A lawyer for Brian Laundrie and his family said Friday that Laundrie’s sister saw him twice before he disappeared last month, offering another glimpse into his actions leading up to police discovering the body of Laundrie’s girlfriend Gabby Petito.
Laundrie, 23, spent time with his sister, Cassie Laundrie, on two occasions between Sept. 1, the day he returned home to Florida from his multi-state roadtrip without Petito, and Sept. 17, the day his family reported him missing, his attorney Steven Bertolino said in a statement Friday.
“Cassie saw her brother Brian on September 01 when he stopped by her home,” Bertolino texted Fox News reporter Michael Ruiz, “and again on September 6 at Fort De Soto Park” ― a campsite about an hour from the Laundrie family home in North Port, Florida, where Bertolino previously confirmed Laundrie and his parents camped from Sept. 6-7.
Cassie Laundrie, the only member of the family to speak directly to the media since the Petito case started dominating headlines, had previously said of her brother on Good Morning America: “I haven’t been able to talk to him. I wish I could talk to him,” when asked to state “the oddest thing to you about all this.” Her remarks came before her brother was reported missing.
Many interpreted that exchange to mean Laundrie’s sister had not seen him at all, which would contradict the family attorney’s statement Friday. Laundrie’s lawyer attributed this to miscommunication.
“Any prior communication by Cassie that does not reflect these dates is simply a difference of relating an answer to a question misinterpreted by Cassie or poorly posed by the inquirer,” Bertolino said Friday, adding that law enforcement is “well aware of these dates” when she saw her brother.
Law enforcement has identified Laundrie as a person of interest in his girlfriend’s disappearance and homicide and has indicted him for unauthorized use of a debit card to withdraw more than $1,000 during the period in which Petito went missing. Prior to Laundrie’s own disappearance, he and his parents refused to speak with police about Petito, leading to intense scrutiny from the public about what he did and who he spent time with upon returning home without his 22-year-old girlfriend.
Petito’s body was found on Sept. 19 in Wyoming, near where witnesses reported seeing the parked camper van she’d been living and traveling in with Laundrie, and her death was quickly ruled a homicide. Authorities are still investigating the events leading up to Petito’s death, including Utah police responding to a domestic dispute between the couple in August, but have said the process remains difficult without Laundrie’s cooperation.