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Police explore ‘creepy guy,’ hikers murders, with missing 22-yr-old; boyfriend’s family goes public

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The family of 22-year-old Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito, the 22-year-old woman whose recent, high-profile disappearance has captivated the nation, isn’t remotely impressed by the alleged “love” from her fiance’s family.

Speaking on “Good Morning America” this Thursday, Cassie Laundrie, the sister of fiance Brian Laundrie, said that they love Petito and just want her home.

“Obviously me and my family want Gabby to be found safe. She’s like a sister and my children love her, and all I want is for her to come home safe and sound and this to be just a big misunderstanding,” she said.

Listen from the 2:20 mark below:


(Video: ABC News)

Petito’s father, Joe Petito, was essentially disgusted by the so-called “love.”

“If that’s that family’s version of love, to just ignore and not care that someone’s gone, and people are looking for them and entire country’s looking for them, I mean, that explains how we got to where we are today. Because I mean, look at their version of what they call love,” he told NewsNation.

During an appearance Thursday morning on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends,” he angrily added that instead of doing nothing, Laundrie, aka Mr. Love, should be leading the search for Petito.

“I have to be out there to help her, because the one person who is supposed to be leading the charge is sitting at home in his La-Z-Boy not talking to anybody,” he said.

Listen:

(Video: Fox News)

His cynicism and sarcasm makes sense once you examine the evidence and factor in the growing suspicion that this case could be linked to the double-murder last month of two newlyweds.

Petito disappeared near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming earlier this month, prompting her family to report her missing on Sept. 11th. Newlyweds Kylen Schulte, 24, and Crystal Turner, 38, were found dead in the La Sal Mountains in Utah last month.

Authorities in North Port, Florida, where Petito and Laundrie had lived together before they left in early July for a 4-month-long road trip, have been “comparing notes” with the authorities in Utah, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

The lone connection between both cases is the town of Moab, Utah, where Petito and Laundrie were spotted around Aug. 12th — and where the newlyweds were last seen on Aug. 13th before being found dead in the nearby La Sal Mountains on Aug. 18th.

“Before [Petito and Laundrie] apparently headed to Salt Lake City, they were in Moab around the time of Aug. 12, the same day Petito posted images to Instagram of herself in Arches National Park,” according to the Tribune.

“Moab police also responded to a ‘domestic problem’ that day involving the couple that was later categorized as a disorderly conduct incident. … No one was charged in relation to the incident, but an officer separated the couple for the night, driving Laundrie to a hotel and leaving Petito with the camper van so they could ‘relax their emotions,'” the Tribune reported.

The incident reportedly happened outside the Moonflower Community Cooperative.

Learn more about their police encounter below:

No arrests were made, but the couple was separated, with Laundrie spending a night at a hotel, and Petito reportedly spending it in their Ford van.

About two weeks later on Aug. 24th, both of them checked out of a hotel in Salt Lake City, roughly 230 miles northwest of Moab, and set out for Grand Teton National Park. That was reportedly the last day that Petito spoke to her mother by phone.

Her mother, Nichole Schmidt, continued receiving texts until Aug. 30th, but she now suspects that the texts weren’t written by her daughter.

“That text was NOT from Gabby! I know it!” she told the Daily Mail this week.

Indeed, only two days later, Laundrie reportedly returned to Florida in their van but completely alone. Moreover, he’s refused to cooperate with authorities and has been named a person of interest by the North Port Police Department this week.

Regarding newlyweds Schulte and Turner, prior to being found dead, they called their friends to say they were planning to move their campsite because of a ‘weirdo’ and warned that if they were later found dead, it’d probably be because of murder.

This and other astonishing details were revealed in search warrant affidavits that were filed last week, as reported by Salt Lake City news station KSL.

“Investigators were informed that Kylen had mentioned to her friends that if something happened to them, that they were murdered. Kylen had continued by saying there was a ‘creepy man’ around their camp, and they had been intimidated by him,” the warrants read.

Dovetailing back to Moab, Schulte reportedly worked at the Moonflower Community Cooperative, “the same place where a witness reported seeing a nearby argument and apparent physical altercation between Petito and her fiance,” according to the Tribune.

The question now on everybody’s mind is whether the “weirdo” was by chance Laundrie, the man who allegedly loved Petito so much that he apparently abandoned her in a national park, drove home alone and then said nothing — absolutely nothing.

(*Language warning)

“We’re looking at everything. … We’re not ruling anything out at this time,” a spokesperson for the Grand County Sheriff’s Office reportedly said in a statement Thursday.

Vivek Saxena

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