FLORIDA’S LAKEWOOD RANCH — Brian Laundrie returned home to Florida days after his dramatic confrontation with Gabby Petito in Utah to buy supplies and close out a rented storage facility, then rejoined her moments before she vanished, according to his family’s lawyer.
On Tuesday, Brian’s lawyer, Steven Bertolino, told The Washington Post that he returned to his parents’ home in North Port on Aug. 17 and then flew back to Salt Lake City on Aug. 23 to rejoin Petito.
“Brian flew home to get some things and to empty and close the storage unit to save money since [he and Petito] considered extending the road trip,” Bertolino wrote in a text.
“As far as I know, Brian and Gabby paid for the flights because they were splitting costs.”
Brian’s trip home would have taken place following his and Petito’s brawl in Utah on August 12, which implicated cops. Laundrie, 23, then travelled back to Utah on Aug. 23, four days after Petito, a 22-year-old Long Island native, was last seen.
According to NewsNation, Cassie Laundrie, Laundrie’s sister, stated Monday that her 23-year-old brother returned to Florida in mid-August.
Brian and Petito were spotted at a Wyoming restaurant on Aug. 27, the final day Petito was seen alive, according to witnesses.
According to the family’s lawyer, Laundrie then arrived at his parents’ house in Florida alone with her vehicle on September 1 and went camping with his mother, father, and sister at the Fort De Soto park until September 7.
On September 17, Laundrie’s parents reported him missing. His parents told police that he went on a hike three days prior and then vanished.
Petito’s body was discovered on Sept. 19 at a secluded campground in Wyoming’s Teton-Bridger National Forest, and her death was eventually ruled a homicide by a coroner.
The FBI has launched a huge manhunt for Laundrie, the only person of interest in the case.
The fact that Laundrie returned to the United States in mid-August shows that Laundrie and Petito split up after being detained by police in Moab, Utah, on Aug. 12 and questioned about accusations of a domestic altercation, and then reconnected.
Laundrie and Petito were separated for the night by Moab cops, who took him to a local motel and left her with her van.
Petito, 22, shared an Instagram photo on Aug. 19 that appears to show Laundrie inside her van, although it’s unclear when the shot was taken.
Petito last communicated with her mother on August 25th. She was last seen with Laundrie two days later, at the Merry Piglet restaurant in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where witnesses say Laundrie had a “aggressive” spat with the employees.