- Florida police investigating the disappearance of Gabby Petito released a video interview with her dad.
- In it, Joe Petito is asked about the case, including what he thinks of his missing daughter’s fiancé.
- The department told Insider the video was sent to the media to “provide you content.”
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The Florida police department leading the investigation into the mysterious disappearance of Gabby Petito released a video interview with her dad on Friday in order to “provide you content,” a spokesman for the department told Insider.
Petito’s father, Joe Petito, appeared in the roughly nine-minute video answering a series of questions about the case from North Port Police Department public information officer Josh Taylor.
In the YouTube video, filmed in a parking lot near the police department, Taylor asks Petito several questions, including “what do you think” of Brian Laundrie, his daughter’s fiancé who has refused to speak with authorities after returning home from the pair’s cross-country road trip alone.
The interviewer also asked Petito about who Gabby is as a person, and a question about how “odd” is it for Gabby to not communicate with her family.
During the interview, Gabby’s father suggested that Laundrie has committed a crime in the case of his daughter’s disappearance and blasted the man’s family as “cruel” and “heartless” for remaining silent.
“You don’t do your Fifth Amendment until you’re trying to hide a crime where you don’t want to incriminate yourself or someone else,” Petito said in the clip in reference to Laundrie. “That’s the only reason you invoke the Fifth unless someone tells me otherwise. But I’m an emotional dad in an emotional situation and that’s how I am seeing it at this moment.”
“Right now if you’re innocent, that’s the wrong tactic to take,” he added.
Taylor can be heard in the video responding with a sigh, saying, “What a nightmare.”
Petito called on friends and family of the Laundrie’s to pressure them to help in the investigation and said those who associate with the family should “turn them away” if they don’t agree to cooperate.
During the interview, the father also said that while on her trip Gabby “hadn’t gone three days without contacting someone,” saying it was unlikely she went off on her own without notifying family.
Gabby Petito and Laundrie, 23, set out from New York on a cross-country road trip in a converted camper van on July 2, documenting their travels on social media along the way.
But on September 1, Laundrie returned home to North Port, with the van and without Petito, police have said.
Petito’s family reported her missing to New York authorities 10 days later and Petito’s last known location is believed to be in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park.
Petito’s mother said she last spoke with her daughter on FaceTime on August 24, and received a text from her phone on August 30 – but doesn’t believe Gabby sent the message.
In an email to reporters on Friday with a link to the video, Taylor said Joe Petito’s “thoughts are his own and do not necessarily reflect ours.”
Taylor also told reporters, “There is simply not that much to report publicly at this time. We are working around the clock to solve this mystery. With every minute, more is solidified. We really do appreciate all of the coverage.”
When Insider asked Taylor by email why the police department sent the video interview of Joe Petito out to the media, he responded, “To provide you content.”
Taylor said investigators are following “every lead” to find Gabby Petito and that Laundrie still had not spoken to police.
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