New York Post

Tell us where Gabby is

Family’s plea to boyfriend as disturbing new details emerge in case of missing LI girl:

- By GABRIELLE FONROUGE in North Port, Fla., and KEVIN SHEEHAN and JORGE FITZ-GIBBON in New York Additional reporting by Emily Crane, Yaron Steinbuch, Lee Brown and Kenneth Garger

As police searched for Gabby Petito, 22, her parents were furious that boyfriend Brian Laundrie, 23, (seen with her in Arches National Park) won’t talk to either them or authoritie­s.

The family of missing Long Island woman Gabby Petito accused her boyfriend and his parents on Thursday of withholdin­g informatio­n on her whereabout­s — as video emerged showing her in hysterics in the weeks leading up to her disappeara­nce last month.

For the third time this week, Petito’s family begged Brian Laundrie and his family to start cooperatin­g with investigat­ors, slamming their silence as “infuriatin­g.”

“The [Petito] family is devastated,” the Petito family’s attorney, Richard Stafford, said at a press briefing outside his law office in Bohemia, LI. “Every day that this goes on, they get more and more devastated.”

“They’re at the point that that desperatio­n has turned to anger. They know that the Laundries know where their daughter is and they will not tell them. That’s infuriatin­g.”

The latest plea to the Laundries came amid other developmen­ts in the mysterious case:

Cops in Moab, Utah, released body-camera footage of the couple recorded on Aug. 12, when they were questioned over a potential domestic incident following a scuffle.

That fight happened at a food co-op in Moab, one day before a worker there was last seen alive.

North Port, Fla., police said they had no evidence of “criminalit­y” in Petito’s disappeara­nce and acknowledg­ed that they had yet to speak with Laundrie

Petito, 22, and Laundrie, 23, were on a cross-country drive together when the Blue Point native vanished last month. Laundrie returned to the home they shared with his parents in North Port on Sept. 1.

Laundrie immediatel­y lawyered up, and his parents have refused to put cops in touch with their son. The Laundries have also ignored messages from Petito’s family, who reported her missing to authoritie­s in Suffolk County, LI, on Sept. 11.

But Laundrie’s sister, Cassie, told ABC News on Thursday that her family wants Gabby found safe.

“She’s like a sister, and my children love her, and all I want is for her to come home safe and sound and this to be just a big misunderst­anding,” Cassie Laundrie said in a clip of an interview that was slated to air in full on “Good Morning America” on Friday.

Petito and Laundrie left from New York for a coast-to-coast trip on July 2, according to Schmidt, visiting several national parks in a converted Ford Transit van throughout that month and August.

But tensions flared between the pair on Aug. 12 outside the Moonflower Community Cooperativ­e in Moab, Utah, with cops later pulling them over on a report of a possible domestic assault.

On bodycam footage released on Thursday, a jittery Petito is seen telling police officers that she suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety, while admitting that she and Laundrie had been arguing.

“I have really bad OCD,” Petito, in shorts and a crop top, tells the officers while sobbing. “I was apologizin­g to him saying, ‘I’m sorry I’m so mean.’ We’ve been fighting all morning. He wouldn’t let me in the car before . . . He told me I needed to calm down.”

In the video, Laundrie separately tells the police officers, “She just gets worked up sometimes, I try to distance myself from her. I locked the car.”

“I said, ‘Let’s just take a breather.’ She had her phone. I was trying to push her away to say, ‘Let’s just take a step back,’ ” he tells them, saying Petito hit him with her phone.

Laundrie also tells the officer that Petito had grabbed the wheel of their van to make him pull over as police followed them.

The couple, who told police they were in love and didn’t want to press charges, agreed to spend the night apart — Petito in the van and Laundrie in a hotel arranged by cops.

The fight happened one day before Moonflower co-op worker Kylen Schulte, 24, and her wife, Crystal Turner, 38, were last seen alive. Their bullet-riddled bodies were found at a campsite in the La Sal Mountains on Aug. 18.

Laundrie’s lawyer, Steve Bertolino, issued a statement Thursday evening saying police would determine whether the two cases “deserve to be linked.”

Meanwhile, on Thursday, North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison said there was no evidence of “criminalit­y” in the case, but said they still hadn’t spoken to Laundrie.

“Two people went on a trip, one person returned,” Garrison said. “And that person that returned isn’t providing us any informatio­n.”

But, he said, “this is a missing-person case, all right? And our focus is to find Gabby.”

“My focus isn’t to bring Brian in right now. It’s to find Gabby. Brian is exercising his constituti­onal right, and I have to respect that.”

Investigat­ors were still analyzing evidence, including the Ford Transit van registered to Petito, which was seized by police from Laundrie’s home on Saturday.

Garrison said Bertolino, Laundrie’s lawyer, turned over a piece of “property” they sought in the investigat­ion. Bertolino told The Post that it was the keys to the van.

Police had yet to do a forensic examinatio­n on the cellphone of Petito’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, who last received a text from Petito on Aug. 30 and communicat­ed with her throughout the trip out West.

Garrison also said police had not set up a grid search in the area where Petito was last seen in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park.

Asked about the bodycam footage from Utah, Garrison had little to say.

“As far as that having to do anything with the disappeara­nce, we don’t know,” he said. “I mean, yes, they had a disturbanc­e. Yes, it was captured on body camera, their interactio­n with law enforcemen­t. But beyond that, I don’t know what it has to do with the disappeara­nce.”

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 ??  ?? ROAD RAGE? A jittery Gabby Petito is seen in a bodycam video speaking to a cop in Moab, Utah, on Aug. 12 following a fight with her boyfriend. She would vanish weeks later.
ROAD RAGE? A jittery Gabby Petito is seen in a bodycam video speaking to a cop in Moab, Utah, on Aug. 12 following a fight with her boyfriend. She would vanish weeks later.

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