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Police name boyfriend ‘person of interest’; FBI sets up hotline to receive tips in Gabby Petito case


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The following is a news release from the North Point Police Department.

The national search into the disappearance of Gabrielle Petito of North Port continues. Due to the parties in this case residing in North Port, Florida, the North Port Police Department will be the primary investigating agency, in partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigations. We will also continue to work with the Suffolk County Police Department, and we are thankful for their assistance.

Several detectives are working around the clock to piece this complex and far-reaching situation together. Gabrielle’s vehicle was recovered here in North Port at her home on Sept. 11 – a home shared with her boyfriend Brian Laundrie and his parents. That vehicle was fully processed for evidence along with FBI agents Tuesday evening. As of now, Brian has not made himself available to be interviewed by investigators or has provided any helpful details. We know Brian returned here to North Port on Sept. 1 – ten days before her family reported her missing on Sept. 11. We have no information that a crime occurred here in North Port. Brian Laundrie is a person of interest in this case.

RELATED | Missing woman’s family says her boyfriend refuses to say what happened as police investigation deepens

“As a father, I can imagine the pain and suffering Gabby’s family is going through. We are pleading with anyone, including Brian, to share information with us on her whereabouts in the past few weeks. The lack of information from Brian is hindering this investigation. The answers will eventually come out. We will help find Gabby and we will help find anyone who may be involved in her disappearance,” says North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison.

The FBI has set up a national hotline to receive tips. 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324). That is now our primary tip line. So far, we have received hundreds of tips that are being vetted through multiple agencies. If anyone has seen the van photographed and information that might be helpful, please let us know.

According to family, they were last in contact with Gabrielle during the last week of August. Prior to the last communication, Gabrielle is believed to have been in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Petito and Brian were traveling in a white 2012 Ford Transit van with Florida license plate QFTG03. Gabrielle, 22, is white, approximately 5 feet 5 inches tall and 110 pounds. She has blonde hair and blue eyes, and several tattoos, including one on her finger and one on her forearm that reads “let it be.”

Additionally, we have had a few questions about Gabrielle’s Instagram page being taken down. We are currently looking into that.

The North Port Police Department continues to work with the media to spread the word. We have conducted interviews with all major television networks and roughly 60 media outlets in the past 48 hours.

The first place we will post all info will be on our social media platforms: Facebook and on Twitter. You may also want to follow Chief Garrison on Twitter.