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FBI say body 'matching the description' of Gabby Petito has been found in Wyoming


The FBI have announced that a body has been found in the search for missing van-life girl Gabby Petito, with the coroner saying an autopsy set for Tuesday to confirm the identity and find out how she died. 

The body was found at the Spread Creek campground in Bridger-Teton National Forest on the eastern edge of the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming on Sunday.

Gabby, 22, has been missing since August 24. Her boyfriend Brian Laundrie returned home to Florida on September 1 without her, and refused to cooperate with authorities and was reported missing himself on Friday.

The FBI said the body found Sunday afternoon is ‘consistent with a description’ of Gabby, but said a full forensic identification has yet to be completed. A cause of death will be determined at the autopsy. 

Charles Jones, supervisory senior resident agent for FBI Denver, delivered the tragic news Sunday evening.  

After the FBI’s announcement, Petito’s father, Joseph, shared a tribute to his daughter on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with a photo of her adorned with a pair of angel wings, and the caption: ‘she touched the world.’  

Jones told reporters: ‘As every parent can imagine this is an incredibly difficult time for the family, and friends, our thoughts and prayers are with them. We ask that you all respect their privacy as they mourn the loss of their daughter.’ 

Richard Benson, an attorney for the Petito and Schmidt family on her mother’s side, thanked law enforcement and search and rescue teams for their efforts in finding the girl. 

‘Your tireless work and determination helped bring Gabby home to her parents,’ he said in a statement. ‘The family and I will be forever grateful.’  

Missing van-life girl Gabby Petito's father, Joseph, shared a tribute to his daughter on social media Sunday with a photo of her adorned with angel wings (pictured) and the caption: 'she touched the world' as authorities confirmed that remains matching her description had been found in Wyoming

Missing van-life girl Gabby Petito’s father, Joseph, shared a tribute to his daughter on social media Sunday with a photo of her adorned with angel wings (pictured) and the caption: ‘she touched the world’ as authorities confirmed that remains matching her description had been found in Wyoming

The Teton County Coroner was seen leaving the campsite Sunday afternoon with what is believed to be Petito's remains

The Teton County Coroner was seen leaving the campsite Sunday afternoon with what is believed to be Petito’s remains 

The pair had been travelling on a cross-country trip together since July 2, when they left New York. Petito was reported missing on September 11

The pair had been travelling on a cross-country trip together since July 2, when they left New York. Petito was reported missing on September 11 

Meanwhile, Florida authorities called off the second day of their search for her fiancé Laundrie – who has been named as a person-of-interest in Petito’s disappearance.

Law enforcement have been searching at an alligator-infested Florida refuge after he fled his parents’ home last week. 

He has refused to cooperate with police, and on Tuesday he disappeared from his family’s North Port, Florida home. 

After Sunday’s announcement, the Laundrie family attorney released a statement, saying, ‘The news about Gabby Petito is heartbreaking. The Laundrie family prays for Gabby and her family.’  

North Port police also released a statement. 

‘Saddened and heartbroken to learn that Gabby has been found deceased,’ they said. ‘Our focus from the start, along with the FBI, and national partners, has been to bring her home. We will continue to work with the FBI in the search for more answers.’ 

Petito, who last spoke to her family on August 25, was reported missing on September 11 after Laundrie returned home alone from a cross-country trip the couple were taking. 

Police had been searching Spread Creek Campground, where the pair were parking their van during their stay at Grand Teton National Park, according to Petito’s thedyrt.com account. 

Jones said the campground, where the remains were found, would remain closed for the foreseeable future as officials continued their investigation. 

The Teton County Coroner could be seen leaving the campground Sunday afternoon with what was believed to be be Petito’s remains.   

