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Family thanks FBI, media for their help in finding Gabby Petito

The family of Gabby Petito show tattoos they got Monday.
The family of Gabby Petito show tattoos they got Monday.(WWSB-TV)
Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 5:59 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 28, 2021 at 2:17 PM EDT
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NORTH PORT, Fla. (WWSB) - The parents of Gabby Petito went before cameras Tuesday to thank the public, the FBI and the media for their help in finding their daughter, who was found dead in a national park in Wyoming after going missing during a cross-country trip with her boyfriend.

In a news conference at the New York office of the family’s lawyer, the family revealed tattoos they had gotten Monday night, that were designed by Gabby that say “Let it Be,” and “Believe.” “I want her with me,” Gabby’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, said.

The family declined to talk about their relationship with the family of Gabby’s boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, who is missing and a person of interest in the case. “I’m not going to talk about Brian,” Joe Petito said.

Richard Stafford, the lawyer for the family, said they didn’t expect the Laundries to cooperate with authorities. “The Laundries didn’t help us find Gabby. They’re sure not going to help us find Brian,” he said.

Meanwhile, the FBI has now taken charge of the search for Brian Laundrie and is switching strategies.

The FBI’s search as week two began is “targeted based on intelligence” as they comb areas where they think Laundrie is most likely to be.

Better weather conditions for the searchers are expected for the next few days. The Carlton Reserve is expected to be much drier this week after heavy rainfall flooded the majority of the territory. If waters can recede this week as the rain holds back, crews will have a better shot at reaching areas that were previously too difficult to explore.

As the search for their son continues, the Laundrie family lawyer told reporters yesterday Brian’s parents do not know where their son is.

“Chris and Roberta Laundrie do not know where Brian is,” Steven Bertolino’s text to media outlets said. “They are concerned about Brian and hope the FBI can locate him. The speculation by the public and some in the press that the parents assisted Brian in leaving the family home or in avoiding arrest on a warrant that was issued after Brian had already been missing for several days is just wrong.”

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