By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily
The fiancé of a missing New York woman believed to have disappeared while at Grand Teton National Park is still refusing to talk to law enforcement officials.
However, Cassie Laundrie, the sister of Brian Laundrie, defended her brother’s character during an appearance a national news show on Friday morning.
Cassie Laundrie, the sibling of Brian Laundrie who is a person-of-interest in the ongoing investigation of missing person Gabby Petito, defended her brother’s character on Good Morning America without commenting directly on her disappearance.
“He’s a wonderful uncle,” Ms. Laundrie said during her appearance on Good Morning America. “He’s always been there when I need him. He’s been there every time Gabby has needed him.”
“Obviously, me and my family want Gabby to be found safe,” she said. “She’s like a sister and my children love her, and all I want is for her to come home safe and found, and this to be just a big misunderstanding.”
Brian Laundrie has been named a person of interest in the ongoing investigation into Petito’s disappearance. The two were traveling together in the Rocky Mountain West when Petito disappeared.
An hour after Cassie Laundrie’s television appearance, Gabby’s father Joe Petito said her comments didn’t make any sense to him.
“If that’s that family’s version of love, to just ignore and not care that someone’s gone,” Mr. Petito said, “and people are looking for them and entire countries looking for them, I mean, that explains how we got to where we are today. Because I mean, look at their version of what they call love.”
The day prior, Petito’s parents read a letter addressed to Laundrie’s parents begging for their cooperation during a media appearance.
“We believe you know the location where Brian left Gabby,” the letter reads. “We beg you to tell us. As a parent, how could you let us go through this pain and not help us? As a parent, how could you put Gabby’s younger brothers and sisters through this.”
Although Petito and Laundrie were vacationing together, Laundrie returned home to Florida on Sept. 1 without his fiancé and said nothing publicly about it. Ten days later, Petito’s family reported her missing.
Since then, their van has been located and impounded and police in Utah reported they were called to investigate a fight between the two, but did not press charges against either.
Laundrie’s refusal to speak to law enforcement has infuriated the daughter’s parents and has hindered progress on the case, according to New York investigators.
A leading defense attorney said Laundrie’s refusal to cooperate isn’t a good sign for Petito.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s an arrest,” Lara Yeretsia told FOX News on Friday.
“It doesn’t look very good, doesn’t look very kosher to me at this point,” she said. “Doesn’t look like he’s completely innocent, but he doesn’t have to help law enforcement.”
Yeretsia said she understood why Laundrie is being advised not to talk.
“Basically, he got a lawyer before law enforcement got him…and the lawyer is not going to make it easier for law enforcement to build a case against him,” she said. “He’s telling them, go do your job. You can have no access to this guy.”