AceShowbiz - The family of Gabby Petito (Gabrielle Petito) is speaking out for the first time together on "Dr. Phil". The family from the slain YouTube star, including father Joe Petito, stepmother Tara Petito, mother Nichole Schmidt and stepfather Jim Schmidt, gathered for a two-part interview on the show.
In the episode, Gabby's parents revealed that at first, they thought Gabby and her fiance Brian Laundrie were both missing. They said they repeatedly called and texted Brian's parents, Chris and Roberta. However, because they didn't receive any response, they decided to report their daughter missing only to be told by police that Brian had returned to Florida in the van the pair had been traveling in weeks ago.
"One of the texts was 'I’m going to call the police, just letting you know.' No response. A normal parent, when you text someone that they're going to call the cops because you can't find your child, they would reply," Gabby's father explained. "We thought they were both missing at that point in time when we were calling them."
Nichole added, "We didn't know the van was in Florida when we contacted [them]. I was worried about both of them."
Gabby's parents also believed that Brian, who is named person of interest in Gabby's case, is currently hiding. "Somewhere off the beaten path somewhere, just thinking he's not gonna get caught," Jim said. Nichole also said that Brian always "bragged" about being able to live off the land.
They were also asked to give any words for Brian and Jim simply said, "Turn yourself in." He continued, "You're only making it worse. For us and for himself and for his family."
"Let us have some closure. Let us come to an end to this tragic period and just move on and be able to remember Gabby for all the wonderful memories we had with her, and not looking at a TV screen wondering if he's gonna be found," he concluded.
Gabby was reported missing by her parents on September 11 as she was on a road trip with fiance Brian. Her remains were found in the vicinity of Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming. Her manner of death was determined as homicide, while the cause of her death has yet to be revealed.