Gabby Petito’s parents say they want Brian Laundrie ‘in a jail cell for the rest of his life’

‘I want to look him in the eyes,’ says mother Nichole Schmidt

Bevan Hurley
In New York
Wednesday 06 October 2021 21:33
'Turn yourself in': Gabby Petito's parents call for Brian Laundrie to come forward
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Gabby Petito’s parents say they want Brian Laundrie found alive so he can spend the rest of his life locked away in a “concrete cell”.

The Petito family is convinced Mr Laundrie is still alive and labelled him a “coward” for not turning himself into authorities.

In part two of their interview with Dr Phil, which aired on CBS on Wednesday afternoon, Ms Petito’s mother Nichole Schmidt said she wanted to confront the missing 23-year-old.

“I want to look him in the eyes.”

Ms Petito’s father Joseph Petito added: “I just hope he’s found, alive.

“I want to see him in a jail cell for the rest of his life. He is an outdoorsman. Being in that concrete cell where he can’t go and... see those trees and smell the fresh air like that.”

Ms Petito’s parents, along with her stepmother Tara Petito and stepfather Jim Schmidt sat down with Dr Phil for their first joint interview which aired over two days.

They shared cherished memories of Ms Petito, and told how her death had brought closer together as a family.

“Gabby always wanted us to live in the same house together,” Ms Schmidt said.

All four parents said they had seen numerous signs of Ms Petito’s presence still being with them.

Jim Schmidt, who joined the search for Ms Petito in Wyoming, shared new details of the location in the Bridger-Teton National Forest where she her remains found.

He said there were clear signs a tent had been pitched and a fire lit beside the makeshift grave where her remains were located.

The site was about a five minute walk from where the couple’s van had been spotted by a YouTuber on around 27 August.

A cross laid by Jim Schmidt at the site where Ms Petito was found

Mr Schmidt made a cross from stones and laid flowers at the site.

“The hardest thing was, once they found her, not being able to take her home right away,” Mr Schmidt told Dr Phil.

“I understand there are reasons... but we needed to mourn. I wanted to bring her home.”

The family again expressed their determination to help other families be reunited with missing loved ones, and announced they were making an undisclosed donation to the Teton County Search and Rescue team who helped to find Ms Petito.

Mr Petito said the family had “asked for” the intense public interest that accompanied his daughter’s disappearance, and thanked members of the public for their help in finding her.

He added that the #GabbyPetito hashtag had received a billion views on social media, and told families posting updates about their missing loved ones cases to use the hashtag to draw attention.

“If you gotta tag Gabby Petito to bring that story to the top, do it. Then let me know,” Mr Petito said.