Almost 2 weeks after Gabby Petito was reported missing, police have finally issued a warrant for Brian Laundrie's arrest.
However, the warrant appears to be totally unrelated to Petito's death...
It seems as though Laundrie isn't just a person of interest in the homicide...
Have a look for yourselves.
It was September 11th when influencer, Gabby Petito, was reported missing to police by her mother.
Petito had not been in touch with her family since late August when she and her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, were in Wyoming.
Laundrie returned to Florida on September 1st, without Petito.
He's been named as a person of interest in the case by the authorities.
The pair had been documenting their travels on social media.
But, Petito had not shared a post to her Instagram account for 3 weeks.
North Port police chief, Todd Garrison, issued a statement when the search for her whereabouts began.
"We are pleading with anyone, including Brian, to share information with us on her whereabouts in the past few weeks," said Garrison, as per the BBC. "The lack of information from Brian is hindering this investigation. The answers will eventually come out."
The van the pair has been sharing was seized and searched for clues.
"Brian is also refusing to explain why he left Gabby all alone and drove her van to Florida. These are critical questions that require immediate answers," the Petito family said in a statement.
Throughout the search for Petito, the Laundrie family has largely remained very quiet in regards to her disappearance.
However, Laundrie's sister, Cassie Laundrie, did open up in an exclusive interview with GMA where she insisted that she and her family "want Gabby to be found safe," ABC7 NY reported.
"Obviously me and my family want Gabby to be found safe," Laundrie said.
"She's like a sister and my children love her, and all I want is for her to come home safe and found and this to be just a big misunderstanding."
Despite the pleas for information and days of looking, the search for Petito was largely unsuccessful...
Until Sunday 19th, that is.
On Sunday, human remains were discovered by authorities searching the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
In a news conference, FBI officials said that the remains were "consistent with the description of" Petito, CNN reports.
Charles Jones, an FBI agent based in Denver, said at the time: "Earlier today, human remains were discovered, consistent with the description of Gabrielle 'Gabby' Petito."
The discovery shocked people across the world.
But, what was just as shocking, is the power of the internet.
The human remains found by crews were discovered near where YouTubers filmed Petito's van prior to her disappearance.
Jenn and Kyle Bethune, known as "Red White & Bethune" on YouTube, spotted Petito's van in their video after they reviewed their footage in light of her disappearance.
The internet is unbelievable. A YouTuber spotted Gabby Petito & Brian Laundrie’s van in Wyoming while editing foota… https://t.co/0tJS5RFoBU— Jon Marr (@Jon Marr) 1632094134.0
The footage, captured on August 27th, shows a white van parked up at the side of the road in Grand Teton National Park's Spread Creek Dispersed camping area, Insider reports.
This location is near to where the FBI announced that human remains had been found that matched Petito's description.
In the footage uploaded to their YouTube channel, the Bethune's wrote:
"We were editing our Sunday video, tonight and we were looking at footage from on August 27th, 2021 around 6:00 pm to 6:30 pm in Spread Creek Dispersed Camping. We had passed by a white van with Florida Plates. We noticed it because we are originally from Florida and wanted to stop and say hi. When we passed the van, all the lights were off and it didn't look like anyone was there. We ended up leaving because we couldn't find a spot."
Speaking with Insider, Bethune explained that the camera, in their own van, had accidentally been left recording by her husband when it filmed Petito's van.
Once they spotted it and realized that it could be helpful in the search for Petito, they gave it to the FBI who later located the remains in the area.
Although progress into Petito's disappearance has been made over the past few days, many think that police should have done more for the case and sooner...
Particularly when it comes to Laundrie.
Why was he not held in prison u til she was found? Because he is white? Family gave him enough time to go hiding. Three days to travel to go out of country may be.— Sultry (@Sultry6150) September 18, 2021
Officers are being criticized for allowing Laundrie to disappear before he was questioned about the investigation into Petito's whereabouts.
Laundrie disappeared last week after investigators had spent days asking for him and his attorney to co-operate with them. It was only during a visit to the Laundrie family home that authorities learned that Laundrie had been missing for 3 days.
