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Editor’s note: A previous version of the story included a statement from Laundrie saying he did not have a phone. We are looking into whether or not he was referring to having a phone in general or in that specific incident with police.
NORTH PORT, Fla. (WFLA) — Ten days before he vanished, Brian Laundrie bought a new cell phone, according to the Laundrie family’s attorney Steve Bertolino.
Bertolino tells 8 On Your Side the FBI now has that phone. But many have been asking about Gabby Petito’s phone and whether Laundrie had a different phone while they were together on their road trip.
Since the phones undoubtedly hold valuable clues, 8 On Your Side has been looking into that question.
We closely examined the police body camera video after the couple’s alleged domestic dispute in Moab, Utah on Aug. 12. The video shows that, at the time, Petito and Laundrie both had phones.
We know Petito had a phone – her mom, Nichole Schmidt, got an “odd text” from her on Aug. 27, according to a search warrant, and a final text on Aug. 30.
About 42 minutes into the police stop in Utah, video shows Laundrie reach into the passenger side of the van. He hands a female law enforcement official Petito’s cellphone.
“She’s got her cellphone. She’s calling her parents,” the officer told other officials minutes later.
That phone from the passenger side stays in Petito’s lap.
Meanwhile with Laundrie: When we backed up the video to before he retrieved Petito’s cellphone, he is seen slipping what appears to be a different phone into his pocket. Toward the end of the stop, you can see Laundrie pull a phone out of his pocket.
The family’s attorney did not reveal anything about the phone on the cross-country trip. But he says Laundrie did purchase a new phone on Sept. 4, three days after he returned to North Port without Petito.
The attorney says the FBI has the new phone and states it was not a burner phone. Laundrie reportedly had an account with AT&T for the new phone.
Right now, it remains unclear if the FBI has retrieved Petito’s cellphone.