The family of Gabby Petito's fiancé Brian Laundrie, who authorities named a person of interest after the 22-year-old influencer went missing, has broken their silence about her death.
His parents, who shared a North Port, Fla. home with the couple, issued a statement through their lawyer after the FBI and police confirmed on Tuesday, Sept. 21, that a body they found in Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming was the missing 22-year-old travel blogger and influencer. Her death has initially been ruled a homicide.
"May Gabby Rest In Peace," Roberta and Christopher Laundrie said in a statement to E! News.
They made no further comment, including any remarks about their 23-year-old son, who authorities have been trying to find since his parents reported him missing less than a week after Gabby's parents reported her disappearance.
She and Brian had embarked on a cross-country road trip in a van and he returned alone on Sept. 1 to the home they shared with his family; 10 days later, Gabby's parents, who had lost contact with their daughter in late August, reported her missing.
Meanwhile, Gabby's family has shared several tributes to her on social media. "Gonna miss you till the end gabbs #justiceforgabby," her younger brother, T.J. Schmidt, wrote on Instagram, alongside a photo of her standing in front of a wolf mural.
On Sunday, Sept. 19, the day Gabby's body was found but not yet officially identified, T.J. shared a photo of Gabby standing in front of an angel-wings mural, writing, "I don't even know what to say. I'm at a total loss. My heart is shattered #justiceforgabby."
Before disappearing himself, Brian refused to speak with authorities about Gabby's whereabouts. While he is a person of interest in the case, he has not been charged and is not suspected of a crime, police have said.
His family's lawyer, Steven P. Bertolino, said in a statement on Sept. 15, a day after Brian's parents say they last saw their son, "In my experience, intimate partners are often the first person law enforcement focuses their attention on in cases like this, and the warning that 'any statement will be used against you' is true, regardless of whether my client had anything to do with Ms. Petito's disappearance. As such, on the advice of counsel, Mr. Laundrie is not speaking on this matter."
The lawyer had also said in a statement on Sept. 14, "This is understandably an extremely difficult time for both the Petito family and the Laundrie family," adding, "On behalf of the Laundrie family, it is our hope that the search for Miss Petito is successful and that Miss Petito is re-united with her family."
—Reporting by Holly Passalaqua
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