Officers' failure to interrogate Laundrie hasn't only been slammed by people online...
It has also been criticized by experts and former detectives.
Ed Gavin, an expert in missing person cases and former acting chief of the New York City Administration for Children's Services, told the New York Post that Laundrie should have been "under surveillance."
"They should've immediately placed him under surveillance," Gavin said. "Immediately."
"They should've been all over him. The fact that they let him out of their sight, that's a no-no. Time is of the essence with these investigations."
While Pat Diaz, a former Miami-Dade homicide detective, spoke with Fox News and explained that investigators should have obtained a warrant.
"Why would you get consent from the guy, and not get a search warrant?" Diaz said. "You can get a search warrant for everything in that house, including his laptop."
They added that examining Laundrie's device would have helped to provide police investigating the case with significant clues.
But police aren't just being called out for their handling of the case...
Gabby Petito’s life might have had an incredibly different ending if the police officers who pulled them over on August 12th were at all familiar with what domestic violence actually looks like. 💔— Jessica Ciencin Henriquez (@TheWriterJess) September 19, 2021
People are also questioning why they didn't take further action on a 911 call of a "possible domestic violence" incident between Petito and Laundrie that happened a month before her disappearance.
Police officers released bodycam footage of Petito and Laundrie after they followed up on a 911 call made by a witness in Utah.
In the call on September 12th, the man claims to have seen Laundrie hit Petito before getting into his van and driving off.
Police arrived at the scene of the domestic incident report shortly after the call was made...
And the released footage shows officers talking to Petito and Laundrie on the side of the road showing Petito visibly distressed.
The hour-long bodycam footage has since been watched by thousands...
It shows officers' interaction with the couple when they pulled over their white van outside Arches National Park in Moab.
The footage, obtained by ABC7, shows the officer separate the couple and begin to question them about what led to the 911 call.
During her conversation with the officer, Petito can be heard saying: "I have really bad OCD. I was apologizing to him saying I'm sorry I'm so mean.
"We've been fighting all morning. He wouldn't let me in the car before... He told me I needed to calm down."
The officer then sat Petito in the back of his patrol car before moving to talk to Laundrie.
Speaking with the officer, Laundrie said: "She just gets worked up sometimes, I try to distance myself from her. I locked the car.
"I said, 'Let's just take a breather.' She had her phone. I was trying to push her away to say, 'Let's just take a step back,'" he said while adding that Petito hit him with her phone.
As per ABC7, the incident was reportedly categorized by police as a "mental/emotional health break" rather than a domestic assault.
The couple reportedly agreed to spend the night separately instead of charges being filed with the police helping Laundrie to sort a hotel room while Petito remained with the van.
From the footage, it might appear that Petito was the initiator of the violence...
However, the 911 call, that has been released to the public, says otherwise.
As per the call obtained by CBS, the caller can be heard telling police...
#GABBYPETITO— Author Josie Garrett (@AuthorJGarrett) September 19, 2021
It concerns me that 2 police departments were called because of reports of an altercation between Brian and Gabby and then did nothing to help her. Often, the victim of domestic abuse looks crazed and out of control while the abuser remains calm and "normal".
"I'm right in the corner of Main Street by Moonflower and we are driving and I'd like to report a domestic dispute. Florida with a white van - Florida license plate, white van," The man says before police ask him for the details.
"They just drove off. They're going towards Main Street. They made a right onto Main Street from Moonflower. We drove by him, a gentleman was slapping the girl," the caller says.
"'He was slapping her?" the officer inquires.
"Yes. And then we stopped. They ran down and up the sidewalk. He proceeded to hit her, hopped in the car and they drove off."
He then goes into detail about the van and where exactly the incident took place.
You can listen to the audio for yourself below...
Then, just weeks after the incident, Gabby Petito's mom received a message from her daughter's phone.
She admitted that the abrupt text was what ignited her concern for her daughter.
As Schmidt does not believe this text was actually written by Petito. "The van was in Florida on the 1st [of September]. I think I can do the math," she explained to the New York Post.
Schmidt however, refused to comment on who she did believe had sent the message.
