Police in Florida have tried to speak with the boyfriend of a Long Island woman who disappeared under “odd” circumstances during their cross-country trip – but the man’s parents refused to allow them, according to a report.
Gabby Petito, 22, was last known to be in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park in late August after embarking on the tour with her boyfriend Brian Laundrie the month before.
Authorities have reportedly said the vehicle the couple was traveling in — a white 2012 Ford Transit van with Florida plates — was recovered late Saturday and forensic experts are searching it for clues, the Daily Mail reported.
“We have the vehicle, we took it away very late Saturday night into Sunday,” North Port police spokesman Josh Taylor told the news outlet.
“We take it, we process it for evidence – fingerprints, any evidentiary value that we think is possible. We are continuing to try to piece the things together. The situation is obviously very fluid,” added Taylor, who confirmed that Laundrie has not talked with investigators yet.
“We have not talked with him, we would love to talk to him. He is under no obligation to talk to us – and he has not. And we don’t even know yet if a crime happened,” the spokesman told the outlet, which also reported that he has retained an attorney.
Taylor said police went to the home of Laundrie’s parents, who “did not want to make him available,” according to the report.
In a statement, police said: “We currently have no definitive information that a crime took place here in North Port. With that said, the circumstances are odd.
“The vehicle she was traveling in was located here in North Port. So, we are actively gathering local details and any evidence to assist in finding needed answers. If you know anything about this case please contact us at 941-429-7382,” police added.
On Monday, Laundrie’s father, Christopher Laundrie, 62, refused to comment to the Daily Mail on his son’s whereabouts while mowing his lawn.
Nicole Schmidt, Petito’s distraught mother, on Monday told reporters she was convinced her daughter will come back home.
“I believe a mother’s instinct is the most powerful,” she said during a press conference at her attorney’s office. “I believe she’s going to come home.”
Schmidt said Laundrie and her daughter attended high school together and later “rekindled” their relationship — and had been living together in Florida for 2 1/2 years.
She would not confirm reports that the two were engaged.
“As a mom, I had concerns about a daughter going on a road trip in general, but I felt safe, they were together,” she said. “They had a plan, an itinerary, and we were excited for them. Everyone wanted to be doing what they were doing.”
Petito’s dad, Joe Petito, also sent his daughter a personal message.
“Gabby, we just want you to come home,” he said. “Call us. Let us know you’re OK. Come home, please.”
The Post has been unable to reach Laundrie.