News and Analysis

FBI Confirms Body Found In Wyoming Is Gabby Petito, Rules Death A Homicide
NORTH PORT, FL - SEPTEMBER 20: A makeshift memorial dedicated to missing woman Gabby Petito is located near the North Port City Hall on September 20, 2021 in North Port, Florida. A body has been found by authorities in Wyoming who believe it fits the description of Gabby Petito who went missing while on a cross country trip with her boyfriend Brian Laundrie.
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The FBI confirmed that the body that investigators found in Wyoming in their search for 22-year-old Gabby Petito was, in fact, her and they ruled the cause of death to be a homicide.

“Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue confirmed the remains are those of Gabrielle Venora Petito, date of birth March 19, 1999,” the FBI said in a statement. “Coroner Blue’s initial determination for the manner of death is homicide. The cause of death remains pending final autopsy results.”

FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider said that the FBI’s commitment to justice was at the forefront of all of the bureau’s investigations.

“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,” Schneider said. “Mr. Brian Laundrie has been named a person of interest. Anyone with information concerning Mr. Laundrie’s role in this matter or his current whereabouts should contact the FBI.”

Earlier in the day, attorney Richard Benson Stafford, who represents Petito’s family, said in a statement: “I want to personally thank the press and news media for giving the Petito and Schmidt family time to grieve. We will be making a statement when Gabby is home.”

Petito and Laundrie embarked on a cross-country trip back in June where they traveled in a white Ford van to the West Coast and visited various states and national parks along the way. Police in Utah pulled the couple over on August 12th and officers described them as having “engaged in some sort of altercation.”

Petito’s family said that they were last in contact with her during the final week of August, including the following timeline highlighted by CNN:

  • On August 24, Petito FaceTimes with her mother and tells her she is leaving Utah and heading to the Teton range in Wyoming.
  • On August 25, there are multiple texts between Petito and her mother. The young woman’s family believes she is in the Tetons on this date.
  • On August 27, there were more texts between Petito and her mother, during which her family believes she remains in the Tetons.
  • On August 30, her family receives their last text from Petito. They doubt she wrote that text. According to Stafford, that message reads, “No service in Yosemite.”

Laundrie returned to his parent’s home in Florida on September 1st and the van that they had been traveling in was recovered by police at the home. On September 11th, after not being able to get in touch with their daughter, Petito’s parents filed a missing person’s report.

Gabby Petito’s body was found on Sunday, and Laundrie’s family says that they have not seen him since September 14th.

This report has been updated to include additional information. 


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