Brian Laundrie Manhunt: Florida Sheriff Says Police in Utah, North Port Missed Chances to Take Gabby Petito's Fiance Into Custody
A Florida sheriff said police in Utah and North Port had missed their chances to take Gabby Petito's fiance, Brian Laundrie, into custody.
In a press conference on an undercover child porn operation on Thursday, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said he would have detained Laundrie right after he returned home in Petito's van without her.
"I can tell you at this sheriff's office, when he (Laundrie) showed up with her (Petito) car and she was no place to be found, we never would have let him out of our custody that day," Judd noted.
Judd's office was not directly involved in the investigation. The sheriff said he could "only speculate based upon news reports," Fox 13 reported.
"And as you know, those are incomplete at best, and sometimes they can be fictionalized at worst," he noted.
Florida Sheriff Says Gabby Petito a Victim of Domestic Violence
Grady Judd said they would have arrested Brian Laundrie since Gabby Petito was a victim of domestic violence.
The sheriff noted that the incident in Moab, Utah on August 12, when police were called after receiving reports that Laundrie hit and slapped Petito was a clear domestic violence case.
"I can tell you that according to Florida law, when she (Petito) was the victim of domestic violence originally, he (Laundrie) would have been arrested," Judd said.
A new bodycam video obtained by Fox News on Thursday showed that Petito told a Utah cop that Laundrie assaulted her during their August 12 domestic dispute.
A crying Petito told police that Laundrie "didn't like hit me in the face" or "didn't like punch me," but he cut her "with his nail."
"Well he like, grabbed me with his nail, and I guess that's why it looks, I definitely have a cut right here... I can feel it, when I touch it, it burns," she reportedly said as she rubbed her cheek.
The Moab Police Department came under intense scrutiny for its handling of the couple's dispute. Moab police chief Bret Edge already took a leave of absence, and the cop's involved are under investigation.
Sister of Brian Laundrie Saw Him Twice After Returning to Florida
Steve Bertolino, an attorney for the family of Brian Laundrie, said on Friday that Laundrie's sister, Cassie Laundrie, saw his brother twice after he returned to their parents' home in Florida.
Bertolino noted that Cassie first saw her brother on September 1 when he stopped by her home. Bertolino said the next one happened on September 6, during the family's camping trip to Fort De Soto in Pinellas County.
"Law enforcement agencies are well aware of these dates," the lawyer told News13's sister station, 8 On Your Side.
Cassie Laundrie has said in a televised interview on September 17 that she had not spoken to her brother since he returned to Florida.
"I haven't been able to talk to him. I wish I could talk to him... I've cooperated in every way that I can. I wish I had information or I would give more," Brian Laundrie's sister noted.
To clear up any confusion, Bertolino said that Cassie simply misinterpreted the question.
Gabby Petito disappeared on a cross-country road trip with Brian Laundrie. The couple was traveling to Oregon when the YouTuber stopped communicating with her family in Wyoming in late August.
Brian Laundrie was named a person of interest by North Port police after returning home on September 1 or 10 days before Gabby Petito was reported missing by her family.
On September 19, Petito's body was found at the Spread Creek Dispersed Campground near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
The FBI has already issued a federal arrest warrant for Brian Laundrie over debit card fraud. Gabby Petito's fiance remained on the loose as of Friday.
This article is owned by Latin Post
Written by: Joshua Summers
WATCH: Domestic Violence Expert Analyzes New Video of Gabby Petito With Moab Police - From FOX 13 Tampa Bay
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