The neighbors of Brian Laundrie said they spotted him and his parents packing an ‘attached camper’ meant for long-weekend camping trips after he returned to the North Port, Florida, residence without girlfriend Gabby Petito.
Laundrie is a ‘person of interest’ in the homicide of Petito, whose body was found near a camp site in Wyoming where the couple had stayed during a driving trip across America.
She was last seen alive on August 24, and he returned home to Florida alone on September 1. Laundrie vanished from his parents home before Gabby’s body was found, and remains missing.
Neighbors Charlene and William Guthrie said they saw the Laundries hook up what appeared to be a new camper to the back of their pickup truck on their way for a weekend trip about a week after their son’s return.
When police contacted the Guthries over the disappearance of Petito, William told them about the family’s trip, noting that it was unusual for Christopher and Roberta Laundrie to go off in such a small camper with their 23-year-old son.
‘I saw them doing some work. And then when they prepared for their trip, I saw them loading the camper,’ William told Fox News.
Charlene and William Guthrie told Fox they spotted the Laundries leaving for a camping trip just days after Brian Laundrie returned home alone without the missing Gabby Petito
Gabby Petito, 22, is pictured with her boyfriend Brian Laundrie, 23, as they made their ‘van life’ road trip. Petito’s body was found on Sunday and Laundrie has disappeared
The Gunthries added that living next to the Laundries had become a nightmare since Petito and later Laundrie went missing with police and reporters roaming the neighborhood for nearly a month investigating the case.
The Laundrie family were initially reluctant to cooperate with the investigation regarding the missing Petito until Brian went missing last week.
Their house was searched on Monday, and Brian’s parents Christopher and Roberta were questioned.
Law enforcement continue to comb the nearby alligator-infested Carlton Reserve in search of Laundrie.
The attached camper is seen on the driveway of Brian Laundrie’s parents home on September 20 while FBI Agents talk with North Port police officers outside
FBI Agents take away boxes from the home of Brian Laundrie with the attached camper visible on the driveway
Christopher Laundrie, Brian’s father, pictured on September 21
Petito’s stepfather James Schmidt has visited the exact spot where her body was found in Wyoming, and created a memorial to the 22-year-old New Yorker.
Schmidt, who is married to Petito’s mother Nichole, traveled from New York to Wyoming last week to help with the search for the missing ‘van life’ traveler.
She had been reported missing on September 11, and he set out on September 14. Her body was found on September 19.
On Wednesday Schmidt made a stone cross at the site where Petito was discovered, Fox News confirmed. He left yellow and white flowers on the site, beneath the trees.
Gabby Petito’s father James Schmidt has visited the exact spot where she was killed, and created a stone cross. He laid a floral tribute
James Schmidt, Gabby Petito’s stepfather, traveled to Wyoming on September 14 to help the search for the 22-year-old. Four days later her body was found
Schmidt is pictured with his wife Nichole, Gabby’s mother, at a press conference on September 14 – shortly before he set out for Wyoming
Petito saved money for her road trip by working in a pharmacy and then set out on July 2
Another memorial of stones arranged in a cross pattern was spotted Monday evening at the Spread Creek Dispersed Campsite east of the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. On Wednesday Petito’s stepfather made a similar tribute at the exact spot where her body was found
A similar memorial had been made on Monday, on an open patch of muddy land on the banks of a river near the campsite.
A memorial for Petito will be held on Sunday in New York, the Long Island funeral home confirmed on Wednesday.
Moloney’s Holbrook Funeral Home, in Holbrook, 50 miles east of Manhattan, announced the memorial on their website.
The event will be held from noon until 5pm.
No details were given about a funeral or service.
The funeral home on Long Island, New York, has published details of her memorial
Sunday’s memorial will be held at the Holbrook funeral home near her family’s house
Petito and Laundrie are seen on July 4 in Utah. They had set out two days previously on a road trip, planning to document their journey on social media
The pair had been travelling on a cross-country trip together since July 2, when they left New York. Petito was reported missing on September 11
Petito’s family have not spoken since a coroner on Tuesday confirmed that the body discovered on Sunday was indeed her.
They said that they would speak once her remains were returned to them.
The hunt for the sole ‘person of interest’ in her case continues.
Her boyfriend Brian Laundrie, 23, was reported missing by his parents on September 17, three days after telling them he was setting off on a hike.
Laundrie’s family lawyer said: ‘May she rest in peace.’
The search for Laundrie has since Sunday been concentrated on the Carlton Reserve – a swampy, alligator-filled 25,000 acre site where Laundrie’s abandoned car was found. The silver Ford Mustang contained a note, requesting it be towed away.
North Port Police Department on Wednesday evening at around 7pm tweeted that the search had concluded for the day, and would resume in the morning.
‘The ground search for Brian Laundrie has been halted for the evening. Nothing found,’ they said.
‘We will be back out Thursday, similar operation.’
Search teams are pictured on Wednesday heading into the Carlton Reserve in Florida
The Carlton Reserve has been the focus of a search for Laundrie since his car was found at the site on Sunday
Laundrie was apparently an avid reader, with some pointing to a video on the couple’s YouTube page showing him reading a book about a missing woman. He is seen here camping on the Appalachian trail with Petito in March for her birthday
Earlier on Wednesday there was a flurry of activity as divers were brought to the site, but it later emerged that there was no connection to the case.
The team, made up of about 10 divers, was requested by North Port Police on Wednesday morning, said Sarasota County Sheriff’s office spokesperson Kaitlyn Perez.
‘These divers are specifically trained and very talented in low visibility bodies of water,’ Perez said.
‘They dive down where you and I can’t see anything at all. They utilize technology and other special equipment to help them get down deep into really deep bodies of water, so they’re out there right now to recover whatever it is that they might find.’