The lawyer for the tight-lipped boyfriend of missing Long Island native Gabby Petito issued an unexpected statement Thursday evening about a possible link between her disappearance and a Utah double murder in August.
Utah cops are not “ruling out” the possibility that the shooting of a newlywed couple at a campground outside Moab could be related to Petito’s disappearance.
One of the murder victims, Kylen Schulte, 24, worked at a community cooperative where a witness saw a domestic dispute between Petito, 22, and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, 23, on Aug. 12.
“Law enforcement has to follow protocol and all leads that they get,” Laundrie’s attorney Steven Bertolino said, according to Fox News. “Whether or not these two cases deserve to be linked will be determined at some point in the future.”
Schulte and wife Crystal Turner, 38, went missing after going to a Moab bar on Aug. 13, where they complained to friends about a “creepy guy” near where they were camping, officials have said.
The couple told friends “if something happened to them, that they were murdered,” according to recently unsealed documents obtained by the Salt Lake Tribune
Schulte and Turner were found on Aug. 18 partially undressed with gunshot wounds in their backs, sides and chests, the report said.
Petito was seen weeks later in Wyoming, hundreds of miles away, but was reported missing on Sept. 11 by her mother, who hadn’t been in contact with her since Aug. 30.
Laundrie returned to the Florida home they shared in the van he shared with Petito — and has not spoken to officials about his missing girlfriend, to the outrage of the devastated Petito family.
“They’re at the point that that desperation has turned to anger,” attorney Richard Stafford said Thursday. “They know that the Laundries know where their daughter is, and they will not tell them. That’s infuriating.”
Florida cops said Thursday that there is no evidence of criminality in the case.
“Right now, this is a missing person case, alright? And our focus is to find Gabby. My focus isn’t to bring Brian in right now. It’s to find Gabby,” North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison said Thursday at a press conference attended by The Post. “Brian is exercising his constitutional right and I have to respect that.”
Police said Laundrie’s lawyer did provide some requested property, and investigators are analyzing evidence from Petito’s van, which was seized last week.
The FBI is also investigating the case.