The neighbors of the Laundrie family in North Port, Fla. – the would-be in-laws of deceased 22-year-old Gabby Petito – told Fox News Wednesday that about a week after Petito's then-fiance Brian Laundrie returned from the Mountain West, the family packed up an "attached camper" and took what they believed to be a long-weekend camping trip.
Charlene and William Guthrie told "The Story" that it has been a "nightmare" living across from the Laundries since Petito and later Brian went missing.
The Guthries said they only moved to the community, just north of Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda, in early summer. But within months their neighborhood was abuzz with activity.
"We didn't know it was Gabby's, we just assumed it was [Brian's] van," Charlene said when the younger Laundrie returned earlier this month.
"We just thought they had come back from wherever. We didn’t know they were on a trip. We assumed they went back to their house or wherever they got a house … We didn’t know much about them at all," she said.
The Guthries thought Petito was still living in the home with Laundrie's parents, which the Blue Point, N.Y., native had been doing since she moved to Florida to be with Laundrie.
William Guthrie recalled doing some yard work one day when the Laundries hooked what appeared to be a new camper to the back of their pickup truck – and didn't think much of it.
"I saw them doing some work. And then when they prepared for their trip, I saw them loading the camper."
They said the Laundries were gone "for the weekend" after packing up the new camper, and that when police later came to their home on what they were told was a missing persons case, they mentioned seeing the family go off for the weekend.
William added he found it odd that the parents would go off on a camping trip with their 23-year old son in such a small camper.