FBI officials announced Sunday evening that they had found remains consistent with the description of Petito (left). The announcement came as authorities resumed their search for fiancé Brian Laundrie (right) in Florida. Laundrie is currently a person of interest in Petito's disappearance

FBI officials announced Sunday evening that they had found remains consistent with the description of Petito (left). The announcement came as authorities resumed their search for fiancé Brian Laundrie (right) in Florida. Laundrie is currently a person of interest in Petito’s disappearance

Petito's parents shared a video on their 'Find Gabby' Facebook page early Sunday morning from YouTuber Red, White & Bethune', that caught a Ford Transit Connect Van with Florida plates that the posters believe to be the vehicle that Petito and Laundrie had used to travel the country. The video was taken on August 27 at around 6.30 pm at the Spread Creek Campground, where police were searching for the missing girl, and where the remains were found Sunday

Petito’s parents shared a video on their ‘Find Gabby’ Facebook page early Sunday morning from YouTuber Red, White & Bethune’, that caught a Ford Transit Connect Van with Florida plates that the posters believe to be the vehicle that Petito and Laundrie had used to travel the country. The video was taken on August 27 at around 6.30 pm at the Spread Creek Campground, where police were searching for the missing girl, and where the remains were found Sunday 

On Sunday morning, Petito’s parents shared a video on their ‘Find Gabby’ Facebook page from YouTuber ‘Red, White & Bethune’ that caught a Ford Transit Van with Florida plates that the posters believe to be the vehicle that Petito and Laundrie had used to travel the country. 

The video was taken on August 27 at around 6.30 pm at the Spread Creek Campground.

‘We have this video, so does the FBI,’ wrote the family on the Sunday morning post. ‘We believe this is the van for multiple reasons.’   

‘It’s a very important piece of information as it pretty much starts the timeline,’ Petito’s mother, Nicole Schmidt, told MailOnline. ‘This new video of the actual van being seen on the 27th appears legit. That was the last location the van might have been seen. It’s a huge piece of the puzzle.’

‘It’s essential and there might be more videos out there that people haven’t even realized they have yet,’ she added. ‘If people were recording videos or just taking pictures, they need to start looking through their stuff.’

Jen Bethune, who runs the ‘Red, White & Bethune’ channel, said that she was amazed at Schmidt’s resilience in the face of the tragedy. 

‘Even though it’s not the best outcome, I’m happy that Gabby is home,’ she told DailyMail.com. ‘Nicole is absolutely amazing. Her strength is so apparent.’

On August 25th or 26th, the couple chatted with the owner of a shop called ‘Rustic Row’ in Victor, Utah for about 20 minutes, East Idaho News reported on Friday.

‘They told me they were traveling from Florida. They had just been to Teton Park and they said they were interested in going to Yellowstone and I told them they could go to the west entrance,’ the owner, who was not identified, told the outlet.

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‘They seemed happy and when they left, she hollered back from the door that they were engaged and then I said congratulations.’

The shop owner said that she contacted the FBI after seeing reports of Petito’s disappearance on the news.  

Members of the Teton County search and rescue team could be seen combing Spread Creek River and its tributaries for much of Saturday and Sunday in a bid to find Petito

Members of the Teton County search and rescue team could be seen combing Spread Creek River and its tributaries for much of Saturday and Sunday in a bid to find Petito 

Petito and Laundrie had been parking their van at the Spread Creek Campground according to her thedyrt.com account

Petito and Laundrie had been parking their van at the Spread Creek Campground according to her thedyrt.com account

Petito's mother, Nicole Schmidt, (pictured last week at a press conference) has slammed Laundrie saying 'he's not missing, he's hiding' after Laundrie, who is a person of interest in her daughter's disappearance, vanished

Petito’s mother, Nicole Schmidt, (pictured last week at a press conference) has slammed Laundrie saying ‘he’s not missing, he’s hiding’ after Laundrie, who is a person of interest in her daughter’s disappearance, vanished

After Sunday's announcement, Richard Benson, an attorney for Schmidt and Petito families said that they would release a more formalized statement in the future

After Sunday’s announcement, Richard Benson, an attorney for Schmidt and Petito families said that they would release a more formalized statement in the future

Gabby’s mother told MailOnline that she is ‘not entertaining’ a TikTok video that’s been widely circulated in which a young woman describes picking up a man she believed to be Brian on the 29th.

‘The timeline seems way off. Maybe she thought it was him, but I just know the timeline is off. The van left there the night of the 27th or early on the 28th. The van was in Florida on the first. It’s not possible for it to have been there on the 29th.’ 

