Laundrie has refused to speak to law enforcement since returning to his parents’ house in North Port, Fla., in early September.
Rocco, who lives in South Carolina, told “The Faulkner Focus” that the couple visited her frequently when they traveled. The last time she saw them was in early June.
When asked if Petito and Laundrie were in love, Rocco said, “I would say so.”
“From what I saw, yeah, they had a great relationship,” she said. “And that’s the weird thing. That’s the mystery. And that’s another reason that it’s very infuriating that Brian is not talking.”
Rocco said that she didn’t know of any “behind-the-scenes” issues in their relationship because it would have been kept private.
Rocco explained the family dynamic, noting that Gabby’s mother and stepfather communicated with Laundrie’s parents but not often.
“There wasn’t any sort of closeness,” she said.
The Laundrie family has remained entirely silent aside from Cassie, Brian Laundrie’s sister, who has not been able to contact him.
“All I want is for her to come home safe and sound and this to be just a big misunderstanding,” she said.
Rocco said the family’s silence is now impeding efforts to locate Petito.
Rocco’s message to Laundrie is this: “You’re the only one that can tell us where to start looking … It’s not that you’re not even helping anymore, it’s now hindering this investigation. It’s now you’re using up resources and people’s time. It’s now been beyond days that you could have talked. And you’re still choosing to keep silent. Which is – it’s reprehensible.”
She, like Gabby’s other family members, pleaded for Laundrie to come forward and provide information.
“We can’t just keep doing this, and it’s really actually torture.”