GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK — Officials in Wyoming have confirmed that a body matching the description of Gabby Petito was found in Grand Teton National Park in the area where investigators were searching for the missing 22-year-old.
The whereabouts of her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie — who returned to Florida without her after the pair spent months together on a cross-country trip — are still a mystery.
While the identity and gender of the body have not been officially determined, FBI spokesman Charles Jones said the remains "are consistent with the description of Gabrielle 'Gabby' Petito."
A cause of death has not been determined at this time, he said.
Petito's family has been alerted to the discovery.
While Jones said there would be no other comments on the case, he did give his "condolences to Gabby's family."
Petito was last seen on Aug. 30 in Grand Teton National Park during a cross-country trip with Laundrie, who returned to Florida alone on Sept. 1.
He is currently missing and is considered a person of interest in Petito's disappearance.
Laundrie's attorney, Steven Bertolino released the following statement to Spectrum News after the discovery in Wyoming was made public:
"The news about Gabby Petito is heartbreaking. The Laundrie family prays for Gabby and her family."
FBI spokesman Charles Jones discusses the discovery of a body that matches the description of Gabby Petito in Grand Teton National Park Sunday.
In reaction to the news from the FBI, Petito's father, Joseph Petito, posted on Twitter saying his daughter "touched the world."
What You Need To Know
- Gabby Petito, 22, and Brian Laundrie, 23, left in July for a cross-country trek in a converted van
- Laundrie returned in the van alone to Florida on Sept. 1
- Petito, who was last seen on Aug. 30 in Wyoming, was reported missing by her family on Sept. 11
- Laundrie, a "person of interest" in her disappearance, has also gone missing and was last seen by his family on Sept. 14
- Florida law enforcement spent much of the day Saturday and Sunday searching for him at the Carlton Reserve area of Sarasota County
Search for Brian Laundrie
After spending much of the day investigating a vast area of rural Sarasota County, officials ended the search for Laundrie Sunday evening without finding any sign of where he is or may have gone.
Our search of the Carlton has concluded for the evening. Nothing to report.— North Port Police (@NorthPortPolice) September 19, 2021
Laundrie, 23, and Petito, 22, left in July on a cross-country trek in a converted van to visit national parks in the U.S. West. Police said Laundrie was alone when he drove the van back to his parents’ home in North Port, on Sept. 1.
Petito’s family reported her missing 10 days later on Sept. 11.
Laundrie is now also missing — his family said the last time they saw him was Tuesday before he went for a hike in the Carlton Reserve.
More than 50 North Port police officers, FBI agents and members of other law enforcement agencies gathered again to search in the 24,000-acre reserve Sunday after spending most of Saturday looking for Laundrie there.
Investigators have been searching for Laundrie at the Carlton Reserve area of Sarasota County since early Saturday, but have so far not found any trace of him.
Related Gabby Petito Stories
- Search for person of interest in Gabby Petito disappearance called off due to darkness
- Gabby Petito’s father: 'The goal is to bring Gabby home safe. Anything else comes second to this.'
- Where is Gabby Petito? Boyfriend called 'person of interest' in North Port missing woman case
- Body camera footage shows Gabby Petito argued with boyfriend before vanishing
Authorities used drones, scent-sniffing dogs and all-terrain vehicles in the reserve, which has more than 100 miles of trails, as well as campgrounds. Investigators took some of his clothing from his parents’ home Friday night to provide a scent for the search dogs.
“His family says they believe he entered the area earlier this week,” North Port Police tweeted Saturday.
Meanwhile, the FBI in Denver said Saturday that agents were conducting ground surveys at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, with help from the National Park Service and local law enforcement agencies, seeking clues to Petito’s disappearance. Her last known contact with family members was from the national park known for its mountainous terrain.
Investigators in Florida were hopeful Laundrie was somewhere in the wildlife reserve near Sarasota. Depending on his skills, he could survive out in the reserve for some time, said police spokesperson Josh Taylor at a news conference.
“Certainly, we prepare for all different possibilities, but you know, our goal is to locate him and bring him back to North Port,” Taylor said.
Police said the conversation Friday evening was the first time they'd spoken with the Laundries in detail about the case, and that the meeting came at the family's request. An attorney for the family called FBI investigators and said they wanted to talk about Laundrie's disappearance, police said.
Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI.
Attorneys for the Petito family released a statement saying that Laundrie was not “missing.”
“All of Gabby's family want the world to know that Brian is not missing, he is hiding. Gabby is missing,” the statement from the law office of Richard B. Stafford said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.