An attorney for Brian Laundrie’s family abruptly canceled a press conference scheduled for Tuesday – as authorities ramp up a criminal probe of the likely death of Laundrie’s girlfriend, Gabby Petito.
“As per my conversation with the FBI this evening there will be no press conference tomorrow,” attorney Steven Bertolino told The Post.
But Bertolino said it was “not true” that the FBI had advised him to cancel.
“Just not in my clients’ best interest,” he wrote in a text message.
The press conference would have been held on the same day of the autopsy on female human remains found in Wisconsin that authorities believe is Petito, 22.
FBI agents and local police raided Laundrie’s parents’ home in North Port, Fla. Monday calling it an active “crime scene.” Laundrie, 23, was supposedly last seen by his family last week, prior to the remains being found.
Bertolino had invited members of the press to a Hyatt Regency Long Island in Hauppauge for the conference, but he canceled only hours later. It would have constituted a rare public statement on behalf of the family and the first direct access to media since Long Island native Petito was reported missing on Sept. 11.
Petito and Laundrie embarked this summer in a van across the country for a tour of national parks documented through social media, but the trip was never completed. Petito’s family lost touch with her in late August and Laundrie arrived back at his parents’ house in the van – without Petito.
Laundrie refused to speak with police once Petito was reported missing. An application for a search warrant said his parents, Christopher and Roberta, directed police to their attorney for questions.
As a nationwide effort sparked to find Petito last week, the Laundries sat on the sideline, issuing a statement through Bertolino supporting the search but saying they would remain “in the background.”
Christopher and Roberta reported Brian missing last week, three days after that statement – and three days after they allegedly last heard from him.
After Petito’s likely remains were recovered over the weekend, Bertolino issues another statement calling the news “heartbreaking.”
“The Laundrie family prays for Gabby and her family,” the statement said.
No likely cause of death has been released for Petito.
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