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Utah law enforcement experts believe finding Gabby Petito will be 'extremely difficult' without boyfriend's help

Posted at 9:11 PM, Sep 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-17 08:23:47-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Finding Gabby Petito without fiancé Brian Laundrie’s cooperation will be extremely difficult according to law enforcement experts in Utah.

Gabby wasn’t reported missing until two weeks after the 22-year-old was last seen in Salt Lake City. The man who might know where she is, isn’t talking.

“Let’s just be clear. He looks guilty as hell,” said former Salt Lake Co. Sheriff and Moab Police Chief Jim Winder.

Read - Moab police body cam video shows Petito upset during fight with boyfriend before she disappeared

While Brian Laundrie is within his legal rights to stay quiet, Winder tells FOX 13 it is detrimental to the investigation.

“This situation where Mr. Laundrie is essentially clammed up poses a problem of significance for law enforcement. If he continues to take the path that he does, they are going to be in a real tough position,” said Winder.

“It’s good advice. But again, depending which side you’re on, it’s frustrating,” said retired Unified Police deputy chief Chris Bertram.

With Brian refusing to talk, physical evidence becomes critical. Winder believes investigators are heavily focused on the digital footprint the couple left behind, especially cell phones.

Read - Gabby Petitio's family release emotional open letter to Laundrie's parents begging for information

“Until there is some physical evidence, to point in that direction, this thing can linger for a long time,” Winder said.

As the case generates national attention, Bertram believes the spotlight is helping investigators make up for lost time.

“I think people who were in the area, in the Tetons from say the 25th to the 30th, they are going to go back and search their minds, search their videos and they will be looking at their pictures to see if there is anything there that helps them,” said Bertram.

The FBI said no piece of information is too small or inconsequential. They’re asking anyone with pictures, video or information about Gabby to let them know.

Authorities are asking anyone with information about the case to contact the FBI's tip line at 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324).