Chris Laundrie emerged briefly on Saturday from the much-televised façade of his home in North Point, Florida, to pull a single protest sign from his yard. This small action, by a man who has mowed around other protest signs in recent weeks without disturbing them, may be a sign in itself: a sign that the pressure coming to bear on the father of Brian Laundrie is having an impact.  

He was also photographed recently installing what appeared to be a doorbell camera on the front porch of the home. Three days earlier, after all, angry protestors pounded on that front door and shouted “you guys like to strangle people.”  

This was a reference to the recent release of a coroner’s report indicating that Brian’s girlfriend, Gabby Petito, was murdered by strangulation in mid to late August, at a time when Gabby’s family believed that the two were still on a cross-country trip.

While Chris Laundrie was installing the camera, a reporter called out, asking what he was doing. Chris, who was wearing khaki shorts, black T-shirt, and sandals at the time replied, “Just getting my mail.”

In footage, Chris can be seen adjusting the doorbell device, then indeed walking along the driveway to recover the mail.

In an interview over the weekend on Australian television, the parents of Brian Laundrie’s murdered girlfriend, Gabby Petito, made it clear that they believe that Brian’s parents know where Brian is. 

Out of Brian’s parents, Chris and Roberta Laundrie, it is Brian’s dad who has served as the public face the last two months. But even Chris has largely stayed out of the spotlight.

In the television program, 60 Minutes Australia, Gabby’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, summarized the timeline concisely: “He went home. He’s hiding. He used her credit card.”  

Brian returned to his family home on Sept. 1 with the van that he and Gabby had shared throughout their trip, and soon thereafter he disappeared. His family reported Brian missing on Sept. 17.

The murder of Gabby this summer and the widespread suspicion directed at Brian in his absence, have become a vessel for a lot of frustrations and worries felt all over the United States, and in Australia too, about violent crime, domestic abuse, and what is seen as the ineffectuality of law enforcement.  

‘I Believe They Know’

Speaking of both Brian’s parents, Schmidt, plainly angry, said in the 60 Minutes Australia interview:  “I believe they know. I don’t know why they’re doing this to us,” Nicole Schmidt said. “I would love to just, face to face ask, why are you doing this? Just tell me the truth.”

Brian is officially still just a “person of interest” in the homicide of 22-year-old Gabby Petito, but there is a warrant out for his arrest on the debit card fraud charges.

The Laundries’ family attorney, Steven Bertolino, says that the Laundries have been cooperating with the FBI.  But, aside from a single walkabout in a nature reserve, in which Chris apparently pointed out some of his son’s preferred hiking routes, there has been little public manifestation of such cooperation.

Schmidt’s view, that the Laundries know more than they have shared, has become a common one. It was plainly the view of a protestor who planted a sign on the Laundrie front lawn, asking “what if it were Cassie?”. The sign references the Laundries’ young daughter, Cassie, whose married name is Cassie Luycx, and who has herself become a familiar face as the Petito/Laundrie matter has unfolded in public.

A Twitter account called @GabbsJustice asks, “Why are #ChrisLaundrie, #RobertaLaundrie & #CassieLaundrie NOT pleading for Brian’s safe return?”