NEW YORK (WABC) -- ABC News Chief Legal Analyst Dan Abrams gave his opinion on the latest statements being provided by the Laundrie family's attorney in the missing person case of Gabby Petito.
"I find some of the language that the Laundrie family attorney is using, is odd. You look at the first statement: 'It is our understanding that a search has been organized for Miss Petito. On behalf of the Laundrie family it is our hope that the search for Miss Petito is successful and that she is reunited with her family.' I mean, that's not a very empathetic statement right? If this is her boyfriend the statement would say, 'We are scared, we are nervous, we don't know what's happening, we are hoping that we can get some bit of information to help.' But this very stilted response that yes there's a search and certainly we're very hopeful it's successful is an odd tone I think for the lawyer to take on behalf of his client when the world and the other family is saying 'please help us.'"
"Good Morning America" anchor Cecilia Vega asked the question on many people's minds, "Why would a lawyer advise their client not to cooperate in a case?"
"Well the most obvious answer would be if there is incriminating information. The lawyer put out a second statement trying to explain that point, that in cases like this, and I'm looking down because I'm reading the statement, he's saying, 'In my experience, intimate partners are often the first person law enforcement officers focus their attention on.' That's true, but it's also true that as of right now she's missing. Meaning as of right now, they want to find her, so you would think that the kind of advice that someone gives is a little bit different. So again, the lawyer's advice will totally depend on what information that lawyer has."
How much information in cases like this do the lawyers know. George Stephanopoulos asked, "Do you think the lawyer knows?"
"I think the lawyer has a sense," Abrams said. "I think lawyers at the very least have a sense and sometimes they know."
Petito was traveling with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, in a cargo van the two had outfitted as a makeshift recreational vehicle for a months-long cross-country road trip when she mysteriously disappeared.
According to a verified GoFundMe page set up to raise money and aid in the search for Petito, she was "last known to be in Grand Teton, Wyoming on 8/25/21 heading towards Yellowstone National Park."
Petito's mother, Nichole Schmidt, said the last text message she received from her daughter came on August 30.
Her family said they do not believe that that message was sent by Gabby.
Laundrie allegedly returned to the North Port, Florida home he and Petito shared with his parents on September 1.
Police said he had driven the van there and Petito was not with him.
On Wednesday, September 15, Laundrie was officially named a person of interest in Petito's disappearance and North Port Police said he was hindering the investigation.
Laundrie has not made himself available to be interviewed by investigators or provided any helpful details.
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