The FBI has confirmed that the body found in a Wyoming national park was that of 22-year-old Gabby Petito. Her body was discovered on Sunday, Sept. 19, in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest, after a search had been instigated to look for her when she failed to return home with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, who has now become a person of interest to police.
On Tuesday, Sept. 21, the local coroner reported Petito’s death as a homicide.
“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,” the FBI’s Denver office tweeted.
“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,” FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider said in a statement, according to the New York Post.
Laundrie and Petito lived with his parents in North Port home in Florida before her fateful trip.
In July, the young couple headed out in a converted van to visit national parks in the West. They got into a disagreement on the way, according to a tape obtained from the Grand County Sheriff’s Office. A witness claimed to see Petito and Laundrie arguing in Moab, Utah, on Aug. 12, he contacted 911 to report a domestic violence incident. The man reported he saw Laundrie slap Petito while going through town and hit her before the two got into their van and drove away.
On the same day, a video released by the Moab police revealed that an officer pulled the couple’s van over after it was spotted speeding and hitting a curb near Arches National Park. Petito appeared to be upset in the body camera clip.
Petito was last seen on August 25. She was later reported missing on September 11, ten days after Laundrie, 23, returned alone to their home,
On Sunday, September 19, the FBI said the human remains found in a Wyoming national park were likely Gabby Petito’s, and this was confirmed at an autopsy.
Police are hunting for Laundrie, who has been declared a person of interest in the case. Authorities stated on Tuesday that they were “actively” investigating deer camera video that showed a guy who looked like Laundrie in a wilderness area near Baker, Florida, according to the New York Post.
“I’m not saying this is the guy but whoever was on my trail camera this morning in Baker, Fl strongly fits the description of Brian Laundrie,” resident Sam Bass wrote in a Facebook post. “Authorities have been contacted but people in the North West Florida area be on the look out.”