The family of Brian Laundrie, a missing person of interest in the death of his fiancée Gabby Petito, released a short statement Tuesday after officials confirmed the identity of Petito’s body.
“May Gabby Rest In Peace,” Laundrie family lawyer Steven Bertoloni told Fox News when reached for comment after Petito’s death was confirmed.
A Wyoming coroner identified Petito’s body on Tuesday after searchers found her near an undeveloped campsite in Grand Teton National Park over the weekend. The coroner ruled Petito’s death a homicide, pending final autopsy results. The FBI confirmed the coroner’s findings in a statement.
“Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue confirmed the remains are those of Gabrielle Venora Petito, date of birth March 19, 1999,” the FBI said. “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 issued an additional statement urging tipsters to come forward with any information on Laundrie’s whereabouts.
“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.”
Laundrie was last seen by his parents on September 14, two weeks after he returned from a cross-country camping trip. He had left on the trip with Petito but returned to his home in Florida without her on September 1. Petito’s parents reported her missing on September 11.
Laundrie’s parents had intended to give a press conference on Tuesday; however, the family’s lawyer Bertoloni canceled the event after FBI agents raided the family’s home on Monday, carrying away boxes of evidence and towing a car. As The Daily Wire reported:
The attorney for Brian Laundrie’s family canceled a press conference over the disappearance of Laundrie’s fiancée Gabby Petito following an FBI raid on the Laundries’ home.
Attorney Steven Bertolino told the New York Post Monday evening that he had scrapped the press conference after having a conversation with the FBI. He denied that the FBI had urged him to cancel the press conference and said that he nixed the plans because they were not in the family’s “best interest.”
“As per my conversation with the FBI this evening there will be no press conference tomorrow,” Bertolino told the Post, adding that it was “just not in my clients’ best interest.”
Petito and Laundrie were reported to have been fighting in the final few weeks she had been seen alive. On August 12, several law enforcement officers responded to a domestic disturbance call on the couple and convinced them to agree to separate for a night. One of the responding officers, park ranger Melissa Hulls, said she spent most of her time talking to Petito and urged her to leave Laundrie. As The Daily Wire reported:
“I can still hear her voice,” Hulls said. “She wasn’t just a face on the milk carton, she was real to me.”
Hulls said that she warned Petito that her relationship with Laundrie seemed “toxic.” Body camera footage from the stop captured a distraught and crying Petito.
“I was probably more candid with her than I should’ve been,” Hulls said. “I was imploring with her to reevaluate the relationship, asking her if she was happy in the relationship with him, and basically saying this was an opportunity for her to find another path, to make a change in her life.”
The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.