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Protest held outside Brian Laundrie's home

Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 3:41 PM EDT
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Authorities in North Port, Florida, said Friday they continue to work diligently as they search for answers in the disappearance of a missing 22-year-old Florida woman.

Gabrielle Petito has not been heard from since she spoke to her mother on Aug. 25 after a trip with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, across the western United States.

Laundrie later returned to his home in North Port, Florida, in the van on Sept. 1 without Petito, prompting her family to report her missing on Sept. 11.

Friday evening, the FBI went inside the home and is currently speaking with the Laundrie Family at their request. Authorities said they were speaking with Brian's parents, looking for clues as to where he might be.

Police arriving at Laundrie's home.PNG
Police arriving at Laundrie's home.PNG

Protesters gathered outside the home asking for an answer. Police asked the crowd to respect neighbors wanting some peace and quiet.

A few hours later, the Laundrie family attorney, Steven Bertolino, told CNN the FBI is currently looking for both Gabby Petito and her fiancé' Brian Laundrie.

Bertolino told CNN that "The whereabouts of Brian Laundrie are currently unknown. The FBI is currently at the Laundrie residence removing property to assist in locating Brian. As of now, the FBI is now looking for both Gabby and Brian."

The FBI declined to comment on this statement when asked to verify by CNN.

In Denver, the FBI shared an update on Twitter with information on a tipline for the public to submit photos or information about Gabby.

RELATED: TikTok user claims she picked up Brian Laundrie hiking alone

Petito's boyfriend has been tight-lipped about her disappearance, prompting law enforcement to make pleas this week for his cooperation.

Police on Wednesday called Laundrie a person of interest in the case.

North Port police said Friday that law enforcement had "touched based" with a sister of Laundrie, but developments in the case continue to be slim.

"It is my understanding that nothing of substance has been shared. Brian has still not spoken to us," North Port police spokesman Josh Taylor said.

North Port officials shared a new video Friday with Petito's father, Joseph, as he remains hopeful they will find his daughter safe.

"Positivity is hard, trying to focus on the scenario I have in my head that she's stuck somewhere, and she just needs help," Joseph Petito said.

He praised the local and national media attention to the case this week.

RELATED: Timeline of Gabby Petito's cross-country trip and disappearance

"I am extremely grateful. I'll never be able to repay the type of assistance we've been given. I'm humbled by it," Joseph Petito said.

Calling his daughter a "beautiful soul," Petito's father said some family members have traveled to Wyoming to see if they can help find clues in her disappearance.

"What if we get lucky? ... We find her right now ... We bring her home. She tells us what happened, and we move on," Joseph Petito said.

He continued to pressure the Laundrie family to be cooperative with investigators to share any information that might help in the case.

"If you associate with the Laundries, call them, ask them, 'Hey, listen, what do you know? What's going on?'" Joseph Petito said. "If you work at the banks with them, if they try to buy a car from you, if they try to rent a book from you, you should say, "No thank you,'" Joseph Petito said.

Residents held a protest outside the Laundries' house Friday evening demanding answers, but it's unclear if they are currently living there since there had been no activity around the home for the past few days.

However, law enforcement was spotted going inside the Laundries' home Friday evening.

NEW DEVELOPMENTS: Investigators were spotted going inside Brian Laundrie’s home as part of the investigation to find Gabby Petito. Read more here: https://buff.ly/3CjZTpy

Posted by WPTV on Friday, September 17, 2021

Police in Moab, Utah, released body camera footage Thursday recorded Aug. 12 that shows the couple at times suffered a turbulent relationship, which resulted in a call about a domestic issue involving them.

In the video, Laundrie had scratches on his face and arm that were from the altercation with his girlfriend, but no charges were filed in the incident.

The FBI has set up a national hotline to receive tips. 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324). Police said so far they have received hundreds of tips, which are being vetted through multiple agencies.

A vigil was scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m. in North Port to pray for the Florida woman's safe return.

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