The family of the missing Long Island woman Gabby Petito on Tuesday slapped his girlfriend for having walled up police and refused to say where he last saw the 22-year-old — while the search for her continues.
Her family’s statement came just hours after Petito’s girlfriend, Brian Laundrie – who continues to evade police – broke his silence and said through his lawyer that he would “stay in the background.”
Petito’s mother, Nicole Schmidt, and her father, Joe Petito, have both coveted her return.
“The Schmidt and Petito family are going through the worst moments of their lives,” according to the statement. posted on Twitter on Tuesday by WNBC reporter Pei-Sze Cheng.
“Brian refuses to tell Gabby’s family where he last saw her,” their statement said. “Brian also refuses to explain why he left Gabby alone and drove his van to Florida. These are critical questions that require immediate answers.
“The Schmidt and Petito families are begging the Laundrie family not to ‘stay in the background’ but to help find out who Brian referred to as the love of his life,” the statement said. “How does Brian stay in the background when he’s the only person who knows where Gabby is located.”
The family added that they are “asking” Laundrie “to stand up and at least tell us if we are looking in the right area.”
Laundrie and Petito, who lived together in Florida, left the trip from coast to coast in July and were to end the trip at a friend’s home in Portland around Halloween.
But Laundrie returned to Florida in the 2012 Ford Transit van they traveled on Friday – without Petito.
He has since retained a lawyer and refused to cooperate with police – who were also rejected by Laundrie’s parents.
North Port police are assisting Suffolk County police and the FBI in the search, which has made international headlines.