The text sent on August 30th read: "No service in Yosemite," which Nicole Schmidt feels was very unlike her daughter.
The text came just 1 day after her final Instagram post was shared to her account.
Then Laundrie arrived back home without Petito 4 days later, setting off more alarm bells.
Another cryptic message, which was found on a hard drive in the couple's van, has been released thanks to a newly surfaced warrant.
According to the warrant, this was the last text Schmidt received from her daughter.
The warrant declares...
"The text message read, 'Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls.'" It continues: "The reference to 'Stan,' was regarding her grandfather, but per the mother, she never calls him 'Stan.' The mother was concerned that something was wrong with her daughter."
It seems that those investigating Petito's case feel the hard drive could contain essential evidence into the events that lead to her death...
Something that we're all hoping for, for the sake of Petito's family and friends.
An autopsy has now been carried out on the body found in Wyoming on Sunday.
And it has been confirmed that that body belonged to twenty-two-year-old Gabby Petito.
It has also been confirmed that her cause of death was homicide.
And many people following the case believe her death was at the hands of Laundrie.
Despite this, police and FBI have failed to put any type of surveillance in place to monitor him in the weeks after Petito was reported missing...
Which has resulted in Laundrie being able to escape law enforcement.
Now, almost 2 weeks after Petito was reported missing by her mother, police have issued a warrant for Laundrie.
The ground search in the Carlton has been halted for the day. Nothing found. We will be back at it Friday.— North Port Police (@NorthPortPolice) September 23, 2021
A federal arrest warrant has now been issued for Brian Laundrie. Please see @FBIDenver for details. pic.twitter.com/Q0uHTYrzA9
The warrant was issued on Wednesday, according to a Tweet posted by FBI Denver.
"On September 22, 2021, the U.S. District Court of Wyoming issued a federal arrest warrant for Brian Christopher Laundrie pursuant to a Federal Grand Jury indictment related to Mr Laundrie's activities following the death of Gabrielle Petito."
The post continued, highlighting that the FBI still hasn't confirmed it was Laundrie who killed Petito, but he is a person of interest in the case...
On September 22, 2021, the U.S. District Court of Wyoming issued a federal arrest warrant for Brian Christopher Laundrie pursuant to a Federal Grand Jury indictment related to Mr. Laundrie’s activities following the death of Gabrielle Petito. pic.twitter.com/SSrBVbAeBs— FBI Denver (@FBIDenver) September 23, 2021
"While this warrant allows law enforcement to arrest Mr Laundrie, the FBI and our partners across the country continue to investigate the facts and circumstances of Ms Petito's homicide. We urge individuals with knowledge of Mr Laundrie's role in this matter or his current whereabouts to contact the FBI," Special Agent Michael Schneider said.
However, it seems the warrant issued for Laundrie wasn't entirely due to Petito's case...
The lawyer for the #Laundrie family tells me —— Shannon Clowe (@ShannonCwtsp) September 23, 2021
“It is my understanding that the arrest warrant for Brian Laundrie is related to activities occurring after the death of Gabby Petito and not related to her actual demise…” (cont. below)#gabbypettito #justiceforgabbypetito pic.twitter.com/7ntKQDQpYi
As Laundrie's lawyer, Steven Bertolino, told reporter, Shannon Clowe: "It is my understanding that the arrest warrant for Brian Laundrie is related to activities occurring after the death of Gabby Petito and not related to her actual demise."
The attorney added: "The FBI is focusing on locating Brian and when that occurs the specifics of the charges covered under the indictment will be addressed in the proper forum."
As per the warrant, it seems that Laundrie has actually been charged with fraud, between August 30th to September 1st...
BREAKING: Arrest warrant issued for Brian Laundrie.— Cristian Benavides (@cbenavidesTV) September 23, 2021
FBI also adds he used a Capitol One debit card with ‘intent to defraud’ between Aug 30 and Sept 1 in Wyoming@nbc6 #GabbyPepito pic.twitter.com/ucY7rLIVLv
Cashing out over 1 thousand dollars on someone else's debit card. Very suspicious.
This is a developing story and will be updated accordingly...