Coroner: Remains found in Wyoming belong to Gabby Petito

NORTH PORT, Fla. — Police continue to search for Brian Laundrie, the fiance of Florida woman Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito, after family members reported they last saw him Sept. 14. Authorities confirmed early Tuesday evening that human remains discovered Sunday near a Grand Teton National Park campsite in Wyoming are Petito’s.

>> Read more trending news

Here are the latest updates:

Update 7:05 p.m. EDT Sept. 21: The North Port Police Department and its law enforcement partners have suspended their Tuesday search for Brian Laundrie in the Carlton Reserve.

Laundrie, whose parents reported him missing Friday, has been named a person of interest in the homicide of his fiancee, Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito, whose remains investigators found Sunday near a Grand Teton National Park campsite.

The couple had been traveling cross-country, but Petito’s parents had not heard from their daughter since late August. Laundrie returned to his parents’ North Port, Florida, home on Sept. 1 without Petito, and her family reported her missing Sept. 11.

Update 6:10 p.m. EDT Sept. 21: Laundrie family lawyer Steven Bertoloni released a statement after the FBI confirmed the body discovered Sunday in Wyoming was Gabby Petito.

“May Gabby Rest In Peace,” Bertolino told Fox News when reached for comment.

Update 5:36 p.m. EDT Sept. 21: Brian Laundrie, who remains unaccounted for four days after his family reported him missing, has been named a person of interest in the homicide of his fiancee, Gabby Petito.

Petito disappeared during a cross-country road trip with Laundrie. Her family last heard from her at the end of August. Laundrie returned to his family’s house in North Port without her on Sept. 1.

In a news release confirming that remains found Sunday near a Grand Teton National Park campsite are Petito’s, the FBI Denver field office confirmed the death is now being investigated as a homicide.

“The FBI and our partners remain committed to ensuring anyone responsible for or complicit in Ms. Petito’s death is held accountable for their action. Mr. Brain 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,” the news release stated.

Update 5:14 p.m. EDT Sept. 21: Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue confirmed early Tuesday evening that the remains found near a Grand Teton National Park campsite are those of Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito.

Although Petito’s cause of death remains pending, Blue’s initial determination is that the manner of her death was homicide.

Update 1:20 p.m. EDT Sept. 21: A news conference scheduled for Tuesday afternoon by the Laundrie family’s attorney has been canceled, according to WABC-TV.

The news conference was set to be held at at the Hyatt Regency in Long Island,, though attorney Steven Bertolino later canceled the event after talking to the FBI, WABC reported.

Update 1:10 p.m. EDT Sept. 21: Sheriff’s deputies in Okaloosa County, Florida, said Tuesday afternoon that they are completing “an extensive search” after a person in Baker noticed an image of a person matching the description of Brian Laundrie captured on their trail camera.

The image, taken Monday morning, showed a man wearing a backpack, although the image was not clear enough to make out his features.

Deputies said they searched the area where the image was taken as well as surrounding farmlands.

“No one - and nothing - of note was located,” deputies said, adding that Laundrie “has no known ties to our area.”

Update: The OCSO did its due diligence in response to this report and is wrapping up an extensive search that took place...

Posted by Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Authorities in Sarasota County continue to search the sprawling Carlton Reserve for signs of Laundrie. His family reported him missing Friday, saying they last saw him wearing a hiking bag on Sept. 14.

Police have named Laundrie a person of interest in the disappearance of his fiancee, Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito, who vanished during a cross-country road trip with him. On Sunday, authorities said they recover a body in Wyoming that matched Petito’s description. An autopsy to confirm her identity is scheduled for Tuesday.

Update 10:30 a.m. EDT Sept. 21: At least one drone has been deployed to aid in the search Tuesday for Brian Laundrie, the fiance of Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito who was named a person of interest in her disappearance before authorities in Wyoming recovered a body that matched her description on Sunday.

