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Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito embarked on a road trip with her fiancé Brian Laundrie in July. The couple planned to be gone four months, but when Laundrie returned home alone in September, her family filed a missing person’s report. During a press brief after 6 p.m. EDT, on Sept. 19, 2021, the FBI announced that the body found earlier in the day is consistent with the description of the missing 22-year-old.
Charles Jones, the FBI supervisory agent in the Denver office, emotionally told reporters the remains found at Spread Creek Dispersed Campground in Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming was likely the missing woman. Petito’s mother said her daughter had planned to visit nearby Grand Teton National Park.
A forensic investigation is underway to definitively identify the body. Nonetheless, Agent Jones told reporters they had notified Petito’s family of their findings and updated them on the investigation.
Searching for Brian Laundrie
Another manhunt is underway in Florida as Laundrie, 23, is reportedly missing. The FBI and North Port Police in Florida began searching for Laundrie on Friday, September 17 after his family told them he had not been seen since Tuesday.
His family claims he left them a note telling them he went to the Carlton Reserve; a 24,565-acre wildlife refuge in Sarasota County with over 80 miles of hiking, equestrian, and biking trails.
Laundrie remains a person of interest in Petito’s disappearance. As the cause of her death is not yet determined he is not considered a suspect.
The Petito family lawyer said:
All of Gabby’s family want the world to know that Brian is not missing, he is hiding.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
NBC News: Body believed to be Gabby Petito found in Wyoming; by Tim Stelloh and Ben Kesslen
AP: Body found in Wyoming believed to be Gabrielle Petito
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Inset Image Courtesy of Doom Poon’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License