September 21 (CSU World Record) -The FBI announced on Tuesday that the body discovered in a US national park in Wyoming had been identified as Gabby Petito, the young woman who went missing while traveling with her fiance and whose death was determined to be a homicide.
The confirmation that Petito is, in fact, dead was the latest twist in a tale that has gripped Americans since her family reported her missing on September 11 – ten days after her fiancé Brian Laundrie returned home from their cross-country journey without her.
The FBI’s Denver office announced on Twitter, “Gabrielle Venora Petito, born March 19, 1999, in Teton County, was confirmed to be the victim by Coroner Dr. Brent Blue. The manner of death is homicide, according to Coroner Blue’s initial determination.Investigators have labeled Laundrie, who is 23, a “person of interest” in the case. Laundrie has not been seen since last Tuesday, when he departed from his family’s home in North Port, Florida.
On Sunday, law enforcement personnel said they discovered a body that was “very similar” to the 5’5″, 110-pound Petito in a remote region of Bridger-Teton National Forest, less than 1,000 feet (300 meters) from where a pair of travel bloggers recorded the couple’s white van parked along a dirt road near.
On Sunday, Joseph Petito, the father of Jocelyn, posted a photo of his daughter on Twitter. The picture shows her standing between two painted wings, with the words “She touched the world” written beside it in broken letters.
Laundrie’s parents told FBI agents they hadn’t seen him in a week when he informed them that he intended to hike alone in the nearby 24,000-acre Carlton Reserve wilderness area. North Port police added that they learned of Laundrie’s disappearance only on Friday from his family.
The police in Port Charlotte, North Port, said Tuesday that the search for Laundrie had resumed. The hunt was halted after “giving up all possibilities” to find Laundrie, according to authorities. According to police, Laundrie’s relatives believe he entered the region last week.
SEARCH WARRANT EXECUTED
On Mon, federal agents raided the home of Laundrie’s parents, executing a search warrant and carting away cardboard boxes as well as a silver Ford Mustang. The attorney for the Laundrie family, Steven Bertolino, has canceled a press conference that was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, according to numerous news organizations.
Sandi Petito and her mother, Lavonne Laundrie, left their home state of New York in late June or early July, traveling west in the van with the goal of seeing national parks along the route and sharing it on social media. On August 24, Petito was last seen leaving a Salt Lake City hotel, and she posted her final photo to social media the next day. Her family believes she was on her way to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming when they lost contact with her.
Investigators have cited an August 27 text message allegedly sent by Petito to her mother, Nicole Schmidt, that describes receiving numerous calls and voice messages from “Stan,” her grandfather. When asked about the strange text, Schmidt explained it was odd because the girl would not usually refer to her grandfather by his first name. The family of Petito has claimed that a second text message also appeared suspect.
Last week, police in Moab, Utah, made a public bodycam video from an encounter two of their cops had with the couple during a traffic stop on August 12. In the video, Petito is tearful as she explains a dispute with Laundrie, which she describes as becoming physical on occasion. The cops did not arrest the pair but insisted that they spend the night apart in separate rooms for Petito: at a hotel and Laundrie in the van.