Despite the dispute, Brian Laundrie told police that he didn’t want to press charges. “I’m not going to pursue anything because she is my fiancée and I love her. It was just a squabble. Sorry it had to get so public,” he said, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Laundrie was able to make his decision. However, the police insisted that Petito and Gabby spend the night apart. Petito stayed the night in the van, while Laundrie stayed at a nearby motel. They seemed to continue their journey in the days following, although they had very limited communication with their families back home. Laundrie returned to Florida on September 1 in the white van without Petito.
Petito’s parents reported Petito missing to police on September 11. Police in Florida were notified, and went to Laundrie’s family home in North Port to question him. According to the Associated Press, Laundrie refused to cooperate with police. He was later named a “person of interest.” Meanwhile, search teams assembled in Wyoming — near Grand Teton National Park — which is where she was last believed to be. Days later, Laundrie’s family reported him missing, according to Fox News. According to NPR on September 19, authorities found a body similar to Petito’s. “Full forensic identification has not been completed to confirm 100% that we found Gabby, but her family has been notified,” Charles Jones, FBI Supervisory Specialist Agent.
Laundrie is still missing.