As the search for Brian Laundrie drags into its second week, his parents have responded to speculation that they helped him evade law enforcement just before Gabby Petito’s body was found in a national forest in Wyoming. “Chris and Roberta Laundrie do not know where Brian is,” Steve Bertolino, an attorney for the family, said in a statement released Monday night. “They are concerned about Brian and hope the FBI can locate him,” he said. “The speculation by the public and some in the press that the parents assisted Brian in leaving the family home or in avoiding arrest on a warrant that was issued after Brian had already been missing for several days is just wrong.”
Laundrie, who was declared a person of interest in Petito’s disappearance, had reportedly refused to cooperate with police from the get-go, providing no explanation as to why Petito, his girlfriend, had failed to return with him from their cross-country road trip. He is now the subject of a federal arrest warrant for allegedly accessing bank accounts that did not belong to him after Petito’s death. Search efforts for the 23-year-old kicked off on Sept. 17, after his parents informed police they had not seen him since Sept. 14, when they say he told them he was heading out for a hike at a gator-infested nature reserve in Florida. Petito’s body was found that weekend in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest, with an autopsy subsequently confirming she was the victim of homicide.