Gabby Petito's father gave an emotional interview where he contemplated the worst: 'My gut tells me that something bad happened'

·2-min read
A screenshot of Joe Petito, eyes closed in contemplation, during an interview with HLN TV. Chyron reads: Dad: my gut tells me something bad has happened.
A screenshot of Joe Petito during an interview with HLN TV. HLNTV
  • Gabby Petito's father Joe said he fears she came to harm since going missing.

  • In an emotional interview, he said Petito's boyfriend Brian Laundrie should be 'leading the charge.'

  • Petito has been declared missing for seven days. Laundrie has refused to help police in the search.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Joe Petito, father of missing Gabby Petito, gave an emotional interview saying that his "gut" tells him something may have happened to his daughter.

He discussed the prospect in an exchange with HLN, a sister channel to CNN, broadcast early on Friday.

The search for the 22-year-old Petito entered its seventh day on Friday, following a road trip she went on with her boyfriend Brian Laundrie. Laundrie returned from that trip alone 10 days before Petito was reported missing.

Police have not determined any criminality and continue to treat it as a missing person case. The strain of the search was evident on Joe Petito's face during the interview.

"My gut tells me ..." said Joe Petito, taking a long pause and closing his eyes, "my gut tells me that something bad happened. And I am never, I am never going to be able to hold my baby girl again.

"But my head tells me that if I focus on that, I'm not going to be able to do the job that needs to be done, that her boyfriend or fiancé should be doing," he continued.

"He should be leading this charge, and instead he's not."

His reference to Laundrie was one of several condemnations from Petito's family. Since the search began he has refused to help authorities in their search, and has spoken only via his family lawyer.

Joe Petito also spoke harshly of Laundrie's family, responding to an ABC News interview with Cassie Laundrie, Brian's sister. The interview was the first time a member of Brian's family had addressed the public directly.

Cassie Laundrie said she loves Petito "like a sister" and wanted her home "as soon as possible."

Joe Petito responded with heavy sarcasm, telling NewsNation that the remarks "made a lot of sense."

"If that's that family's version of love, to just ignore and not care that someone's gone, and people are looking for them and entire countries looking for them, I mean, that explains how we got to where we are today," he said.

"Because I mean, look at their version of what they call love."

Insider is publishing live updates on Petito's disappearance, which you can read here.

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