Wisconsin TikToker Miranda Baker said she and her boyfriend were at Grand Teton National Park in Colter Bay, Wyoming, on August 29 when Laundrie approached the couple and asked them for a ride at 5.30pm.  

‘He approached us asking for a ride because he needed to go to Jackson and we were going to Jackson that night. So I said, ya know, ‘hop in’ and he hopped in the back of my Jeep,’ Baker explained. ‘So that was kind of weird.’

She noted Laundrie, 23, was wearing ‘a backpack, a long sleeve, pants and hiking boots’ and said that before he got in the car he  offered to pay the couple $200 to give him a 10-mile ride. 

Meanwhile Florida authorities called off the second day of their search for Laundrie at the alligator-infested Florida Carlton Reserve, where he is believed to be hiding out

Meanwhile Florida authorities called off the second day of their search for Laundrie at the alligator-infested Florida Carlton Reserve, where he is believed to be hiding out 

A search party of about 50 officers had gathered Saturday to search the Carlton Reserves for Laundrie

A search party of about 50 officers had gathered Saturday to search the Carlton Reserves for Laundrie

His parents told investigators on Friday that their son told them on September 14 (Tuesday), when they last saw him, that he was headed to his frequent hiking spot Myakkahatchee Creek Environment Park, which is tied to the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve.

Laundrie’s attorney Steven P. Bertolino said the family went out to the reserve on Wednesday to look for him and found a note from the North Port Police Department on Brian’s mustang saying that it needed to be moved. 

The family left the car overnight ‘so he could drive back,’ Bertolino said, but when he didn’t come home Thursday, they retrieved the car, which was seen in the driveway on Friday.  

On Sunday, a team of 50 police officers from six different agencies ‘used to dealing with [the] elements’ of sprawling, alligator-infested Carlton Reserve, will search for Laundrie. The swathe of officers are using bloodhounds, drones and 4×4 vehicles in their search, said North Port Police information chief Josh Taylor.

Taylor told the New York Post that an experienced outdoorsman could hide out in the area for ‘months.’

They did not find anything Saturday, although police said they took some of Laundrie’s clothing from his parents’ home to provide a scent for search dogs.   

A cellphone photo taken by Zachary Randazzo, 18, Friday looks a 'heck' of a lot like missing Gabby Petito's fiance Brian Laundrie, according to police. It showed a bald, clean-shaven man walking down the sidewalk in flip-flops with headphones in

A cellphone photo taken by Zachary Randazzo, 18, Friday looks a ‘heck’ of a lot like missing Gabby Petito’s fiance Brian Laundrie, according to police. It showed a bald, clean-shaven man walking down the sidewalk in flip-flops with headphones in

‘We have had drones in the air, we have got bloodhounds, K9s, four by four vehicles. It’s very wet, it’s muddy. There are a few unpaved dirt roads. It’s a place that people hike. There are mountain bike trails out here. The Myakkahatchee Creek runs down into the city.’

Asked if he believed there were concerns for Laundrie’s safety, Taylor said: ‘Sure, I think that’s fair to say. There is an enormous amount of pressure I’m sure on him to provide answers on what’s going on here.’ 

He could not confirm if Laundrie owns a gun.   

On Saturday, as police combed the two locations, protestors amassed outside Laundrie’s family home in North Port, chanting ‘where is Gabby?’ throughout the day. 

Just two blocks away, an 18-year-old driving to the protest with his grandmother photographed a man who looked a ‘heck’ of a lot like Laundrie about two blocks from the home, just an hour and a half before the Laundries’ family attorney reported the 23-year-old missing and investigators from the North Port Police Department showed up at the family’s home, according to the New York Post.   

Zachary Randazzo explained that when he and his grandmother turned down the street they ‘were shocked (because) what looked like his clone was walking down the street’. 

‘We then watched him as he turned down the next street over and we drove past him again to get a second look,’ he added.  

Randazzo then drove around the street a third time, and took the photo. ‘After taking it and pulling up a picture of him online and looking at them side-by-side we were thinking, ‘”Wow this looks just like him, how can it not be him?”‘     

Petito’s parents shared a video on their ‘Find Gabby’ Facebook page early this morning from YouTuber Red, White & Bethune’, that caught a Ford Transit Connect Van with Florida plates that the posters believe to be the vehicle that Petito and Laundrie had used to travel the country. The video was taken on August 27 at around 6.30 pm at the Spread Creek Campground, where police were searching for the missing girl.

