FBI raids fiance Brian Laundrie’s family home after Gabby Petito’s probable remains are found

In the morning, FBI investigators searched the home of Laundrie’s parents in North Port as part of a “court-authorized search warrant” related to the Petito case. Her parents were escorted out of the house before the search and then brought back inside for questioning, police said.

Officers removed a number of items from the house and a Ford Mustang convertible was also towed away.

The FBI tweeted Monday evening that the search was over but the investigation is ongoing.

On Sunday, human remains that authorities believe belonged to Petito were found in an undeveloped camping area in Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming, on the eastern edge of Grand Teton National Park. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday to confirm identity.

Petito, 22, and Laundrie, 23, took a road trip in a white New York van through the American West this summer, while regularly posting photos and stories on their social media pages with the hashtag #vanlife.

However, these messages abruptly stopped at the end of August. Laundrie returned home in North Port, Florida with his van but without Petito on September 1, police said. Petito’s family, unable to contact her, reported her missing on September 11.

In the days that followed, her story became a national obsession for many, prompting digital detectives to tread the couple’s online trail in an attempt to resolve the case. History has also highlighted the tens of thousands of missing person stories that do not generate such intense interest; there were nearly 90,000 active missing persons cases at the end of 2020, according to the National Crime Information Center.

More details of an incident involving the couple emerged on Monday when authorities in Utah released a recording of a 911 call where a man described a woman being slapped in the face.

In audio provided to CNN by the Grand County Sheriff’s Office in Utah, a 911 caller tells an operator he wants to report a domestic dispute and describes a white van with a Florida license plate.

“We walked past and the gentleman was slapping the girl,” said the caller. “Then we stopped. They ran on the sidewalk. He started hitting her, jumped in the car and they drove away. “

Police then arrested the couple.

“She touched the world”, says the father

Pathologists will conduct a full forensic examination of the remains found on Sunday to confirm identity, said Charles Jones, a senior resident agent for the FBI Denver in Wyoming. Authorities must also identify the cause of death, he said.

Despite this, Petito’s family was made aware of the discovery. His father, Joseph Petito, tweeted a photo of her Sunday night, saying, “She touched the world. Richard Stafford, a lawyer representing Joseph Petito and his mother, Nicole Schmidt, released a statement obtained by CNN affiliate WABC asking that the family be given a space.

Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino called the news “heartbreaking”, adding: “The Laundrie family are praying for Gabby and her family.”

Laundrie’s sister also released a statement to ABC News praising Petito for his relationship with Laundrie’s nephews.

“Gabby was a fun and loving influence on ‘the boys’ as she always called them. We will treasure the time we spent with her,” Cassie Laundrie said in the statement.

Laundry research

Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie had traveled to the American West by van this summer.

The Laundromat, meanwhile, avoided authorities after returning to Florida and is now gone.

Police attended the Laundrie family’s home after Petito went missing, but Laundrie’s family refused to speak and instead gave authorities the information from their lawyer, police said last week.

Their home was raided on Friday evening after Laundrie’s family told police they had not seen him for days. He left his home with his backpack on Tuesday and told them he was on his way to a local nature reserve, police spokesman Taylor said on Saturday.
Search for Gabby Petito's fiancé Brian Laundrie focuses on Florida nature reserve
Over the weekend, federal and local officials searched for laundry facilities on the Carlton Preserve in Sarasota County, police said. The search was suspended Sunday evening and there was “nothing to report,” North Port police said. on Twitter.

The search effort included the use of drones and sleuths that used laundry clothes taken from his home to get his scent, Taylor said at a press conference at the search scene on Saturday. Police initially focused their search on a nearby park that spans about 200 acres before expanding to the rest of the reserve.

The laundry is not wanted for a crime, officials said. Still, CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney Joey Jackson said that may soon change as the investigation continues.

“One thing is for sure: they are focused on him, looking for him, and when they find him, I expect him to be before a judge quickly,” he said.

Petito and Laundrie were on a trip to the national parks

A photo of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie's van was released by North Port Police.
Petito is believed to have been in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming when her family last came in contact with her, North Port police said.

The two began their road trip in June with a plan to visit national parks in the western states of the United States, North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison said last week. She was excited to share her trip with her family and others on social media, he said.

“She maintained regular contact with members of her family while on the move, but this communication abruptly ceased towards the end of August,” added the police chief.

The 911 call issued on Monday sheds new light on a meeting between the police and the couple in Moab, Utah, on August 12, where officers described them as having “engaged in some sort of altercation.” “.

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Although the two men are described in a police report as having physically fought over an argument, “the man and woman said they were in love and engaged to be married and did not desperately want to see person accused of a crime “. Officer Eric Pratt writes in the report.

At the suggestion of the police, the couple separated for the night, according to the report, which describes Petito as “confused and emotional.”

“Having assessed all of the circumstances, I don’t think the situation escalated to the level of a domestic assault as much as a mental health crisis,” Officer Daniel Robbins wrote in the police report. . No charges have been laid.

On August 24, Petito FaceTimed with his mother and told her she was leaving Utah and heading to the Teton Range in Wyoming, said Stafford, the family’s attorney. Over the next three days, Petito and his mother texted each other, he said. They received a final message on Aug. 30 that read, “No service in Yosemite,” but her family doubt she wrote it, Stafford said.

And an affidavit filed last week for a search warrant on Gabby Petito’s hard drive says her mother received a strange text message from her daughter on August 27.

The text message read, “Can you help Stan, I keep getting his voicemails and missed calls.” Because the text message referred to Petito’s grandfather as Stan – something Gabby never called him – his mother feared something was wrong, the warrant says.

As a result of this text, Petito’s phone was no longer operational and she stopped posting anything on social media about their trip, the warrant says.

The warrant also states that during the trip, Petito had numerous discussions with his mother via his cell phone when “there seemed to be more and more tension between her and Laundrie”.

Another potential clue came on Sunday when two vloggers posted a video on YouTube of what they believed to be Petito and Laundrie’s van near the Wyoming camping area.

Kyle and Jenn Bethune said the video was taken on their GoPro on August 27 in the Bridger-Teton National Forest camping area between 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. The Bethunes, originally from Florida, were looking for a place to stay. camping and thought it was “neat” to see a vehicle with Florida license plates in Wyoming.

In the video, Jenn Bethune said they were thinking of stopping to say hello, but the van “was completely dark. There was no one there.”

“The van looked like it was pretty much abandoned,” Kyle Bethune added in the video’s narration. “We thought maybe they were hiking or just relaxing inside. There were no doors open.”

CNN’s Leyla Santiago has reported from North Port, Florida, and CNN’s Madeline Holcombe and Eric Levenson has reported and written in Atlanta and New York. CNN’s Travis Caldwell, Chris Cuomo, Aya Elamroussi, Rob Frehse, Deanna Hackney, Jennifer Henderson, Laura James, MiSeon Lee, Gregory Lemos, Christina Maxouris, Artemis Moshtaghian, Shawn Nottingham, Andy Rose, Jenn Selva, Alta Spells and Joe Sutton have contributed to this report.

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