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NORTH PORT, Fla. (WFLA) — An attorney for the family of Brian Laundrie tells 8 On Your Side the sister of the now-missing 23-year-old did see him after he returned to Florida alone from his cross-country trip with fiancée Gabby Petito.
Laundrie returned to North Port in the van he and Petito had been traveling in on Sept. 1, according to law enforcement. Attorney Steve Bertolino says Brian’s sister, Cassie Laundrie, saw him twice after his return – including on the family’s camping trip to Fort De Soto in Pinellas County.
“Cassie saw her brother Brian on September 1 when he stopped by her home and again on September 6 at Fort De Soto Park,” Bertolino said in a text. “Law enforcement agencies are well aware of these dates.”
8 On Your Side confirmed through public records requests that the Laundrie family checked into a campground at Fort De Soto on Sept. 6. Bertolino previously confirmed the family camped from Sept. 6 to Sept. 7, at which time he says, “they all left the park.”
Brian Laundrie’s fiancé Gabby Petito was officially reported missing by family members on Sept. 11. While Brian and his parents stayed quiet throughout the search for the 22-year-old, as well as after her body was found in Wyoming, Cassie Laundrie did speak to a news outlet.
On Sept. 17, two days before Petito’s body was found in Wyoming, ABC’s Good Morning America aired an exclusive interview with Cassie Laundrie, who said she and her family wanted Petito to be found safe.
“I haven’t been able to talk to him. I wish I could talk to him,” she said in the interview. “I’ve cooperated in every way that I can. I wish I had information or I would give more.”
In his text to 8 On Your Side, Bertolino blames misinterpretation for what was said in the interview.
“Any prior communication by Cassie that does not reflect these dates is simply a difference of relating an answer to a question misinterpreted by Cassie or poorly posed by the inquirer,” he said.
Later on Sept. 17, Laundrie was reported missing by his parents, who said they had not seen him since Sept. 14 when he left to go for a hike in the Carlton Reserve. Law enforcement has been searching for him ever since.
This is a developing story, please check back for updates.