‘We have this video, so does the FBI,’ wrote the family on the Sunday morning post. ‘We believe this is the van for multiple reasons.’   

Some were heard yelling: 'Bring Gabby home!' with one man on a megaphone shouting 'Where's Gabby, Brian?'

Some were heard yelling: ‘Bring Gabby home!’ with one man on a megaphone shouting ‘Where’s Gabby, Brian?’

Officials began their search in an area on the east side of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming on Saturday for Petito, and Spread Creek campground was closed around 7 am. 

The Denver FBI is the lead agency in the investigation, and set up a mini base camp several hundred feet up the blocked off road away from the main highway.  

DailyMail.com observed search and rescue vehicles carry kayaks and rafts along with off road quads enter into the dispersed campground early on Saturday – at 4PM DailyMail.com about 25 search vehicles left the campground. A source told DailyMail.com, the search was called off for the day because of inclement weather.     

Officers combed the forest as the search for Laundrie began on Saturday, September 18

Officers combed the forest as the search for Laundrie began on Saturday, September 18

More than 50 law enforcement officers are now using bloodhounds, drones and 4x4 vehicles are searching for Laundrie in the vast and swampy Florida woodland reserve

More than 50 law enforcement officers are now using bloodhounds, drones and 4×4 vehicles are searching for Laundrie in the vast and swampy Florida woodland reserve

In Florida, North Port Police, FBI agents and other agencies are on the hunt for Laundrie at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environment Park, in Florida's Carlton Reserve

In Florida, North Port Police, FBI agents and other agencies are on the hunt for Laundrie at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environment Park, in Florida’s Carlton Reserve

North Port Officers and FBI agents are searching throughout the Carlton Reserves

North Port Officers and FBI agents are searching throughout the Carlton Reserves

 Authorities believe that Petito’s last known location was in or around the Grand Teton National Park. 

The park itself spans more than 310,000 acres and 485 square miles the backcountry consists of several hundred square miles on the west side of the park, it’s a hike- in area only.

DailyMail.com went to several of these campsites which were in remote areas near the park- off the grid. 

Cellular phone service was spotty. In one dispersed campsite, Dailymail.com arrived minutes after a grizzly was observed at the side of the road digging up an animal it had previously buried.

Grizzly bears aren’t the only predators Petito would face out in the wilderness, there are red foxes, coyotes, bobcats and cougars that roam the park. 

Police began the search at the Grand Teton National Park on Friday

Police began the search at the Grand Teton National Park on Friday

As a result of the search, Spread Creek campground is closed as National Park Rangers and the Teton County Sheriff search the area, and the area will remain closed to the public for the next few days

As a result of the search, Spread Creek campground is closed as National Park Rangers and the Teton County Sheriff search the area, and the area will remain closed to the public for the next few days

The park covers more than 310,000 acres of land in the Wyoming wilderness

The park covers more than 310,000 acres of land in the Wyoming wilderness

In Florida, North Port police tweeted a photo of the search parties massing in the park, with at least 30 people present. 

Laundrie’s family says he entered the area earlier this week. 

The T. Mabry Carlton Reserve covers nearly 25,000 acres and is 15 miles from the Laundrie home in North Port. It has 80 miles of equestrian, hiking and biking trails. 

North Port Police communications chief Josh Taylor told Dailymail.com, ‘That reserve covers a massive, swampland.’

Police, FBI and the green-clad local Sarasota Sheriff’s Department deputies were moving around in ATV vehicles as the search for Laundrie intensified today.

One particular area of interest with searchers is the 160-acre Myakkahatchee Creek Environment Park, which connects to the massive Carlton Reserve, and is filled with hiking trails amid the expanse of swamp and dense woodland.

One Sheriff’s deputy was seen moving along a pathway into thick undergrowth carrying a machete. Officers remained tight lipped about the search when asked.

Other law enforcement were moving around the location on the perimeter of the environment park in the back of pick-up trucks

Laundrie’s family did not tell authorities he was missing for three days. 

