Reuters by Dan Whitcomb
The FBI said Tuesday that a body found in a U.S. national park in Wyoming has been identified as Gabby Petito, who went missing on a road trip with her fianc and her death was a homicide.
Confirmation is the latest twist in a story that has engulfed Americans since Petito’s family reported the 22-year-old missing.
The FBI’s Denver office said on Twitter, “Tetan County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue has confirmed that the remains belong to Gabriel Vanora Petito, born March 19, 1999. The cause of death is awaiting final autopsy.
Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue confirmed that the remains belong to Gabriel Vanora Petito, born March 19, 1999. The cause of death is awaiting autopsy. pic.twitter.com/JoHenMZ9UU.
– FBI Denver September 21, 2021.
Investigators called the 23-year-old laundry “interested” in the case. The laundry has not been seen since he left his family home in Northport, Florida last Tuesday. Before disappearing, Laundry refused to speak to investigators and retained a lawyer.
Police and FBI agents said Sunday they found a body less than 1,000 feet away in a remote area of Burger-Teton National Forest with a 5-foot-5, 110-pound potato. Filmed the couple’s white van parked on a dirt road near Spread Creek on the evening of August 27.
Petito’s father, Joseph, posted a picture of his daughter on Twitter on Sunday. The picture, which appears to be standing between its two painted wings, had a broken heart and the title with the words: “It touched the world.”
– Joseph Petito (osejosephpetito) September 19, 2021.
Laundry’s parents told FBI agents they last saw him a week ago, when he told them he planned to travel alone to the desolate 24,000-acre Carlton Reserve. Northport police said they learned from Laundry’s family only on Friday that he had been missing for three days.
Northport police said Tuesday they have resumed searching for the swamp reserve. Police had earlier called off the search after “clearing all the way” to find the laundry. According to police, the laundry family said they believed they had entered the area last week.
Execution of search warrant
On Monday, FBI agents searched the home of Laundry’s parents, issued a search warrant at the residence, snatched cardboard boxes and took away a silver Ford Mustang.
Several media outlets have reported that the laundry family’s lawyer, Steven Bertolino, has canceled a news conference scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.
Petito and Laundry left their home state of New York in late June or early July, visiting national parks in a van heading west, and documenting their “Van Life” journey on social media.
Petito was last seen leaving the Salt Lake City Hotel on August 24 and posted his last picture on social media the next day. Her family believes she was on her way to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming when they last heard from her.
In pursuit of the search warrant, investigators copied an August 27 text sent by Petito to his mother, Nicole Schmidt, explaining repeated calls and voice messages from Petito’s grandfather, “Stan.” Was done
Schmidt told investigators the message was strange because the young woman did not usually use her grandfather’s first name. Petito’s family says the second text message also looks suspicious.
Last week, police in Mota, Utah, released body camera footage of August 12 in which two of their officers were with the couple during a traffic stop.
In the video, Patio cries as she describes an argument with Laundry that she says sometimes gets physical. Officers did not detain the couple but insisted they spend the night separately, in a petite van and at a laundry hotel.
Reuters author Rich McKay contributed to this report.