Christopher and Roberta Laundrie are the parents of Brian Laundrie, a Florida man who is a person of interest in the disappearance and death of his 22-year-old fiancée Gabby Petito, who was reported missing in September 2021. Christopher and Roberta Laundrie were accused by John Walsh, the former host of “America’s Most Wanted,” of possibly attempting to buy time for their son to escape the reach of law enforcement. But investigators have not released any evidence that the parents were involved in a coverup.
As of September 22, the FBI and police were searching for 23-year-old Brian Laundrie. The New York Post reported that on Saturday, October 16, 2021, Christopher Laundrie emerged from his Florida home to rip down a sign protesters placed in their yard. Adjacent to a large photo of Petito was a florescent yellow sign that said, “What if this happened to Cassie?” the Post reported. Cassie Laundrie is Christopher and Roberta Laundrie’s oldest child.
Petito was reported missing 10 days after Laundrie returned home alone from a cross-country trip. Her body was found Sunday, September 19, 2021, in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Laundrie’s parents have not been charged related to the case.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Walsh Questioned Whether Laundrie Was Really at His Parents’ House When Police Came to Question Him
Brian Laundrie returned to his family’s home in Florida — where Petito also lived — on September 1, two months after leaving on the cross-country road trip, and “has not made himself available to be interviewed by investigators” since she was reported missing 10 days later, according to authorities.
Walsh spoke to CNN Tuesday, September 21, 2021, and questioned whether Laundrie was really at his parents’ home in Florida when police showed up on September 11 to ask him about Petito’s disappearance. Nearly a week later, on September 17, Laundrie’s parents reported him missing, saying they had last seen him on September 14 when he left for a hike at the Carlton Reserve, North Port police shared on Facebook.
“Has anybody seen any confirmation that he was in that house?” Walsh said on CNN.
“All this time, the FBI and the North Port police have been going on the word” of Laundrie’s parents and their attorney “that he’s in the house,” he added.
He said that the tip Laundrie was missing in the nature preserve may have been a “red herring” and a “ruse” to allow Laundrie time to escape.
2. The Laundrie Home in North Port Has Become a ‘Media Circus’ Following FBI Raid
The Daily Mail, which reported on Christopher Laundrie leaving the house to buy milk, described the North Port, Florida, family home as “somewhat of a media circus.” The Daily Mail detailed Christopher Laundrie’s first departure from his house, saying he left at 3 p.m. Tuesday, September 21, 2021, in his Dodge Ram wearing a black shirt and khaki shorts, then returned with a half-gallon of milk 20 minutes later.
The article said he declined to answer any questions about his son.
The FBI executed a search warrant at the house and Laundrie’s silver Ford Mustang convertible on Tuesday, September 21, 2021, days after Brian Laundrie was reported missing, according to the Daily Mail.
The outlet reported on the raid from the scene, writing:
The renewed search follows the Laundrie’s home being busted by around 25 law enforcement officers Monday, the majority FBI agents wearing bullet-proof vests and wielding drawn weapons.
Dailymail.com was up close to the action, just feet away as the FBI swooped on the single-story house – with shouts of ‘search warrant, search warrant’ clearly heard and the area declared a crime scene.
An FBI team in tactical gear – carrying a battering ram, a blast shield and with weapons drawn – lined up along the wall close to the front door.
Seconds later other agents swiftly led Laundrie’s parents Christopher Laundrie, 62, and wife Roberta, 55, out of the home and into a waiting black Dodge Caravan minivan.
The FBI team outside then swarmed into the house, followed by other agents, some wielding rifles while other agents checked outside areas.
At one point, it appeared they might be looking for Laundrie. Five agents – one with a blast shield – surrounded a lid-topped storage before the lid was carefully lifted and an agent deliberately pointed his pistol down inside.
After 10 minutes the Laundries were allowed back in their home, looking solemn and with their heads down. They were not handcuffed.
3. Laundrie’s Parents Run a Business, Juicer Services, From Their Florida Home
Public records show that Christopher and Roberta Laundrie have been running their own business, Juicer Services, for more than four years. Roberta Marie Laundrie is listed as the registered agent of the company in Florida’s company registry, while the New York company registry lists Christopher Laundrie as the CEO of the company, which “sells and services commercial juicing equipment,” Fox News reported.
“The couple runs the company out of their home, which is a 10,000-square-foot property. The dates would indicate that the Laundries likely moved to Florida in 2017 as part of their business plan for their company,” Fox News reported.
A website with a URL that matches the company’s name has been suspended.
“Juicer Services specializes in the sales and service of juicing equipment – wheatgrass juicers, orange juicers, and vegetable juicing equipment,” the website said.
4. Brian Laundrie’s Parents Also Have a Daughter, Cassandra ‘Cassie’ Laundrie
Brian Laundrie’s sister, Cassandra Laundrie, 32, spoke to “Good Morning America” Friday, September 17, when the search for Petito was ongoing. Cassie Laundrie said Petito was “like a sister” and that her children loved her.
“All I want for her is just to come home safe and sound, and for this to just be a big misunderstanding,” Cassie Laundrie told GMA.
She said that she was cooperating with the investigation and that she wished she had more information to give authorities.
“Whenever they fight they’d take a little break and come back and be fine, because that’s what you do in a couple,” she said.
5. Christopher & Roberta Laundrie Released a Statement After Petito’s Body Was Found
Steven Bertolino, the attorney for Christopher and Roberta Laundrie, released a brief statement after a body matching Petito’s description was found, according to Fox News.
“The news about Gabby Petito is heartbreaking. The Laundrie family prays for Gabby and her family,” the statement said.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis directed all state agencies to assist in the search for Laundrie on Tuesday, September 21, he wrote in a statement on Twitter.
“I have directed all state agencies under my purview to continue to assist federal & local law enforcement as they continue to search – we need justice for Gabby Petito,” DeSantis wrote.