Police said the Laundrie family called the FBI Friday night to talk about their son’s disappearance, describing their frustration that this was the first time they had been willing to speak with investigators in detail amid the search for Petito. 

Gabby Petito

Gabby Petito

On Thursday, new bodycam footage emerged showing police being called to an incident involving the young couple in Moab, Utah, on August 12 – 13 days before Petito was last heard from

Petito’s mother has slammed her boyfriend Laundrie saying ‘he’s not missing, he’s hiding’ after his attorney said the man now named as a person of interest in her daughter’s disappearance hasn’t been seen since Tuesday.

Petito’s mom Nichole Schmidt reacted angrily to the news that Laundrie had vanished and suggested he is on the run, following a fraught week where she has issued several public pleas asking him and his family to cooperate with investigators.  

North Port Police and the FBI confirmed they are searching for Laundrie, whose family say they last saw him Tuesday wearing a hiking bag. 

Law enforcement have been criticized for letting Brian escape.  

Ed Gavin, an expert in missing person cases and former acting chief of the New York City Administration for Children’s Services, told The New York Post, ‘They should’ve immediately placed him under surveillance. Immediately.’

‘They should’ve been all over him,’ he told the New York newspaper. ‘The fact that they let him out of their sight, that’s a no-no. Time is of the essence with these investigations.’

Police are seen with evidence bags at the home of Brian Laundrie Friday - the boyfriend of missing 'van-life' woman Gabby Petito

Police are seen with evidence bags at the home of Brian Laundrie Friday – the boyfriend of missing ‘van-life’ woman Gabby Petito 

Cops arrive Friday and enter the home after Laundrie's parents informed investigators their son had vanished

Cops arrive Friday and enter the home after Laundrie’s parents informed investigators their son had vanished 

Two cops were seen searching a car which has been parked on the driveway of the home

Two cops were seen searching a car which has been parked on the driveway of the home 

On Friday, North Port police said in a statement, ‘We understand the community’s frustration, we are frustrated too. 

‘For six days, the North Port Police Department and the FBI have been pleading with the family to contact investigators regarding Brian’s Fiancé Gabby Petito. 

‘Friday is the first time they have spoken with investigators in detail.’ 

They issued a description of Laundrie as a’ white male, 5’8 160lbs, brown eyes, short brown hair, trimmed facial hair, last seen wearing a hiking bag with a waist strap.’ 

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Laundrie’s attorney told ABC 7 News Friday afternoon the 23-year-old had gone missing and that investigators were trying to locate both him and Petito – who was last seen on August 24 during the couple’s cross-country trip in a campervan.  

Police were seen at Laundrie family home in North Port, Florida, on Friday with evidence bags.

Video surfaced of four police officers entering home on Friday afternoon after being let in by an unidentified family member.

After more than two and a half hours at the home, all four officers left in their black Dodge Caravan with none of the Laundrie family members in tow.   

Police arrive with evidence bags at the North Port, Florida home of Brian Laundrie on Friday

Police arrive with evidence bags at the North Port, Florida home of Brian Laundrie on Friday

One cop is seen searching the trunk of the vehicle as part of their probe into Petito's disappearance

One cop is seen searching the trunk of the vehicle as part of their probe into Petito’s disappearance 

At one point one of the officers exited the home and retrieved what appeared to be an evidence bag from his police cruiser before returning inside

At one point one of the officers exited the home and retrieved what appeared to be an evidence bag from his police cruiser before returning inside

As they arrived protestors outside the home were heard yelling: ‘Bring Gabby home!’ 

A man on a megaphone repeatedly shouted ‘Where’s Gabby, Brian?’ repeatedly and was joined by others who crowded Laundrie’s front yard and recorded police entering the home. 

‘We’re out here, Laundrie family, we’re out here, we’ll be out here everyday!’ the man on the megaphone yelled towards the home. 

Police searched the Mustang on Friday. They opened the trunk and also delved inside the vehicle after opening the driver side door for a very quick search before the officers went back in the house. 

