The boyfriend of a missing woman, 22, who seemingly vanished last month during the couple’s cross-country van trip has been accused by police of "hindering the investigation" into her disappearance.
Gabby Petito, from Florida, was travelling the US in a converted 2012 Ford camper van with her partner of more than two years, Brian Laundrie, when she disappeared in late August.
She was last seen on August 24 checking out of a hotel with Mr Laundrie in Salt Lake City, Utah, her family told ABC News.
The pair had started a YouTube channel called "Nomadic Statik" to showcase their summer road trip.
Mr Laundrie has since returned to the couple’s home in North Port, Florida with the van but without his girlfriend.
North Port police, who have seized the vehicle, said earlier this week that they had tried to speak to Mr Laundrie but were blocked from doing so by his parents.
"We talked with his parents, who did not make him available," North Port police spokesman told the publication.
On Wednesday (local time), North Port police revealed Mr Laundrie is a person of interest regarding Ms Petito’s disappearance but that there is no evidence yet that a crime has been committed.
"As a father, I can imagine the pain and suffering Gabby’s family is going through. We are pleading with anyone, including Brian, to share information with us on her whereabouts in the past few weeks," North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison said at a press conference.
"The lack of information from Brian is hindering this investigation. The answers will eventually come out. We will help find Gabby and we will help find anyone who may be involved in her disappearance."
Officers said Mr Laundrie returned to the couple's home on September 1 — 10 days before Ms Petito’s family reported her missing in their home state of New York on Saturday (local time).
Mr Laundrie and his family broke their silence on Tuesday in a statement to ABC News released by their attorney.
"This is understandably an extremely difficult time for both the Petito family and the Laundrie family," the statement said.
"It is our understanding that a search has been organised for Miss Petito in or near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.”
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