Authorities are searching the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve southwest of Sarasota. On Thursday, family members retrieved the car Laundrie used to drive to the nature preserve after noticing a note left on the car by North Port police which ordered it be moved, ABC News reported.

Laundrie’s family reported him missing Friday, telling investigators they last saw him wearing a hiking bag on Sept. 14. Police searched the Carlton Reserve for signs of Laundrie over the weekend but found no sign of the 23-year-old.

Update 9:10 a.m. EDT Sept. 21: Officials with the North Port Police Department, Sarasota County Fire Department, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office are among those searching the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve on Tuesday for signs of Brian Laundrie, the missing fiance of Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito.

Police named Laundrie as a person of interest in Petito’s disappearance days before authorities in Wyoming found remains which they have said match Petito’s description. An autopsy to confirm her identity is scheduled for Tuesday.

Images released by police showed K-9 units and ATVs were among the resources being utilized in the search for Laundrie, whose family reported him missing last week. Family members told police they last saw him wearing a hiking bag on Sept. 14.

Update 8:20 a.m. EDT Sept. 21: Police said the search for Brian Laundrie will resume Tuesday in the Carlton Reserve, a nature preserve southwest of Sarasota, one day after authorities searched the Laundrie family home in connection to the disappearance of Laundrie’s fiancee, Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito.

Petito disappeared during a cross-country road trip with Laundrie. Her family last heard from her at the end of August. Laundrie returned to his family’s house in North Port without her on Sept. 1.

On Sunday, authorities in Wyoming said they found a body matching Petito’s description. An autopsy to confirm her identity is scheduled for Tuesday.

Family members reported Laundrie missing on Friday, saying that they last saw him wearing a hiking bag on Tuesday. Police searched the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve over the weekend but found no sign of the 23-year-old. He was previously named a person of interest in Petito’s disappearance.

Update 7:40 p.m. EDT Sept. 20: Federal agents in Tampa, Florida, have concluded their search of the Laundrie home but released no further details, citing the “ongoing investigation.”

Update 7:12 p.m. EDT Sept. 20: A Sept. 15 search warrant signed to allow detectives to examine an external hard drive found during the day-earlier search of the van in which Petito and Laundrie had been traveling provided new timeline details in Petito’s disappearance, WFLA reported Monday.

Highlights of the WFLA report include:

  • The search warrant allowed investigators to search “search “any and all external storage device(s), commercial software and hardware, computer disks, disk drives, tape drives, disk application programs, data disks, system disk operating systems, electronic mail, system storage devices, tape systems and hard drive and other computer-related operation equipment, in addition to computer photographs, graphic interchange formats and/or photographs, or other visual depictions.”
  • Police believe the storage device might have “viable digital forensic data” on it that could inform their investigation.
  • The warrant stated that probable cause for issuance of the warrant existed because the device could potentially contain evidence that a felony had been committed.
  • Petito’s mother told investigators that she received “odd” messages from her daughter, including an Aug. 27 exchange where the 22-year-old referred to her grandfather by a name she had never used.
  • Petito was officially declared a missing person by Suffolk County Police in New York on Sept. 11, following reports from Moab City Police after an Aug. 12 domestic issue between Petito and Laundrie while in Moab, Utah. The Moab report, which noted that Petito displayed a high level of anxiety and body camera footage led Suffolk County authorities to conclude that Petito appeared “endangered, due to mental health concerns.”
  • Petito’s cellphone, which went silent for about 15 days, was last on around Aug. 31 or Sept. 1, even though Petito had not been seen since Aug. 27.

Update 3:45 p.m. EDT Sept. 20: A Ford Mustang believed to be used by Brian Laundrie to drive to the Carlton Reserve, southwest of Sarasota, last week was spotted in the driveway of his family’s home Monday as authorities executed a search warrant at the house, ABC News reported.

Steven Bertolino, the Laundrie family’s attorney, told the news network that family members picked up the car from the reserve on Thursday. One day earlier, they had gone to the reserve to look for Laundrie and spotted a note on the car from the North Port Police Department notifying them that it needed to be moved, ABC News reported.

