After returning home from their cross-country journey without Petito, Brian Laundrie, the man dubbed a “person of interest” in the disappearance of his 22-year-old girlfriend Gabby Petito, had purchased a new smartphone.
“I can confirm that a phone was purchased on Sept. 4, 2021 and Brian opened an account with AT&T for that phone. (Not a burner).” Bertolino said in a statement, according to Insider. “Brian left that phone at home the day he went for a hike in the preserve on Sept. 14, 2021 and the FBI now has that phone.”
Petito vanished while on a cross-country trip, and her parents in Long Island, New York, reported her missing on Sept. 11 after not hearing from her for two weeks. Her body was located in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest on Sept. 21, according to authorities.
Laundrie declined to speak to the police about the case when he returned home.
After returning home, Laundrie and his parents spent Sept. 6–8 camping at Florida’s Fort De Soto Park. Petito’s family reported her missing on Sept. 11, a few days later.
Petito’s body was discovered in Wyoming not long after Laundrie’s parents said he disappeared for a trek in a Florida nature reserve and never returned. Her death was ruled a homicide in an original coroner’s report.
ABC News reported, the search for Laundrie, 23, has focused on North Port, Florida.
The search for Laundrie is the latest development in a case that has sparked widespread interest. He and Petito had been traveling throughout the country since June, recording their journey on social media.