NORTH PORT, Fla. - While some gathered outside the North Port home of Brian Laundrie Friday, demanding answers on the whereabouts of his fiance, 22-year-old Gabby Petito, others gathered to pray for the missing woman's safe return.
More than a dozen community members gathered at the City Center Front Green, located at 4970 City Hall Blvd. in North Port, holding signs reading "North Port Loves Gabby" as other sang songs and spoke to the small crowd.
"We all fight for each other, we're all here for each other, we all have each other's backs and that's what makes this community different from other ones in the vicinity," a speaker said. "And what's going on with Gabby and her family, I think it's great that we're all able to come out here for her, for her parents, for their siblings, for whoever."
The vigil started around 7 p.m. and only lasted about 15 minutes, but those who were there were strong in their resolve to support the search for Gabby.
Police said they have been working around the clock on the investigation and have some new leads.
"Of course, the frustration remains with one of the two people that went on this trip that we know is right back here in this community," North Port police spokesperson Josh Taylor told FOX 13, adding that investigators will continue to ask Brian and the Laundrie family to cooperate.
"That whole narrative can change at any moment," Taylor said. "Brian can walk right through these doors and we will go through the complete, professional process of asking him, ‘What the heck has happened here?’"
Taylor said investigators had spoken with Brian Laundrie's sister, Cassie, but said, "It is my understanding that nothing of substance has been shared."
Cassie told Good Morning America that she has not been able to get in contact with her brother.
"I haven’t been able to talk to him. I wish I could talk to him," she told the news outlet.
"Me and my family want Gabby to be found safe," Cassie Laundrie added. "She is like a sister and my children love her. All I want is for her to come home safe and sound and this to be just a big misunderstanding."
Protesters carry signs to home of Brian Laundrie on Thursday urging him to speak with police. (Fox News)
Demonstrators had stood outside the Laundrie home Thursday night, holding signs reading, "Bring Gabby home," "Truth always comes out #JusticeForGabby", and "Would she bring you home?"
"We’re standing up for somebody who’s lost that's in our city, and we’re a big family in our city, in North Port. And we are definitely going to do whatever we can to help the family find this missing daughter," one protester told Fox News on Thursday. "We all have children. If it were our child, we would want everyone to gather up and help us find our child too. So we’re going to do whatever it takes."
Others chanted outside the home, "Where is Gabby? Where is Gabby?"
A stop sign on the family’s street has also been altered. It asks the big question: Where is she?
Gabby’s father arrived in North Port on Thursday to plead with the community, and those watching from around the country, to keep looking for his daughter.
He also begged Brian and his parents to talk to investigators. Some of their neighbors said they’ll make sure there’ll be no peace until they help in the search for Gabby. It’s unclear whether the Laundrie family has been inside the home the past few days.
"What I need from everybody here is help," said Joe Petito, "because the goal is still not met. And that goal is to bring Gabby home safe."
- Gabby Petito case: Timeline of 22-year-old woman's disappearance
- Utah sheriff ‘actively' investigating possible connection between Gabby Petito disappearance and double murder
- Gabby Petito's family, North Port police chief express frustration with Brian Laundrie's silence
- Missing woman's haunting songs on Spotify account may provide answers
- Gabby Petito showed behavior of victim in Utah bodycam video, domestic violence counselor says