Gabby Petito body found at Wyoming campsite. Cause of death of Brian Petito girlfriend unknown as autopsy scheduled for Tuesday. Was a crime committed? Boyfriend remains in hiding, after being named person of interest.
A body found in a Wyoming national park is likely that of missing Long Island, NY native Gabby Petito, 21, who disappeared while on a cross-country trip with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, 23, the FBI released, Sunday night.
The body was found at the Spread Creek campground in Bridger-Teton National Forest on the eastern edge of the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming on Sunday afternoon.
‘First and foremost, I would like to extend sincere and heartfelt condolences to Gabby’s family,’ Charles Jones, a supervisory senior resident agent with the FBI office in Denver, said at a press briefing.
‘Earlier today, human remains were discovered consistent with the description of Gabrielle ‘Gabby’ Petito,” Jones said. ‘Full forensics identification has not been completed to confirm 100 percent that we found Gabby, but her family has been notified of this discovery.’
‘The cause of death has not been determined at this time,’ he added.
Officials fear not being able to determine cause of death
The coroner’s office said that an autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday, according to KUTV.
The FBI also feared a long exposure to the elements, and setting decomposition could make determining how Petito came to die an indeterminate affair.
It remained unclear how long Gabby had been deceased, and whether the missing woman died as a result of being — as some suggested — being abandoned by her boyfriend, or fleeing/leaving her boyfriend, only to die as a result of being exposed to austere elements.
High temperatures at Grand Teton National Park where Petito’s body is believed to have been found, regularly exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit and even approached 90 degrees during the weeks that Petito went missing.
The North Port Police Department, FBI, and agency partners are currently conducting a search of the vast Carlton Reserve for Brian Laundrie. His family says they believe he entered the area earlier this week. More details when available. pic.twitter.com/I5x7DvQ3Jt
— North Port Police (@NorthPortPolice) September 18, 2021
Others on social media also wondered whether the missing woman died as a direct consequence of Petito’s boyfriend’s actions.
Of note, Brian Laundrie, come Monday remained still missing, as the Florida man is believed to have gone into hiding last week after being named a person of interest in Petito’s disappearance. A manhunt for the man remained in full swing along alligator infested swamplands close to the man’s parents’ North Point home, where he is believed to have fled.
Responding to news of a body found at a Wyoming campsite, thought to be that of Petito’s, the missing woman’s father, Joseph Petito, tweeted, ‘She touched the world.’
‘Saddened and heartbroken’
The attorney representing Laundrie and his parents, who have all refused to speak to police about Petito’s disappearance, called the discovery of her apparent remains ‘heartbreaking.’
‘The news about Gabby Petito is heartbreaking,’ lawyer Steven Bertolino, speaking on behalf of the Laundrie family in North Port, Florida, told the nypost.
‘The Laundrie family prays for Gabby and her family.’
North Port police also took to Twitter, expressing remorse.
‘Saddened and heartbroken to learn that Gabby has been found deceased,’ the department tweeted. ‘Our focus from the start, along with the FBI, and national partners, has been to bring her home.
‘We will continue to work with the FBI in the search for more answers.’
Was a crime committed?
Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue confirmed earlier Sunday that authorities had discovered a body at Bridger-Teton National Forest, where FBI, National Parks and local law enforcement officials havebeen searching for Petito since last week.
Petito, went missing late last month while on a cross-country trip with Laundrie — who returned home without her on Sept. 1. It wasn’t until the woman’s family reported their daughter missing on September 11, with Petito’s boyfriend declining to notify her family that he had returned to Florida without their daughter who he had first set out on their cross country trek with in July.
The Blue Point, NY native last spoke to her family on Aug. 25, while a pair of YouTubers spotted her white 2012 Ford Transit van near Grand Teton two days later — but said the vehicle looked abandoned. (see video directly above).
Days after Petito’s family reported their daughter missing, Laundrie retained the services of a lawyer, while refusing to answer police questions before also disappearing last week, days after being named a person of interest in the missing woman’s case.
A massive search of the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve near his parents’ home in North Port was expected to remain in effect, with concerns the missing man could potentially be armed.