Neighbors say Brian Laundrie, parents went on a trip in new camper after Gabby Petito disappeared

News & Politics

Brian Laundrie and his parents reportedly took a weekend camping trip on the same day Gabby Petito was reported missing.

Charlene and William Guthrie live directly across the street from the home of the Laundries in North Port, Florida. The couple claim they saw the family take a camping trip in a new “attached camper.” The Daily Mail reported the family took the trip on Saturday, Sept. 11 — the same day the now-deceased Gabby Petito was reported missing,

“I was doing some work in the front yard and I noticed they got a new camper for the back of the pickup,” William Guthrie said during an appearance on Fox News’ “The Story.” “I didn’t think anything unusual.”

“Then when they prepared for their trip, I saw them load the camper,” he told Martha MacCallum.

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William thought it was “odd” that the parents and their 23-year-old son went on a trip together in a “small camper that’s on the back of the truck.”

Charlene Guthrie said the Gabby Petito case has been a “nightmare.”

In an earlier interview with Fox News, William Guthrie remembered the last time he saw Gabby.

“Right when we moved in … in June, they were working on the van, I guess to get ready for the trip,” he said. “She was in the back of the van doing something, and as we pulled away she turned, waved, I waved back, and she smiled, and we drove away. That’s the last time we saw her.”

“She was a pretty girl and you see her turn around and just smile,” Guthries said of the “van-life” girl. “You see the images on their trip of her smiling, it was a haunting sight and memory.”

William Guthrie also criticized the actions of the Laundrie family after Petito was reported missing.

“If their son was innocent, I don’t feel like they should have lawyered up as soon as he came back into the state,” the neighbor stated. “I felt that if he had nothing to do with it they should have released a statement somehow stating his innocence.”

“I’m really upset now because … [the Laundries] should have absolutely come forward now,” Charlene Guthrie told Fox News. “I mean, I just … can’t believe they didn’t do something. I’m really angry now that they … let this go. And that everything was so natural and they remained so normal through the whole thing, you know, while they were here, till he went on the run.”

Petito’s body was found on Sept. 19 near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, where the couple had stayed during a cross-country trip. The remains were found in the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area of the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

Teton County Coroner Brent Blue, who conducted a preliminary autopsy on Petito’s remains, said his “initial determination” is the manner of her death was homicide.

“The FBI’s commitment to justice is at the forefront of each and every investigation,” FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider said. “The FBI and our partners remain dedicated to ensuring anyone responsible for or complicit in Ms. Petito’s death is held accountable for their actions.”

Brian Laundrie is currently a “person of interest” and not a suspect in the death of his fiancé.

Authorities will continue to search for Laundrie on Thursday in the Carlton Reserve, a large nature preserve in Florida where his parents claimed he went hiking over a week ago. Law enforcement has used drones, swamp buggies, ATVs, airboats, dive teams, and scent-sniffing dogs to attempt to track down Laundrie in the swampy 24,565-acre nature preserve park near his family’s North Port home.

As of Tuesday, the preserve is closed until further notice, according to the nonprofit group Friends of Carlton Reserve.

Laundrie hasn’t been seen since Sept. 14, according to investigators. He returned to his parents’ North Port home on Sept. 1 in the Ford camper, but Petito was not with him.

Petito’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, last heard from Gabby on Aug. 27, but described the last communication as “odd,” according to a search warrant obtained by WFLA-TV.

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Neighbors recall Laundrie family’s trip after Brian’s return in Gabby’s van

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