Investigators continue to search for Brian Laundrie, a person of interest in the homicide of his girlfriend Gabby Petito, whose body was found in Wyoming last month.
Laundrie’s sister has since affirmed that he returned home to Florida by himself in mid-August — just days after an encounter with police in Utah concerning allegations of domestic violence during the couple’s nationwide camping trip.
Cassie Laundrie addresses protesters
According to Business Insider, Laundrie was said to have flown home alone on or about Aug. 17 for an unspecified period of time before rejoining Petito.
He reportedly returned to Florida once again on Sept. 1, this time arriving solo in his girlfriend’s van. Petito was later reported missing and a body believed to belong to her was discovered at a Wyoming campsite on Sept. 19.
In exclusive video footage obtained by NewsNation, angry protesters can be seen staked out in front of Cassie Laundrie’s home. She went on to address the crowd and answer questions about her brother’s disappearance.
During that discussion, she revealed that Brian Laundrie made a trip home in mid-August, shortly after a traffic stop in Moab, Utah.
She told the group that he made no mention of allegations against him and claimed that she never witnessed her brother become violent or abusive toward Petito.
New details emerge
Cassie Laundrie had few additional answers and reportedly sought to disperse the individuals who had been in her neighborhood for several days, scaring her children and annoying her neighbors. She opted to field a few of their questions in an apparent attempt to correct misconceptions about her and her family.
Whether or not there was domestic violence at play between her brother and Petito is currently an open question and there are contradictory accounts regarding the police stop in Utah.
A police report stated that Brian Laundrie was not suspected of having physically struck his girlfriend. In fact, it was Petito who admitted that she slapped him during a dispute.
The officers declined to file domestic assault charges and instead chalked the incident up to an emotional or mental “break” on Petito’s part.
In a 911 call that precipitated that traffic stop, however, a caller claimed that he witnessed Laundrie striking Petito during an argument before the couple got into the van and drove away. In light of his recently confirmed return trips home, it seems clear that the manhunt for Brian Laundrie will continue to capture the interest of Americans nationwide.