The Federal Bureau of Investigation on Sunday announced they discovered a body in Wyoming that is believed to be Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito, who has been missing for over a week.
The Associated Press reports:
Petito and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, left in July on a cross-country trek in a converted van to visit national parks in the U.S. West. Police said Laundrie was alone when he drove the van back to his parents’ home in North Port, Florida, on Sept. 1.
Laundrie has been designated a person of interest in Petito’s disappearance. He was last seen on Tuesday by family members in Florida. The authorities have been searching for him “in a 24,000-acre wildlife reserve near Sarasota, Florida,” according to the AP.
Over 50 officers searched the wildlife area which is located near Florida’s Gulf Coast for the 23-year-old Laundrie. Petito went missing while the two were on a cross-country trip.
After Laundrie returned without Petito, North Port Police spoke with the Laundrie family. CNN reported:
Police previously had visited the home but the family refused to talk and instead gave authorities the information for their attorney, Taylor said earlier this week. Petito’s family and their attorneys have pleaded with the Laundrie family for several days to speak to authorities and help them find the young woman.
North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison on Thursday told CNN’s Don Lemon that he believes the Laundrie family is holding back pertinent information.
I believe people around Brian may also have the information, and we are pleading to those people to come forward. Provide us the information that we need to find Gabby and reunite Gabby with her family because she deserves it and her family deserves it.
Petito had been traveling with Laundrie in her 2012 Ford Transit van. But when her family did not hear anything from her since late August, they reported her as missing on Sept. 11. Law enforcement officials believe she was in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, before Petito last communicated with her family, who resides in New York.
BREAKING: Officials say human remains were found earlier today consistent with the description of missing 22-year-old Gabby Petito. pic.twitter.com/FcOD93Sbi6
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 19, 2021
The Laundries have not spoken with Petito’s family, who had been pleading for anyone with information to come forward. Petito’s stepfather, James Schmidt, told CNN affiliate Court TV:
“We’ve had no communication between our family and theirs. It’s absolutely absurd. We don’t understand why.”
Schmidt believes Laundrie knows something about his stepdaughter’s disappearance and is “hiding behind” his attorney.
Last month, the couple had an encounter with law enforcement in Moab, Utah, during their trip.
Last month, officers with the Moab City Police Department responded to reports of disorderly conduct involving Petito and Laundrie, which ended with a report describing them as having “engaged in some sort of altercation.”
"He doesn't really believe I could do any of it" – Gabby Petito on her bf after explaining she has been working really hard to build a website and blog. Brian Laundrie, you're a fraud and everything will come to light. #GabbyPetito #brianlaundrie pic.twitter.com/6fTDvuhfvT
— trashbae (@trash_bae__) September 16, 2021
The police report indicated that the couple engaged in a physical altercation after an argument. However, the report also noted that “both the male and female reported they are in love and engaged to be married and desperately didn’t wish to see anyone charged with a crime.”
While Brian is a person of interest in Petito’s disappearance, North Port police released a statement explaining that “he is not wanted for a crime.”
Laundrie’s family told authorities they had not seen him since Tuesday when he went to the Sarasota wildlife reserve.
As this is a breaking report, RedState will provide updated details as they become available.