Gabby Petito: 5 Key Developments In The Case
A body found in Wyoming appears to be consistent with her description, authorities say.
Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito and her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, left in July for what was supposed to be a four-month road trip from New York to the West Coast — but only one returned. Petito’s mother last heard from her 22-year-old daughter in late August and Laundrie, 23, returned alone to the Florida home he and Petito shared with his parents on Sept. 1. Petito’s family reported her missing 10 days later. Ahead are five of the latest updates in the case.
A body is found in Wyoming where the couple was last reported to be headed.
Authorities located remains matching Petito’s description in the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area of the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming on Sept. 19. “Full forensic identification has not been completed to confirm 100% that we found Gabby, but her family has been notified,” FBI Supervisory Special Agent Charles Jones said. “This is an incredibly difficult time for Petito's family and friends.” An autopsy was scheduled for Sept. 21 to positively identify the remains and to determine a cause of death. “The news about Gabby Petito is heartbreaking,” the Laundrie family said in a statement, adding they are praying for Petito and her loved ones.
Petito’s father pays tribute to his daughter on social media.
Shortly after the body was found in Wyoming, Joseph Petito posted a photo on Twitter of his daughter standing in front of an angel wings mural. “She touched the world,” he wrote.
Laundrie is also reported missing.
Laundrie, who is officially a person of interest in the case, has refused to speak with police, and on Sept. 14 he reportedly headed to Carlton Reserve, a nearly 25,000-acre wildlife refuge near his family’s home. A family attorney said Laundrie’s parents, Christopher and Roberta, went to look for him the following day and eventually drove home with the car he was using since it had a note from police saying it needed to be moved, according to ABC7. Family filed a missing person report on Sept. 17, and authorities launched a search for Laundrie at the reserve but three days later announced they had shifted focus. “At this time, we currently believe we have exhausted all avenues in searching of the grounds there,” North Port Police spokesperson Josh Taylor said, noting, “Law enforcement agencies continue to search for Brian Laundrie.”
FBI agents swarm the home of Laundrie’s Florida home.
Shortly before 10 a.m. on Sept. 20, the FBI executed a search warrant on the North Port, Florida, home where Laundrie and Petito lived with his parents, a video from the New York Post shows.
Details continue to emerge about the couple and their relationship.
An officer’s body cam footage recorded on Aug. 12 shows a distraught Petito after she and her fiancé are pulled over in their van following a fight the two had earlier that was reported to police. Petito and Laundrie said they loved each other and blamed the incident on tension that recently had arisen after over a month of living in close quarters as they traveled across the country. According to The New York Times, the couple first met while both attended Bayport-Blue Point High School on Long Island and began seeing each other after they graduated. They moved to Florida two years ago.