FBI: Body found near Grand Teton National Park is Gabby Petito, death ruled homicide

Gabby Petito

GRAND TETON, Wyoming (ABC4) – A body found near Grand Teton National Park on Sunday has been confirmed to be that of 22-year-old Gabby Petito.

The initial manner of Petito’s death has been ruled a homicide.

Authorities have not released further details on the cause of death, pending final autopsy results.

The FBI confirmed their findings Tuesday afternoon.

Earlier this summer, Petito and her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, embarked on a cross-country road trip with stops throughout Utah, including Moab and Salt Lake City.

On Sept. 1, Laundrie returned to the Florida home he and Petito are said to have been sharing with his parents. Ten days later, Petito was reported missing by her family living in New York.

The case has gained national attention ever since.

Laundrie was named a person of interest in Petito’s disappearance on Sept. 15, something that was maintained in Tuesday’s statement by the FBI. In an additional twist, Laundrie was reported missing by his family in Florida on Friday, saying that he had not been seen since last Tuesday.

On Sunday, authorities searched Grand Teton National Park for Petito. After Petito told her family they were visiting the park in late August.

A body, now confirmed to be Petito’s, was found near the park during Sunday’s search.

Petito’s father, Joseph, posted his reaction on Twitter, saying “#GabbyPetito she touched the world.” As ABC4 affiliate WJW reports, Petito’s brother TJ posted a similar photo on Instagram, with the caption “I don’t even know what to say. I’m at a total loss. My heart is shattered.” Her uncle, Mike Schmidt, took to Facebook to thank everyone for the outpouring of support during the investigation.

Authorities are still searching for Brian Laundrie who is believed to be in Carlton Reserve, a 25,000-acre nature area near North Port, Florida. Laundrie is said to frequent the property, prompting the search. Multiple agencies were deployed Saturday and Sunday but were unsuccessful

This comes after FBI agents swarmed the home of his parents on Monday.

The FBI is seeking information from anyone who utilized the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area between the dates of August 27-30, 2021, who may have had contact with the couple.

ABC4 will provide updates as they become available.

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