The family of missing Long Island woman Gabby Petito on Tuesday slammed her boyfriend for stonewalling police and refusing to say where he last saw the 22-year-old — as the search for her continues.
Her family’s statement came just hours after Petito’s boyfriend, Brian Laundrie — who continues to dodge cops — broke his silence, saying through his lawyer that he would “remain in the background.”
Petito’s mother, Nicole Schmidt, and her father, Joe Petito, have both pleaded for her return.
“The Schmidt and Petito family are going through the worst moments of their lives,” according to the statement, posted on Twitter Tuesday by WNBC reporter Pei-Sze Cheng.
“Brian is refusing to tell Gabby’s family where he last saw her,” their statement said. “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 Schmidt and Petito family beg the Laundrie family to not ‘remain in the background’ but to help find who Brian referred to as the love of his life,” the statement said. “How does Brian stay in the background when he is the one person that knows where Gabby is located.”
The family added that they “implore” Laundrie “to come forward and at least tell us if we are looking in the right area.”
Laundrie and Petito, who lived together in Florida, left on the coast-to-coast trip in July and were due to wrap up the trip at a friend’s home in Portland around Halloween.
But Laundrie returned home to Florida in the 2012 Ford Transit van they were traveling in on Friday — without Petito.
He has since retained an attorney and refused to cooperate with police — who were also rebuffed by Laundrie’s parents.
North Port police are assisting Suffolk County police and the FBI in the search, which has garnered international headlines.