Gabby Petito’s parents are demanding Brian Laundrie turn himself in and insist he’s hiding somewhere living off the land — as they slammed him for being a “coward” for refusing to speak to them about their daughter.
In an interview with Dr Phil set to air in full Tuesday, the slain 22-year-old’s parents and stepparents said Laundrie’s unwillingness to cooperate with authorities and his subsequent disappearance was “infuriating.”
When asked if they believe Laundrie is in hiding somewhere, Petitio’s parents were adamant he was.
They said they didn’t believe that Laundrie was so distraught about their daughter’s disappearance that he would have killed himself.
“He’s a coward,” her father Joe Petito said in a preview clip.
Her mom, Nichole Schmidt, added it was possible he was living off the land somewhere because “I believe he bragged about that stuff, that he was good at that stuff.”
Asked if he had any words for Laundrie, Petito’s stepfather Jim Schmidt said: “Turn yourself in.”
He added: “You’re only making it worse. For us and for himself. Let us have some closure.”
Petito’s parents also slammed Laundrie’s parents over their handling of their daughter’s case and their own son’s disappearance.
They said they repeatedly called and texted Laundrie’s parents, Chris and Roberta, before reporting their daughter missing but received no response.
Petito’s parents said they initially believed they were both missing – until police told them Laundrie had returned to Florida in the van they’d been traveling in.
“One of the texts was ‘I’m going to call the police, so let me know.’ No response. A normal parent, when you text someone that they’re going to call the cops because you can’t find your child, they would reply,” Joe Petito said.
“We thought they were both missing at that point in time when we were calling them.”
Schmidt added: “We didn’t know the van was in Florida when we contacted (them). I was worried about both of them.
“The night of the 11th when I reported her missing, a detective came to my door and let me know the van was in Florida.”
When asked if that’s when she knew it was bad news, Schmidt responded: “Yes.”
“As a mom, I knew she was gone,” Schmidt said in one part of the interview when talking about Petito’s remains being found.
“We knew it was Gabby — even though we were hoping it wasn’t. It was the hardest thing I’ve listened to.”