In an attempt to calm the rowdy group in front of the home, North Port police deputy chief Chris Morales stepped on to the lawn and addressed the crowd, saying: ‘This is not helping. Please keep it down. I ask you to have courtesy for the neighbors.’ 

He added: ‘Please respect the peace. You guys can be here but respect the peace,’ he added, but was drowned down at one point by chants of ‘where’s the respect of Gabby?’ 

About an hour after first entering the home, two officers came out and opened up a silver convertible Ford Mustang in the driveway which is understood to belong to the family

About an hour after first entering the home, two officers came out and opened up a silver convertible Ford Mustang in the driveway which is understood to belong to the family

Protestors gathered outside the Laundrie home with banners Friday demanding justice for Petito

Protestors gathered outside the Laundrie home with banners Friday demanding justice for Petito

People crowded the Laundrie's front yard calling on Laundrie to 'prove your innocence'

People crowded the Laundrie’s front yard calling on Laundrie to ‘prove your innocence’

Petito was last seen on August 24 leaving a hotel with Laundrie in Salt Lake City, Utah, during the couple’s cross-country campervan trip which they started in early July.  

The following day she made her final call to her mom, telling her she and Laundrie had traveled to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. She was reported missing by her family on September 11 after they hadn’t heard from her in 13 days.    

Meanwhile, Laundrie returned to the couple’s home in North Port, Florida, on September 1 with the van but without Petito, police said. 

He repeatedly ignored Petito’s family’s requests for help and refused to speak to cops.  

Bertolino addressed his decision to stay silent in a statement earlier this week, saying his client isn’t speaking to police or the public ‘on the advice of counsel’ because ‘intimate partners are often the first person law enforcement focus their attention on in cases like this.’ 

Meanwhile, Petito’s family issued several public pleas for the Laundries to work with authorities in their efforts to bring their daughter home.

On Thursday, new bodycam footage emerged showing police being called to an incident involving the young couple in Moab, Utah, on August 12 – 13 days before Petito was last heard from.  

Laundrie is seen with scratches on his face which he tells an officer were caused when Petito 'was trying to get the keys from me' and 'hit me with her phone'

Laundrie is seen with scratches on his face which he tells an officer were caused when Petito ‘was trying to get the keys from me’ and ‘hit me with her phone’

In the video, an emotional Petito is seen with tears streaming down her face telling officers the couple ‘have been fighting all morning’ and admitting that she slapped him.  

Petito says she suffers from OCD and anxiety, with both her and Laundrie saying she was stressed because of the YouTube blog they were working on to document the doomed cross-country trip. 

Laundrie is seen with scratches on his face and arm which he tells an officer were caused when Petito ‘was trying to get the keys from me’ and ‘hit me with her phone’.

When an officer asks Petito if her boyfriend hit her, she replies ‘I guess’ and makes a grabbing motion on her chin. Laundrie admits he ‘pushed her’ during the altercation. 

The cops determine Petito was ‘the primary aggressor’ and say they are separating the couple for the night.  

The incident report says officers were called near the Moonflower Community Co-op in Moab on August 12 around 4:30pm for a ‘possible domestic violence’ incident involving the couple.

The report, released by the Moab Police Department on Wednesday, documented that the couple admitted they had been going through ‘issues’ over the last couple days.    

22-year-old Gabby Petito, who has not been heard from since August 30 while she was on a cross-country trip with her 23-year-old fiancé (couple pictured kissing)

22-year-old Gabby Petito, who has not been heard from since August 30 while she was on a cross-country trip with her 23-year-old fiancé (couple pictured kissing)

According to Petito’s best friend, while Laundrie presents himself as a sweet and caring guy, he is actually jealous and controlling.  

 In an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com, Rose Davis said Laundrie allegedly went so far as to hide Gabby’s ID once so that she couldn’t meet up with her at a bar, trigging a violent episode similar to the one police investigated weeks before her disappearance.

‘Brian took her ID just so she wouldn’t be able to come out with me,’ she told DailyMail.com on Friday.

‘He’s got these jealousy issues and he struggles from what Gabby called these ‘episodes,’ where he would hear things and hear voices and wouldn’t sleep.

‘Gabby had to stay at my house a bunch of times because she just needed a breather and didn’t want to go home to him.’



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