NORTH PORT, Fla. — So many questions need to be answered. Where is Gabby Petito? And will her boyfriend come forward to speak with the police?
"I think we're just pleading with him, at this point, to please speak with us," Josh Taylor, a spokesman for the North Port Police Department, said.
Taylor made the direct plea Wednesday to Brian Laundrie. He is now a person of interest in his girlfriend's disappearance. Loved ones claim they last heard from her on Aug. 25 while in Wyoming during the couple's cross-country journey.
"He needs to talk to us," Taylor said. "We need to know exactly where he was, where she was, their last location."
Laundrie is the last known person to be around Petito. Police found Petito's van at the Sarasota County home of Laundrie's parents, where he and Petito also lived.
"We definitely processed that vehicle yesterday with the FBI," Taylor said. "Certainly, there was some material that we'll be going through."
Authorities said, prior to Petito's disappearance, there was an incident in Moab, Utah, on Aug. 12.
A police report said the couple was seen arguing. The report said Laundrie told police he and Petito had issues that were building after traveling together for months. The report said Petito was slapping Laundrie, so he grabbed her face and pushed her away while trying to lock her out of the van, but she got inside.
Police found them later and said Petito was "crying uncontrollably" but told police they are in love and didn't want anyone to be charged. Police ended up getting Laundrie a hotel room so they could spend some time apart.
Petito's father, Joseph Petito, lives in Vero Beach. He said it is time for Laundrie to start talking.
"Their child is home," he said. "My child is nowhere to be found and nor are we getting, are we even able, to ask questions on how that came to be."
The Laundrie family released a statement saying, in part:
"It is our hope that the search for Miss Petito is successful and that Miss Petito is reunited with her family. On the advice of counsel, the Laundrie family is remaining in the background at this juncture."
"That is not good enough," Taylor said. "We need the details."
Police said they have no information at this time that any crime has occurred in North Port. They do say they've received hundreds of tips so far that are still being vetted.