The mother of 22-year-old 'van-life woman' Gabby Petito sent her daughter's boyfriend and his family desperate texts looking for her but was ignored.
Gabby's mother Nicole Schmidt told DailyMail.com in an exclusive interview that on September 10 she reached out to Brian and his mother Roberta Laundrie trying to reach her daughter after she had not heard from Gabby since August 25.
'I texted Brian's mom that I was trying to get in touch with Gabby. I also texted Brian. I got no replies,' Schmidt said.
'I knew something was wrong,' she said. 'I felt something was off and I needed to get her reported missing immediately.'
She went to report Gabby missing later that day but police initially blew her off. The next day, she was allowed to file a report with the Suffolk County police department.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Brian's family have since refused to let authorities interview their son when the van that the couple had traveled in before she disappeared was seized from their property late on Saturday night.
Nicole Schmidt, of Long Island, New York, gave a teary-eyed interview to reporters in Bohemia on Monday afternoon about her daughter Gabby Petitio, who has been missing since August 24. Schmidt tells DailyMail.com that on September 10 she texted Brian and his mother Roberta trying to get in touch with Gabby, but neither replied
Gabby set out on a cross-country trip July 2 with boyfriend Brian Laundrie in the couple's 2012 Ford Transit van. Brian posted this photo of the couple on Instagram on July 16 at Zion National Park
The Schmidt and Petito family are going through the worst moments of their lives. Their beautiful twenty-two year old daughter is missing and the one person that can help find Gabby refuses to help. Brian Laundrie was traveling with Gabby in the Grand Teton – Yellowstone area. They were traveling together in Gabby’s 2012 Ford Transit van. That is where we believe Gabby was last seen.
Brian is refusing to tell Gabby’s family where he last saw her. 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. How does Brian stay in the background when he is the one person that knows where Gabby is located?
The Schmidt and Petito family implore Brian to come forward and at least tell us if we are looking in the right area.
AdvertisementInsurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Schmidt said Brian's sister Cassie is the only member of Brian's family who has spoken to authorities.
She said she can't understand why neither Brian nor his parents have reached out to her in the aftermath of her daughter's disappearance.
'It's a very mysterious situation. We don't understand why he's doing this. Everybody's assuming the worst and thinking he's guilty of this. But I don't want to believe that. I want to believe she's just in need of help out there and that everybody needs to keep searching.'
Schmidt described how Brian's parents had been warm and welcoming to Gabby during their relationship. She recalled a time when his mother even knitted her future daughter-in-law gifts for Christmas.
'She loved her like a daughter,' Schmidt said. 'As far as I knew they were all very caring and treated her like one of the family. His mom was so excited about the engagement.'
The distraught mother also clarified that Gabby and Brian had been engaged, but decided to call it off and go back to just dating because they felt they were too young for marriage.
'I think they kind of put that on hold just because they felt it was a little fast. They were excited at first, but then they were like, let's just wait, we're very young. So they were really just boyfriend and girlfriend,' she said.
She said they'd been a couple for a little over two years, but met growing up in Long Island.
'They went to high school together. They were friends. They got back in touch and started dating,' she said.
In light of the disappearance, Schmidt says she's now viewing everything under a new lens.
'Maybe the relationship wasn't what I thought,' she said.
Laundrie's father, 62-year-old Christopher Laundrie (pictured), was seen mowing his lawn on Monday, and refused to comment on his son's whereabouts. 'If they cared about her, they would want to find her,' said Schmidt. 'Why aren't you out helping find her?'
Above is the Laundrie family home in North Port, Florida, where Brian Laundrie returned in the couple's van without Gabby after their trip
Schmidt has recently seen photos in the news of Brian's father performing yard work.
'If they cared about her, they would want to find her,' she said. 'Why aren't you out helping find her?'
'I don't want to seem accusatory,' she said. 'It's confusing, my mind is turning right now.'
She's also questioning Brian's trip back to Florida in August to help his father move their