BRIAN Laundrie's parents have been accused of "suspicious" behavior after they changed the timeline of their son's disappearance and refused to make a public plea for him to turn himself in.
Chris and Roberta Laundrie were dragged into the spotlight last month after they reported their son Brian missing in Florida just two days before his fiancee Gabby Petito's body was discovered in Wyoming.
In the following weeks, speculation has continued to mount over how much Laundrie's parents know about his whereabouts and his potential involvement in Gabby's homicide.
Suspicions reached new heights earlier this week when the Laundrie family attorney revealed his parents gave the incorrect date for his alleged disappearance into the Carlton Reserve in September.
Brian "left to hike in the preserve" on Monday, September 13, not Tuesday, September 14, as originally shared, according to a Monday statement from lawyer Steven Bertolino.
"The Laundries were basing the date Brian left on their recollection of certain events,” Bertolino said.
After consulting with the FBI and confirming the day Brian’s Mustang was found and returned to the Laundries’ home, Bertolino added, “we now believe the day Brian left to hike in the preserve was Monday September 13."
Two days later Bertolino announced that Chris and Roberta were offering law enforcement a helping hand in the reserve search for their son.
“Chris was asked to point out any favorite trails or spots that Brian may have used in the preserve,” Bertolino said.
However, many sleuths both amateur and expert continue to harbor doubts about the parents.
Read our Brian Laundrie live blog for the very latest news and updates…
From the start of the complicated case, many have wondered why Laundrie's parents didn't appear to question the fact that he returned homeon September 1 without his fiancee Gabby – whilst driving her van.
Gabby was reported missing by her mother a week and a half later on September 11, and her body was found in Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park on September 19.
The Laundrie family set out for a camping trip at the Fort Soto Park Campground in Saint Petersberg on September 6 – after Roberta reportedly changed the reservation date to correspond with her son's arrival back home.
Laundrie's parents reported him missing on September 17 after they claimed he told them he was going for a hike in the Carlton Reserve.
In the initial missing person's report, the couple said the last time they saw their son was on September 14.
However, this week they changed their tune to say that Laundrie left for his trip on September 13.
In another odd twist, it was revealed on Wednesday that Laundrie's Ford Mustang was discovered abandoned a whopping 16 miles from where his parents claimed he went hiking the last time they saw him.
The redacted abandoned vehicle report from September 14 showed that Laundrie's car was found at 6968 Reisterstown Road in the Myakkahatchee Environmental Park in Florida.
Previous reports said the Laundries claimed they drove up to the 25,000-acre park, spotted Brian's car, and drove it home after finding a note on the windshield left by police asking for it to be removed from the area.
Gabby's family has been leading criticism of the Laundrie family since the 22-year-old went missing, accusing them of "refusing" to help find her.
"The Schmidt and Petito family are going through the worst moments of their lives. Their beautiful twenty-two year old daughter is missing and the one person that can help find Gabby refuses to help," Gabby's loved ones said in a statement on September 14.
They went on to slam Laundrie for staying silent: "Brian is refusing to tell Gabby's family where he last saw her. Brian is also refusing to explain why he left Gabby all alone and drove her van to Florida.
"The Schmidt and Petito family beg the Laundrie family to not 'remain in the background' but to help find who Brian referred to as the love of his life.
"How does Brian stay in the background when he is the one person that knows where Gabby is located? The Schmidt and Petito family implore Brian to come forward and at least tell us if we are looking in the right area."
Gabby's mother Nichole Schmidt launched a fresh attack on Chris and Roberta this week when she revealed how she was left "infuriated" that the parents "didn't return her texts" as she searched for her daughter.
Schmidt said she tried to communicate with Chris and Roberta after she lost contact with Gabby in late August.
It’s not known if the Laundries’ deliberately ignored the texts and calls.
Gabby’s dad Joe Petito said: “We actually thought that they were both missing at that time.”
One text message reportedly read: “I’m going to call the police, just letting you know, because we have no idea.”
Joe said: “A normal parent when you text someone that (you) are going to call the cops because you can’t find your child, they would reply. No response. Nothing.”
Even Chris and Roberta's own daughter, Cassie, has suggested she doesn't know if she can trust her parents.
Cassie answered questions regarding her knowledge of her brother’s whereabouts outside her home in Lakewood Ranch, Florida on Monday.
She told protesters and reporters: “I am losing my parents and my brother and my children’s aunt and my future sister-in-law.”
Cassie also alleged that her family is "freezing" her out, adding: "They’re not talking to us either."
When asked why, Cassie said: "If I knew, I would say, I don't know."
The following day, Cassie appeared on Good Morning America and said she "doesn't know" if her parents had anything to do with her brother's disappearance.
"I don't know if my parents are involved," Cassie said.
"I think if they are, they should come clean," she added.
Brian Laundrie timeline
Brian Laundrie has not been seen since the morning of September 13. Here is a timeline of Laundrie’s latest whereabouts:
- July 2021: Brian Laundrie and his fiancé Gabby Petito leave for a grip across the country. The couple visit numerous national parks across the way.
- August 12: Police in Utah respond to an incident involving the couple. The bodycam footage is not released for another month but it shows a visibly upset Gabby talking to police after reports of a domestic violence incident outside a grocery store.
- August 24: Gabby is seen leaving a hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah, with Laundrie.
- September 1: Laundrie returns to his home in North Port, Florida without Gabby.
- September 6: Laundrie joins his family on a camping trip about 75 miles from their home in North Port.
- September 11: Gabby's family reports her missing.
- September 13: Laundrie leaves home to go hiking in Carlton Reserve, Florida. His family had initially said he departed on September 14, but revised their timeline weeks later.
- September 15: Laundrie is named a person of interest in the case of Gabby.
- September 16: Bodycam footage is released regarding the incident between Gabby and Laundrie.
- September 19: The FBI announces a body found at a Wyoming national park is believed to be that of Gabby's.
- September 23: The FBI issued a warrant for Laundrie's arrest claiming he "used unauthorized debit cards after Gabby Petito's death."
- September 26: A funeral is held for Gabby in New York.
- September 27: Dog the Bounty Hunter announces he will lend a hand and help search for Laundrie.
- September 28: Gabby's family held an emotional press conference as the search for Laundrie continued.
- October 5: Laundrie's sister, Cassie, appeared on Good Morning America and urged her brother to come forward.
- October 7: Laundrie's father, Chris Laundrie, assisted law enforcement in the search to find his son.
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