FBI says a county coroner has confirmed human remains found in remote northern Wyoming along the Grand Teton National Park border are those of Gabby Petito, 22, who went missing on a trip across the country with a fiance who is currently wanted by Florida authorities.
Teton County Coroner Brent Blue determined his death was homicide, but did not disclose the cause of death pending final autopsy results, officials said Tuesday. Petito’s body was found on Sunday near an undeveloped camping area surrounded by forests and brush, located about 30 miles northeast of Jackson, Wyoming.
The FBI has also asked anyone with information about Brian Laundrie’s role in Petito’s death to contact the agency.
Investigators called Laundrie, 23, a “person of interest”. His parents told FBI agents they last saw him a week ago, when he told them he planned to hike alone in the 24,000-acre wilderness area of the United States. Carlton Reservation, near North Port, Florida.
North Port Police said Tuesday morning investigators returned to the reserve to search for laundry. Investigators searched the 24,000-acre (9,700-hectare) reserve over the weekend without success. Authorities use helicopters, drones, dogs and officers in all-terrain vehicles in their search for laundry. About 75% of the search area is underwater.
Petito and Laundrie were childhood sweethearts who met growing up on Long Island in New York City. His parents then moved to North Port, just south of Sarasota.
Petito and Laundrie left his home state of New York in late June or early July, heading west in his white van to visit national parks and document the trip on social media.
Laundrie returned home to North Port alone in the van on September 1. Ten days later, members of Petito’s family reported his disappearance. Before disappearing, Laundrie refused to speak to investigators and retained the services of a lawyer.
Witnesses last saw Petito on August 24 as she left a hotel in Salt Lake City. She posted her last photo on social media the next day. Her family believe she was heading to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming when they last heard from her.
A body was discovered at the edge of this park, in a remote area less than 300 yards from where two travel bloggers filmed the white van parked on a dirt road near Spread Creek on the evening of August 27.
A man who saw Petito and Laundrie fighting in Moab, Utah on Aug. 12, called 911 to report a domestic violence incident, according to a recording of the call obtained from the County Sheriff’s Office. Big. The man said he saw Laundrie slap Petito while walking around town and started hitting her before the two got into their van and left.
Video released by Moab Police showed an officer stopped the couple’s van the same day after it was seen speeding up and hitting a sidewalk near Arches National Park. Body camera images showed Petito crying.
Moab police separated the couple for the night, with Laundrie checking in at a motel and Petito staying with the van.