Sep 20, 2021 - News

Gabby Petito's body likely found as police search wilderness for fiancé

Law enforcement officials gather to search the Carlton Reserve for Brian Laundrie.

The North Port Police Department, FBI, and agency partners search the vast Carlton Reserve for Brian Laundrie. Photo courtesy of North Port Police

As Gabby Petito's family mourns, the search is still on for her fiancé, Brian Laundrie.

What happened: After two days of police and FBI agents scouring Sarasota County for Laundrie, federal agents in Denver announced that a body consistent with the description of 22-year-old Petito was found in Wyoming's Bridger-Teton National Forest on Sunday.

  • Police will now go through a full forensic identification to confirm the remains and the cause of death.

Why it matters: Laundrie is the last known person to have seen Petito, and recently became a person of interest in her disappearance.

Gabby Petito photographed around trees.
Gabby Petito. Photo courtesy of the FBI

Flashback: Petito had been missing for weeks since the couple took a road trip through Western national parks, as cataloged on Petito's social media.

  • A Moab, Utah, police report details a mid-August altercation between the two, WTSP reports.
  • WFLA has a police body cam video showing the couple admitting to fighting the night before.
  • Laundrie returned to North Port in the van Petito owns 10 days before her parents reported her missing on Sept. 11.

Where they're looking: Police have searched 200 acres around the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park and the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve. North Port Police, FBI and Florida Fish and Wildlife officials searched the Creek Park again Sunday.

"We’ve got drones in the air, bloodhounds, K-9s, four-wheelers, side by sides … it’s very wet."
North Port Police Department spokesman Josh Taylor to WFLA
A map of the Carlton Reserve in Florida.
The Carlton Reserve. Map: Jared Whalen/Axios

Point of intrigue: A TikToker claims she picked up Laundrie hitchhiking alone in Wyoming around the time Petito was last seen, per the New York Post.


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