The investigation surrounding Gabby Petito’s disappearance and homicide has attracted widespread media attention in recent weeks, including from America’s Most Wanted creator John Walsh.
According to Fox News, Steve Bartolino, an attorney for Petito’s boyfriend Brian Laundrie, reacted to Walsh’s recent TV special by calling him a “dusty” relic who is only interested in feeding his “publicity-hungry” ego.
“Helping him stay on the run”
Walsh hosted a special this week in which he detailed the circumstances of Petito’s homicide, which was recently confirmed to have been caused by manual strangulation.
During the course of the program, he discussed Laundrie, who disappeared shortly after Petito was reported missing and is currently wanted by police as a person of interest.
The longtime criminal investigator speculated on Laundrie’s possible whereabouts, suggesting the possibility that he fled to Mexico. Walsh listed several other possibilities, including the Bahamas or the Appalachian Trail, a region Laundrie had been known to explore.
Walsh appeared to be fairly certain about one detail in particular: Laundrie’s parents appear to be in on his disappearance.
“I absolutely believe that his family is helping him stay on the run,” he declared.
“Doesn’t want him to be found”
Following Walsh’s special report on ID, Bertolino took aim at him — along with Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman — in his statement. Chapman has also resurfaced in recent weeks as an unofficial part of the search for Laundrie.
“Dusty relics like that Dog and John Walsh need a tragic situation like this so they can clear the cobwebs off their names and give their publicity-hungry egos some food,” the attorney said, according to Fox.
While Walsh did not take the bait, Chapman did respond in kind to Bertolino, calling it “ironic” that the lawyer “would criticize the people trying to find Brian Laundrie, unless perhaps he doesn’t want him to be found.”
Plenty of speculation has surrounded the search for Laundrie, including the suspicion that his parents have helped him evade police. A number of protesters have targeted the relatives of the fugitive, including some who created a makeshift memorial for Petito in front of his parent’s home.
His father, Chris, was spotted mowing the lawn near the display just days after Petito’s cause of death was announced.