The Petito and Schmidt families got down with Fox News’s Laura Ingle for an exclusive interview to express their frustrations with the ongoing manhunt for Laundrie and their hopes for answers.
Petito’s mother Nichole Schmidt told Fox News senior correspondent Laura Ingle that she believes Laundrie “knows everything” about her daughter’s death and asked him to surrender to authorities.
Petito’s family wants Laundrie found alive so he can provide the missing answers about the death of their 22-year-old daughter.
“Just turn yourself in,” the mother of the 22-year-old deceased YouTuber said, according to Fox News. “It’s just getting more and more frustrating as days go on. I don’t know what’s taking so long.”
“He’s our missing piece to the puzzle to find out what happened,” Petito’s stepfather Jim Schmidt said. “What happened out there? Until they find him, we won’t know.”
During the interview, Petito’s stepfather, Jim Schmidt, said that Gabby and Brian were almost married in Florida but postponed the ceremony due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“They kind of put it on hold,” Jim said.
The pair decided to focus on their cross-country road trip after their wedding was postponed, and Petito never returned. Then, on Sept. 1, Laundrie, 23, returned to his Florida house alone.
“I instinctively knew that my daughter was not here anymore,” Nicole added.
Petito’s father believes Laundrie is still alive and surviving off the land, but he has “no idea” where he is or even if he is in the United States.
Petito’s body was discovered on Sept. 19 in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest, just five days after his parents say he left their home to go hiking at the neighboring T. Mabry Carlton Jr. Memorial Reserve. Petito’s body was initially autopsied, and the cause of death was judged to be “homicide,” IBTimes reported.
Laundrie has been missing since Sept. 14. Authorities, on the other hand, have received numerous accounts of his sightings. The most recent incident occurred on Sept. 2, when a 911 caller claimed to have seen Laundrie about 2.30 a.m. near the Appalachian Trail.
“There is no doubt in my mind I spoke to Brian Laundrie—none whatsoever,” Dennis Davis, the witness, told the 911 dispatcher. “He was talking wild. He said that his girlfriend left him, and he had to go out to California to see her.”
Brian’s father, Chris Laundrie, has since joined officials searching for his son at the Carlton Reserve.