence of Duane “Dog” Chapman on their North Port, Florida property, Fox News reported.

“It’s a shame they wouldn’t speak with us,” Mr Chapman told the news outlet. “The police said we were welcome to knock on the door so we did. I wanted to tell the Laundries that our goal is to find Brian and bring him in alive.”

A police spokesman confirmed the call and said that the department handled it like it would have any other report.

“We’ve been called to the house numerous times for all sorts of issues: media, protestors, celebrity searchers,” said North Port Police Public Information Officer Josh Taylor. “It’s not something normal. If the family calls and is concerned, we will respond like we would for anyone.”

“Dog the Bounty Hunter” called it “a shame” that Brian Laundrie’s mother called 911 Saturday rather than answer his knock on the family’s front door.

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‘Beautiful girl’: Gabby Petito’s friends and family paid tribute to her at a vigil

At a memorial service on Sunday, Gabby’s family and friends paid tribute to her.

Her father, Joseph Petito said: “I want you to be inspired by Gabby, that’s what we’re looking for.

“That’s what I want to see. If there’s a trip that you guys want to take, take it now. Do it now, while you’ve got the time.”

Gabby’s stepfather, Jim Schmidt said: “Gabby loved life and lived her life every single day. She is an example for all of us to live by and to enjoy every moment in this beautiful world like she did. Love and give love to all like she did.”

Ted Malkiewicz, the brother of Gabby Petito’s adopted grandmother Noreen Gibbons, said: “The pictures you see of her smiling, that was her. A gorgeous, gorgeous girl.”

Ms Petito’s great aunt, who gave her name as Liz, said she was a “beautiful beautiful person” after coming out from the service.

“I almost don’t even have words. It’s just so heartbreaking what happened to her and we love her and we know she’s at peace.”

Family of Gabby Petito encourage mourners to be inspired by her life

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Dog the Bounty Hunter’s ‘lead’ on Brian Laundrie’s whereabouts ‘just wrong'

Duane Chapman, aka Dog the Bounty Hunter, a television personality and a “bounty hunter” by profession, said that the three members of the Laundrie family were camping at Fort DeSoto campground on two instances earlier this month — on 1 and 3 September and 6 and 8 September.

He alleged that Brian’s parents had helped him escape arrest.

In a statement released on Monday, the parents of Mr Laundrie said: “Chris and Roberta Laundrie do not know where Brian is. They are concerned about Brian and hope the FBI can locate him.”

The family’s attorney also said Mr Chapman’s unconfirmed lead was “just wrong.”

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Norma Jean Jalovec, the second woman who picked up Brian Laundrie while he was hitchhiking in Wyoming days before Gabby’s body was found, has shared more details about their encounter.

She said there was “nothing extraordinary about him” until they neared the van he and Gabby had been travelling in.

She told PEOPLE: “He got agitated when I said, ‘Do you want me to take you past the gate, down the road [to the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area]?’”

She added: “He was like, ‘No, no, no, no, no. This is fine.’

“He said, ‘Just let me out here. You can let me out here.’”

He literally was getting out of the passenger seat,” before she stopped the car, she added.

She said his “antsy” demeanour was suspicious but she brushed it off at the time.

“But now we all know, obviously, there was a reason why he probably didn’t want me to go down that road,” she added.

Norma Jean Jalovec shares more details of the day she drove Laundrie to the entrance of Wyoming's Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area, where the body of his fiancée, Gabby Petito, was later found

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ICYMI: Who is Gabby Petito?

Gabby Petito’s body was discovered in Wyoming by the FBI after a missing person case was launched. But who was the aspiring van-life blogger?

Here’s what we know about Gabby Petito:

Gabby Petito, whose body was found Sunday, had been described by loved ones as ‘sweet’ and ‘selfless’

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ICYMI: News anchor suspended for raising ‘missing white woman syndrome’ during coverage

An Emmy Award-winning news anchor has been suspended indefinitely after telling bosses he wanted to discuss “missing white woman syndrome” during coverage of Gabby Petito.

Frank Somerville, 63, was suspended by KTUV in Oakland after arguing with station news director about adding a “brief tagline” about how missing persons cases involving white women tend to attract far greater coverage than those of indigenous and Black people.

He was reportedly told by his boss Amber Eikel that it would be inappropriate, and the pair became involved in a disagreement that led to Mr Somerville’s suspension.

Bevan Hurley has the full story:

‘Missing white woman syndrome’ refers to how media tend to focus on disappearances involving young, white females

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Tourist claims he saw Brian Laundrie at a bar

A tourist claimed to have an encounter with Brian Laundrie at a bar in Montana the day before Gabby was last reported seen alive.

Hunter Mannies, 44, told the New York Post that he and his friends had a strange encounter with a man who resembled Laundrie and was drinking alone at Bullwinkle’s Saloon in West Yellowstone.

“The convo got into hunting and guns and politics,” Mannies said, adding that’s when he realised that the man had been listening.

“The guy just looked mad and then at some lull in the conversation, he said, ‘Stupid southerners and f—ing Republicans.’”

Mannies said that his friend shot back, “Stupid southerners? She and I both have ‘Dr.’ in front of our names. Do you?”

I kind of laughed and said, ‘Well, where are you from? and he said, ‘New York,” Mannies said. “And I said, ‘Okay, New York’ and he said, “I have a name, it’s Brian.”

When the news broke of Gabby’s disappearance, Mannies’ friend called him: “She said that’s the crazy guy from the bar,” he said.

Mannies said he contacted the FBI and spoke with them for 45 minutes.

“How many people named Brian from New York who look exactly like him are in the middle nowhere at the bar?” he said.

Read the full story on the New York Post:

A man on a road trip said he had a strange encounter in a bar with a man he believes was Brian Laundrie — just one day before Gabby Petito was last reported seen alive.

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ICYMI: A press conference will be held later today

A press conference held by the Petito and Schmidt family is scheduled for later today in New York.

It will take place at 1pm PST (6pm BST) at the office of the Petito family’s lawyer, Richard Stafford, who announced the conference yesterday.

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More online pro-Laundrie groups surface

Another online community in support of Brian Laundrie has surfaced on Reddit.

The subreddit, named r/FriendsOfBrian, has some 1,000 members and is similar to r/BrianLaundrie.

Some members of the subreddit claim that Laundrie was the real victim of domestic violence in his and Gabby’s relationship, with some accusing Gabby of being an “alt-right neo nazi”.

One user speculated that Brian was framed by the “real murderer” and is out “hunting revenge”.

The subreddit’s description says: “This community is dedicated to seeing that Brian receives the treatment that he is entitled to by the Constitution of the United States of America, which is innocence until guilt is proven.”

A number of the posts on the subreddit are intended to be sarcastic, while others replicate the same rhetoric seen elsewhere online.

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