Bertolino told the news network that the Laundrie family left the car overnight to allow Laundrie to drive back home, however, they retrieved the vehicle Thursday after he failed to return.

Family members reported Laundrie missing to police on Friday, telling authorities that they had last seen him Tuesday. Police searched the 25,000-acre reserve over the weekend but found no sign of the 23-year-old.

Laundrie has been named a person of interest in the disappearance of his fiancee, Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito. On Sunday, authorities in Wyoming said they had found remains that matched Petito’s description.

Update 1:50 p.m. EDT Sept. 20: The Laundrie family attorney plans to hold a news conference at 1 p.m. Tuesday, WWSB reported.

It was not immediately clear what the news conference would cover. Laundrie’s family reported him missing Friday and told police in North Port that they had not seen him since Tuesday. He was previously named a person of interest in Petito’s disappearance.

On Sunday, officials in Wyoming said they located remains believed to be Petito’s.

Landrie and Petito first met at Bayport-Blue Point High School on Long Island, according to The New York Times. They later moved to Florida.

Update 10:20 a.m. EDT Sept. 20: Authorities swarmed Laundrie’s family’s house in North Port on Monday morning, video from WTVJ showed.

In a statement released by the FBI’s Tampa office, officials said they were “executing a court-authorized search warrant” at the home “relevant to the Gabrielle ‘Gabby’ Petito investigation.”

“No further details can be provided since this is an active and ongoing investigation,” FBI officials said.

Update 9:40 a.m. EDT Sept. 20: North Port police said Monday that officers do not plan to conduct a “major search” of the Carlton Reserve, a nature preserve southeast of Sarasota where Laundrie told family he was going before he disappeared last week, WFLA reported.

“At this time, we currently believe we have exhausted all avenues in searching of the grounds there,” police public information officer Josh Taylor told the news station in a statement. “Law enforcement agencies continue to search for Brian Laundrie.”

Family members reported Laundrie missing Friday, days after they said they last saw him. Previously, police named the 23-year-old a person of interest in the disappearance of his fiancee, 22-year-old Petito.

Authorities in Wyoming said Sunday that they found remains believed to be Petito’s at a campsite.

>> Related: Gabby Petito: Body found near Wyoming search site, feds say

Update 7:22 p.m. EDT Sept. 19: Agents with the FBI Denver field office confirmed early Sunday evening that a body has been located near the area of Wyoming being searched for Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito.

Authorities have been searching Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming for any traces of 22-year-old Petito, whose family reported her missing Sept. 11 and whose disappearance launched a separate manhunt for her fiance, Brian Laundrie, in a Florida nature preserve.

Update 7:12 p.m. EDT Sept. 19: The North Port Police Department suspended its second-day search for Brian Laundrie in the Carlton Reserve just before 6 p.m. Sunday.

Updated 10:27 a.m. EDT Sept. 19: The search for Brian Laundrie, 23, resumed Sunday morning at a nature preserve in Sarasota County. Laundrie has not been accounted for since Tuesday, whose parents said he left their home in hiking gear, WFLA reported.

Update 8:38 p.m. EDT Sept. 18: The North Port Police Department suspended its search for Brian Laundrie at the Carlton Reserve just before 8 p.m. EDT on Saturday and expects to resume efforts Sunday morning.

Update 7:10 p.m. EDT Sept. 18: The Federal Bureau of Investigation in Denver confirmed Saturday that it will search the Grand Teton National Park for signs of Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito, whose fiancé, Brian Laundrie, is the subject of a separate Florida manhunt, WTVT reported.

Petito, 22, was last in contact with her family in late August when she and Laundrie were visiting the Wyoming national park.

In a series of tweets, the FBI Denver office said that the investigation into Petito’s disappearance remains active and asked the public to “maintain distance from any law enforcement personnel, equipment, vehicles, and their related activity,” as they conduct the search, the TV station reported.

