Some parents say in a new interview that they trusted their daughter’s fiancé Brian to protect her on the couple’s road trip across America. They did not want him to return home without their daughter and hire an attorney.
Talking to 60 Minutes Australia, Petito’s mom, Nicole Schmidt, admitted that she had concerns about her daughter before the couple went on their adventure.
“I felt secure because she was with Brian,” he added. He believed Brian would look after her. The first few days of the missing person case, the investigators tried to speak with Laundrie and his parents. They were directed to the family’s lawyer, who told them that they could not talk.
Schmidt suspects Laundrie’s parents might know where she went. Schmidt says that silence can speak volumes. She said, “I think they know probably everything.” When I ask them about what they are doing, I want to be there. This week, the coroner said that Petito was strangled 3-4 weeks ago. He thinks she died in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park.
Laundrie, 23, was last seen the day before when he left his parents’ home in North Port. He said he would go for a hike at Carlton Reserve, which is 25,000 acres.
He is a fugitive. He took money from someone’s bank card, and the police wanted to arrest him for it. They think he might know something about Ms. Petito’s death, but they are not sure yet. People have looked for him, but they don’t know where he is so far.
Petito is from Long Island, New York. She went on a trip in July with her friend Laundrie driving from Florida to New York in her white van. They plan to start a blog about their new lifestyle of “vandwelling.” Want to keep up with what happens? Sign up for PEOPLE’s free True Crime newsletter. They will send you information about crimes.
The couple’s travel seemed to be going well until late August, when the mom couldn’t hear from her daughter while she was staying in Grand Teton National Park. Schmidt and Laundrie were friends. They last talked more than two weeks ago. Schmidt learned that Laundrie went back to his parent’s house in Florida without Petito.
Schmidt said that she had supported Petito’s decision to travel with Laundrie, who was always polite. Petito’s father Joe had seen no red flags with Laundrie before he disappeared. Schmidt wants Laundrie to face justice. Jim Schmidt is Petito’s stepfather, and he told 60 Minutes Australia that he wants to take revenge on the person who took her.