Christopher Laundrie, the father of the absconding fiancé of deceased Youtuber Gabby Petito, was slapped with a court summon on Monday for trashing a protestor’s lawn sign.
Brian Laundrie’s father was ordered to report to a Sarasota County courtroom on 1 December for a pre-trial hearing for a lawsuit accusing him of stealing a protester’s $40 sign.
The bright yellow sign read “What if it was Cassie,” referring to Brian’s sister, Cassie Laundrie.
“The defendant, Christopher Laundrie, came out of his home, walked up to the sign, stole it and walked back onto his property,” the court complaint read.
Brian Laundrie’s parents Christopher and Roberta have rarely left their home since the news of Petito gripped the nation.
Remains of the 22-year-old social media personality were discovered on 19 September in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park, after a week-long nationwide search. Authorities in Wyoming confirmed that Petito’s cause of death was homicide by strangulation.
Mr Laundrie, a person of interest in the case, was reported missing on 17 September as they had not heard from him since 14 September, when he went for a hike in the “vast and unforgiving” 24,565-acre Carlton Reserve.
Since then, the police have launched a manhunt to locate the absconding person in the alligator-infested nature reserve.
Petito and Mr Laundrie were on a two-month-long cross-country road trip in the United States. However, only he returned to his family’s home on 1 September. After Petito’s family were unable to contact their daughter for days, she was declared missing on 11 September.
The couple had hit a rough patch along their journey and were seen engaging in an altercation in August, following which the couple had to be separated for a night in Utah by the police.
Mr Laundrie has remained non-cooperative throughout the investigation in this case.
As the police continued their search for the absconding man, protesters swarmed the home of his parents, who they accused of not doing enough to cooperate with investigators.
Recently, Dog the bounty hunter, who has been conducting his own search to trace Brian Laundrie, speculated that his parents encouraged him to return to the family’s North Port home in Florida after Petito’s death even though he has no proof to back his claims.
Protesters have stuck multiple signs on their lawn. One sign features a large photo of Petito with the caption, “Remember me?”