FBI Rules Gabrielle Petito’s Death as a Homicide

Gabrielle Petito speaks with Moab City police officers after a domestic altercation with her boyfriend.

The FBI announced on Tuesday that they identified the remains investigators uncovered on Sunday in the Teton-Bridger National Forest. The body they found has been identified as 22-year-old Gabrielle Petito, who went missing late in August while she was on a road trip with her boyfriend Brian Laundrie.


The Bureau’s initial findings are that Petito’s manner of death is a homicide. On Twitter, the agency released a statement:

Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue confirmed the remains are those of Gabrielle Venora Petito, date of birth March 19, 1999. Coroner Blue’s initial determination for the manner of death is homicide. The cause of death remains pending final autopsy results

Fox News reported:

The FBI and local law enforcement agencies were searching for Petito over the weekend in a remote campsite area on the border of the national forest and Grand Teton National Park. Remains discovered on Sunday were transported to Blue’s office for an autopsy, which he performed on Tuesday.

Petito’s parents filed a missing report for their daughter on Sept. 11 after they stopped hearing from her in late August. Laundrie returned to his Florida home on Sept. 1 without Petito, but last Friday, he left for the Carlton Reserve with his backpack. Law enforcement has been searching for him since last week, but recently indicated they were no longer searching the Carlton Reserve area.


On Monday, the FBI declared Laundrie’s home, which he shared with his parents, a crime scene. Agents were seen entering the home and taking Brian’s parents to sit in a car. They were serving a federal warrant issued by a judge. It is not yet known whether they found evidence of a crime.

Authorities also recovered the white van the couple was driving during their trip on Sept. 11, and started a forensic examination on Sept. 14. Laundrie is still considered a person of interest in the case and has not been designated a suspect.

In mid-August, officers with the Moab City Police Department in Utah responded to a domestic disturbance call due to a physical altercation between Petito and Laundrie. According to the police report, the couple got into a heated argument over a phone. Petito reportedly slapped Laundrie repeatedly, after he told her to take a walk so they could both settle down. A witness saw the altercation and contacted local law enforcement.

The officers who responded to the scene decided not to arrest either Petito or Laundrie, or charge her with domestic violence. They deemed the incident to be a mental health matter and separated the two for the night.


FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge released a statement Tuesday:

The FBI and our partners remain dedicated to ensuring anyone responsible for or complicit in Ms. Petito’s death is held accountable for their actions.

As Fox News’ report mentioned, “The final report nor the exact cause of death have been released.”


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