Brian Laundrie flew back to his parents' home in Florida to get supplies on August 17, just five days after he and his girlfriend Gabby Petito were pulled up by Utah police following a fight, his family lawyer said. Laundrie, 23, then returned after a few days and joined Petito, 22, just before she vanished.
The same thing was confirmed by Laundrie's sister Cassie Laundrie, who took questions from a group of protesters outside her home and said that her brother indeed had returned home on August 17. This brings a whole new twist to the case given that it was earlier being believed that Laundrie returned to Florida alone on September 1, just days before Petito was reported missing.
Twist in the Tale
On Tuesday, lawyer Steven Bertolino spoke to The New York Post, wherein he said that Laundrie returned to his parents' home in North Port on August 17 and then flew back to Salt Lake City on August 23 to reunite with Petito. "Brian flew home to obtain some items and empty and close the storage unit to save money as [he and Petito] contemplated extending the road trip," Bertolino said in a text.
The same thing was confirmed by his sister Cassie, who along with her husband James Luycx took questions from a group of protesters outside her home. Cassie said that she knew little about her the case of Petito and Laundrie but said that her brother returned first on August 17 and stayed for six days with the family before rejoining Petito.
She also said that she saw her brother on September when he returned for the second time all alone, reported NewsNation Now.
The lawyer also said that the expenses for Laundrie's trip were paid by the couple. "To my knowledge, Brian and Gabby paid for the flights, as they were sharing expenses." However, Bertolino didn't say why the Laundrie family had so long not disclosed that their son had returned home earlier too.
The revelations made by Cassie and the family lawyer now bring a new twist to the case's timeline. If Laundrie had returned on August 17, it would have been just five days after the couple's August 12 fight in Utah, which involved cops. And if Laundrie flew back to rejoin Petito in Utah on August 23, it would have been just four days before the Long Island woman was last seen.
Witnesses have reported spotting Brian and Petito at a Wyoming restaurant August 27, the last day Petito was seen alive. Laundrie finally came back to his parents' home in Florida alone with Petito's van on September 1.
The family then went camping with his mom, dad and sister at the Fort De Soto campground which continued till September 7, the family's lawyer said. Ten days later, on September 17, Laundrie was reported missing, a couple of days after he was named a person of interest in his fiancÃ©e's disappearance.
Two days later Petito's body was found at a campsite at the Teton-Bridger National Forest in Wyoming, with a coroner later declaring her death a homicide.
The revelation that Laundrie flew home in mid-August suggests that everything wasn't right between the couple after they were stopped by police in Moab, Utah, on August 12 and questioned over reports of a domestic incident.
Cassie on the other hand has been maintaining that she learned of Petito's disappearance only after being questioned by police on September 11. Asked if she knew if her brother had killed Petito or if he was dead she said "I don't know".
Cassie and Luycx were also asked if her brother had ever been violent with Petito or her, to which they answered "no." Petito posted a photo on Instagram on August 19 that appears to show Laundrie inside her van, but it is unknown when that photo was actually taken.
Meanwhile, it has been almost three weeks that Laundrie vanished and despite extensive search and several reports of his sightings, police have failed to trace him.