Gabby Petito update: FBI raids fiance Brian Laundrie’s family home after his probable remains are found


On Monday morning, FBI investigators raided Laundrie’s parents’ home in North Port as part of a “court-authorized search warrant” related to the Petito case. Her parents were escorted out of the house before the search and then brought back inside for questioning, police said.

Officers removed a number of items from the house and a Ford Mustang convertible was also towed away.

Meanwhile, investigators are still looking for Laundrie, who returned to the Florida home without Petito earlier this month, refused to speak to investigators and then disappeared last week. The search for him had centered on a nearby nature reserve, but investigators shifted focus after “exhausting all possibilities to search the grounds there,” North Police spokesman said Monday. Port, Josh Taylor.

On Sunday, human remains that authorities believe belonged to Petito were found in an undeveloped camping area in Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming, on the eastern edge of Grand Teton National Park. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday to confirm identity.

Petito, 22, and Laundrie, 23, had traveled in a white van through the American West this summer, while regularly posting photos and stories on their social media pages with the hashtag #vanlife.

However, these messages abruptly stopped at the end of August. Laundrie returned home in North Port, Florida with his van but without Petito on September 1, police said. Petito’s family, unable to contact her, reported her missing on September 11.

In the days that followed, her story has become a national obsession for many, prompting digital detectives to scour the couple’s online trail in an attempt to resolve the case. History has also highlighted the tens of thousands of missing person stories that do not generate such intense interest; there were nearly 90,000 active missing persons cases at the end of 2020, according to the National Crime Clearinghouse.

A full forensic examination of the remains will be required to confirm identity, said Charles Jones, a senior resident agent for FBI Denver in Wyoming. Authorities must also identify the cause of death, he said.

Despite this, Petito’s family was made aware of the discovery. His father, Joseph Petito, tweeted a photo of her Sunday night, saying, “She touched the world. Richard Stafford, a lawyer representing Joseph Petito and his mother, Nicole Schmidt, released a statement obtained by WABC, subsidiary of CNN ask for the family to have space.

Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino called the news “heartbreaking”, adding: “The Laundrie family are praying for Gabby and her family.”

Laundrie’s sister also released a statement to ABC News praising Petito for his relationship with Laundrie’s nephews.

“Gabby was a fun and loving influence on ‘the boys’ as she always called them. We will treasure the time we spent with her,” Cassie Laundrie said in the statement.

Laundry research

Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie had traveled to the American West by van this summer.

The Laundromat, meanwhile, avoided authorities after returning to Florida and is now gone.

Police attended the Laundrie family’s home after Petito went missing, but Laundrie’s family refused to speak and instead gave authorities the information from their lawyer, police said last week.

Their home was raided on Friday evening after Laundrie’s family told police they had not seen him for days. He left his home with his backpack on Tuesday and told them he was on his way to a local nature reserve, police spokesman Taylor said on Saturday.
Search for Gabby Petito's fiancé Brian Laundrie focuses on Florida nature reserve
Over the weekend, federal and local officials searched for laundry facilities on the Carlton Preserve in Sarasota County, police said. The search was suspended Sunday evening and there was “nothing to report,” North Port police said. on Twitter.

The search effort included the use of drones and sleuths that used laundry clothes taken from his home to get his scent, Taylor said at a press conference at the search scene on Saturday. Police initially focused their search on a nearby park that spans about 200 acres before expanding to the rest of the reserve.

The laundry is not wanted for a crime, officials said. Still, CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney Joey Jackson said that may soon change as the investigation continues.

“One thing is for sure: they are focused on him, looking for him, and when they find him, I expect him to be before a judge quickly,” he said.

Petito and Laundrie were on a trip to the national parks

A photo of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie's van was released by North Port Police.
Petito was believed to have been in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming when her family last came in contact with her, North Port police said.

The two began their road trip in June with a plan to visit national parks in the western states of the United States, North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison said last week. She was excited to share her trip with her family and others on social media, he said.

“She maintained regular contact with members of her family while on the move, but this communication abruptly ceased towards the end of August,” added the police chief.

Police met the couple in Moab, Utah, on August 12, where officers described them as having “engaged in some sort of altercation.”

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Although the two are described as physically fighting over an argument, “the man and woman said they were in love and engaged to be married and were desperate to see anyone charged with a crime.” reports an officer. Eric Pratt said.

At the suggestion of the police, the couple separated for the night, according to the report, which describes Petito as “confused and emotional.”

“Having assessed all of the circumstances, I don’t think the situation escalated to the level of a domestic assault as much as a mental health crisis,” Officer Daniel Robbins wrote in the police report. . No charges have been laid.

On August 24, Petito FaceTimed with his mother and told her she was leaving Utah and heading to the Teton Range in Wyoming, said Stafford, the family’s attorney. Over the next three days, Petito and his mother texted each other, he said. They received a final message on Aug. 30 that read, “No service in Yosemite,” but her family doubt she wrote it, Stafford said.

Another potential clue came on Sunday when two vloggers posted a video on YouTube of what they believed to be Petito and Laundrie’s van near the Wyoming camping area.

Kyle and Jenn Bethune said the video was taken on their GoPro on August 27 in the Bridger-Teton National Forest camping area between 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. The Bethunes, originally from Florida, were looking for a place to stay. camping and thought it was “neat” to see a vehicle with Florida license plates in Wyoming.

In the video, Jenn Bethune said they were thinking of stopping to say hello, but the van “was completely dark. There was no one there.”

“The van looked like it was pretty much abandoned,” Kyle Bethune added in the video’s narration. “We thought maybe they were hiking or just relaxing inside. There were no doors open.”

CNN’s Travis Caldwell, Chris Cuomo, Aya Elamroussi, Rob Frehse, Deanna Hackney, Jennifer Henderson, Laura James, MiSeon Lee, Gregory Lemos, Christina Maxouris, Artemis Moshtaghian, Shawn Nottingham, Andy Rose, Leyla Santiago, Jenn Selva, Alta Spells and Joe Sutton contributed to this report.


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