Gov. DeSantis says Gabby Petito was ‘murdered,’ wants justice in case

Hillsborough County

You can find the latest on the investigation involving Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie hereDownload the WFLA app for breaking news push alerts and sign up for breaking news email alerts.

TAMPA (WFLA) – Governor Ron DeSantis says while he hasn’t yet spoken with the family of Gabby Petito, he is committed to ensuring there is justice for the young woman.

Gov. DeSantis held a news conference about monoclonal antibodies at the Hillsborough County Department of Health late Thursday afternoon.

The federal government says there has been an increase in demand for Regeneron. Regeneron is a life-saving COVID-19 therapy, according to medical health professionals.

Earlier this month, the federal government announced it would take over the distribution of Regeneron.  Before, states could directly order Regeneron from distributors.  Now, HHS will determine how much each state gets on a weekly basis.  

Gov. DeSantis said the Biden Administration is playing politics with the pandemic. This change has led to a reduction of Regeneron coming into the state. Florida was dispersing more than 40,000 doses of the treatment a week. DeSantis says the next weekly shipment from the feds will be less than 18,000 doses.

“We don’t want to see this cut,” said DeSantis. “Who should be denied going forward?”  In response, Gov. DeSantis says the state has secured additional doses of GlaxoSmithKline’s COVID-19 therapy treatment.

At the news conference, 8 On Your Side Investigator Mahsa Saeidi asked Gov. DeSantis about the search for Brian Laundrie – the sole person of interest in the homicide of Petito.  

On Thursday, 75 people across 16 agencies were searching for Laundrie in a swamp in Sarasota County. 

“One, should we have more people looking for Brian Laundrie right now? And two, when all this is said and done, do you support a review into how police handled this?” asked Saeidi.

“So I was able to get a briefing from some of the folks involved in it today.  They think the state of Florida what they said was incredible support to the search effort,” said DeSantis. 

The governor says he has directed all state agencies to continue to assist authorities and he’s prepared to do more.

“We need justice in this case. This is somebody who, this beautiful young girl and to just see her murdered like that…we need answers 100%,” said DeSantis. 

While the governor said Petito was murdered. The Teton County Corner hasn’t determined a cause of death yet with officials only calling this a homicide. 

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