The sister of Brian Laundrie has said she is unsure whether her parents helped him hide from US authorities.
Cassie Laundrie made the comment on Monday night while speaking to protesters who had congregated outside her Florida home.
Her younger brother Brian has been on the run for almost a month, vanishing shortly before he was named by police on 15 September as a “person of interest” in the disappearance of his girlfriend, Gabby Petito, with whom he had been travelling around the country.
The 22-year-old’s remains were found in a national park in Wyoming four days later, with her death being treated as a homicide.
In video footage obtained by TMZ, Ms Laundrie can be heard telling protesters on Monday: “We are just as upset, frustrated and heartbroken as everyone else.”
In a separate clip published by NewsNation, she added that she could not rule out the possibility that Brian had murdered his girlfriend and that her parents had aided his escape.
“I don’t know,” she said in answer to accusations made by those gathered outside her home.
Ms Laundrie is the only family member to have given an interview with the press, telling ABC News on 17 September that she had last seen her brother at her home on 1 September, after he returned to Florida alone.
However, the family attorney Steve Bertolino threw doubt on this last week by suggesting that Ms Laundrie also saw her brother on 6 September at Fort De Soto Park campsite in Pinellas County.
It is thought that the 23-year-old left his parents’ house on 14 September to go for a hike in Carlton Reserve, a 25,000-acre park in Sarasota County, Florida.
If he is caught, it is “extremely likely” that he will face criminal charges, a state attorney for Palm Beach County in Florida has claimed.
Defending his office’s decision not to file charges against Mr Laundrie, David Aronberg said that “prosecutors have a higher burden to prove cases beyond any reasonable doubt”.
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