Update 5:01 p.m. EDT Sept. 18: At least 50 law enforcement officers combed through a 25,000-acre nature preserve in southern Sarasota County in search of Brian Laundrie, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported.

Authorities used drones, dogs, airboats and all-terrain vehicles, hte newspaper reported. The North Port Police Department, FBI and five other agencies spent hours searching the swampy woods near North Port.

Update 1:09 p.m. EDT Sept. 18: North Port Police Department Public Information Officer Josh Taylor said the family of Brian Laundrie spoke with officers Friday night because they were concerned about his well-being, WTVT reported. The family told officers they believed Laundrie entered the reserve earlier this week.

“Brian was not going to speak with us. We knew he wasn’t going to speak with us, so we are not going to dedicate a lot of time to follow someone who was not wanted on a crime. Our focus was to find Gabby,” Taylor told reporters. “They are North Port residents and (Laundrie) is a North Port resident and it is our responsibility to locate him.”

Jason Anderson, who lives across the Carlton Reserve southeast of Sarasota, Florida, told WTVT that he saw police officers, the FBI and K-9s outside the area Saturday morning.

“It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what they were looking for, " Anderson told the television station.

Update 11:11 a.m. EDT Sept. 18: Florida police and FBI agents are searching for Brian Laundrie in a nature preserve southeast of Sarasota, Florida, authorities said.

The North Port Police Department tweeted that Laundrie, the fiance of Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito who has been missing since the couple went on a cross-country tour this summer, could be at the Carlton Reserve. Police said Laundrie’s family believes he went to the reserve earlier in the week.

The Laundrie family previously said he was last seen Tuesday, wearing a hiking bag with a waist strap, WFLA reported.

Update 11:45 p.m. EDT Sept. 17: North Port police and the FBI are searching for Laundrie after his family claimed that they last saw him Tuesday, according to a statement released by police.

Investigators added that they understand “the community’s frustration” as the investigation into Petito’s disappearance continues. Previously, police identified Laundrie as a person of interest in the case and said that he has declined to speak with officers.

“For six days, the North Port Police Department and the FBI have been pleading with the (Laundrie) family to contact investigators regarding Brian’s fiance Gabby Petito,” police said. “Friday is the first time they have spoken with investigators in detail.”

Authorities emphasized that Laundrie “is not wanted for a crime.” Petito’s case has been classified as a missing persons case, not a criminal one.

Laundrie was described as a 5-foot-8 white man who weighs 160 pounds and has brown eyes, short brown hair and trimmed facial hair. Police said he was last seen wearing a hiking bag with a waist strap.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts or the whereabouts of Pettito can contact authorities at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324).

Original report: “Be advised, the whereabouts of Brian Laundrie are currently unknown,” the attorney said, according to WABC. “The FBI is currently at the Laundrie residence removing property to assist in locating Brian. As of now, the FBI is looking for both Gabby and Brian.”

Josh Taylor, public information officer for the North Port Police Department, told CNN that the Laundrie family called police to their home on Friday and reported that they have not seen Brian Laundrie since Tuesday. Authorities were working Friday to verify the report.

Earlier Friday, police said they were speaking with the Laundrie family at their home. Police Chief Todd Garrison later said the conversation was complete, although he declined to immediately provide more details.

“Once we have the details, a statement will be made,” he said. “We ask for calm! Please let us work through this and information will be forthcoming.”

Laundrie has been named a person of interest in Petito’s disappearance, which police have stressed remains a missing persons case. The couple embarked on a cross-country road trip in a converted Fort Transit camper van in July, but Laundrie returned home on Sept. 1 without Petito, according to investigators and The Associated Press.

Laundrie has since declined to speak with investigators, despite pleas from Petito’s family.

Family members reported Petito, 22, missing Sept. 11, weeks after they last heard from her at the end of August, while she was visiting Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park. Police said Petito, 22, contacted family members regularly until then.