A neighbor, who lives across the street from Brian Laundrie's Florida home, has said that he saw the family along with the 23-year-old packing up an "attached camper" and then leaving their home in what appeared to be a long weekend camping trip. And this happened on the same day Laundrie's girlfriend Gabby Petito was reported missing.
The Long Island native was reported missing by her parents on September 11 after Laundrie returned to Florida alone with Petito's van on September 1. Last week, Laundrie suddenly vanished after he was named a person of interest in Petito's disappearance before she was found dead on Sunday.
Neighbors, Charlene and William Guthrie, who moved to North Port in early summer, told Fox News that it has been a "nightmare" living near the family's home since Petito and later Laundrie went missing. William told the outlet that he was busy with his yard work when he noticed the Laundries hooking a new camper to the back of their truck. It was on September 11. They then drove off for a weekend-long trip, he said.
"I saw them doing some work. And then when they prepared for their trip, I saw them loading the camper," Guthrie told Fox News.
The neighbors didn't find anything odd and felt that it was quite natural that the parents were going out for a weekend camping with their adult son in what they described as a "small" RV.
The Gutheries didn't see Petito going with the family but that didn't raise any doubts. However, they at that time didn't know much about Petito and believed that she was staying in the home with Laundrie's parents which she had been doing since she moved to Florida to be with Laundrie.
In fact, they even didn't know that the van parked outside the home of the Laundries actually belonged to Petito and not her boyfriend. "We didn't know it was Gabby's, we just assumed it was [Brian's] van," Charlene said.
"We just thought they had come back from wherever. We didn't know they were on a trip. We assumed they went back to their house or wherever they got a house ... We didn't know much about them at all," she said.
Shocked and Surprised
The Guthries didn't see anything suspicious when they saw Christopher and Roberta leaving for camping with their son. The only thing, William said, he found odd was that the parents going off on a camping trip with their 23-year old son in such a small camper.
However, the bigger shock came just a few days later. The couple then reported the incident to police who later came to their home as part of the missing persons investigation involving the disappearance of Petito.
They told the police that they saw Laundrie and his family leaving with the camper on September 11, the day Petito was reported missing, an executive producer at WINK-TV tweeted on Wednesday.
However, it is not known to the Guthries or anyone else if the son returned home from the camping. Laundrie was named a person of interest a few days later and was reported missing by his parents on September 17, three days after they said they last saw him.
He has since been in the wind for over a week, sparking a manhunt in a Florida reserve where his parents said he went hiking.