Laundrie attorney says FBI took items for DNA matching

Laundrie attorney says FBI took items for DNA matching
© Joseph Petito

The attorney representing Brian Laundrie, the missing fiancé of van life vlogger Gabby Petitio, said on Monday that the FBI had requested personal belongings of Laundrie for DNA matching.

Petitio was found dead last week in Wyoming, and Laundrie has not been seen for more than a week. His family reported him missing shoftly after Petito's remains were found.

Laundrie, 23, reportedly told his parents that he was going to the Carlton Reserve in western Florida. He left his cell phone and wallet at his parents' home.

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"The FBI requested some personal items belonging to Brian Laundrie to assist them with DNA matching and Brian's parents provided the FBI with what they could," New York attorney Steven Bertolino said, according to CNN.

FBI agents returned to Laundrie's family's home on Sunday, CNN reported. He is currently considered a person of interest in the disappearance of Petito.

Laundrie and Petito are known to have gotten into heated arguments during their cross-country trip, with police at one point separating the two and placing Laundrie in a motel room for a night after a domestic violence call had been made.

An arrest warrant for Laundrie was issued by the FBI last week for one count of “use of unauthorized access devices” for illegally using a debit card. Laundrie used a debit card belonging to Petito, 22, to buy more than $1,000 worth of items around the end of August and beginning of September.

“While this arrest warrant allows law enforcement to arrest Mr. Laundrie, the FBI and our partners across the country continue to investigate the facts and circumstances of Ms. Petito’s homicide," FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider said in a statement.

The FBI executed a search warrant at the Laundries' home last week, saying on social media, "The #FBI is executing a court-authorized search warrant today at the Laundrie residence in North Port, FL relevant to the Gabrielle ‘Gabby’ Petito investigation."

The search for Laundrie has now surpassed a week with authorities resorting to using drones and dive teams to assist. On Monday, authorities in Florida said the search for Laundrie in Carlton Reserve would be scaled back, USA Today reported.

"I don’t think you’re going to see those large-scale types of efforts this week," North Port Police spokesperson Josh Taylor told the newspaper. "Hopefully, water will lower in areas hard to currently access."

The Hill has reached out to Bertolino for further comment.