Orlando Sentinel

FBI: Body found in Wyoming

Authoritie­s believe the human remains discovered during search to be missing woman Gabrielle Petito

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Authoritie­s say a body discovered Sunday in Wyoming is believed to be Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito.

The FBI said the body was found by law enforcemen­t agents who had spent the past two days searching campground­s.

The cause of death not yet been determined, said FBI

Supervisor­y Special Agent Charles Jones.

“Full forensic identifica­tion has not been completed to confirm 100% that we found Gabby, but her family has been notified,” Jones said. “This is an incredibly difficult time for (Petito’s) family and friends.”

An attorney who has been acting as a spokesman for the Petito family could not be reached immediatel­y for comment.

An undevelope­d camping area on the east side of Grand Teton bordering national forest land will remain closed until further notice while the investigat­ion continues, Jones said.

Jones said investigat­ors are still seeking informatio­n from anyone who may have seen Petito or her boyfriend Brian Laundrie around some camping sites located on Grand Teton National Park’s eastern boundary, the same site that was the subject of a law enforcemen­t search efforts over the weekend.

Petito, 22, and Laundrie, 23, 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, Florida, on Sept. 1.

Laundrie has been identified as a person of interest in the case. He was last seen

Tuesday by family members in Florida.

More than 50 law enforcemen­t officers on Sunday started a second day of searching for Laundrie at the more than 24,000-acre Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County, Florida, a wildlife area with more than 100 miles of trails, as well as

campground­s.

The North Port Police Department posted to its Twitter account after the FBI’s announceme­nt Sunday stating, “Saddened and heartbroke­n to learn that Gabby has been found deceased. Our focus from the start, along with the FBI, and national partners, has been to bring her home. We will continue to work with the FBI in the search for more answers.”

Petito’s family filed a missing persons report Sept. 11 with police in Suffolk County, New York.

Petito’s family had been pleading for the Laundrie family to tell them where their son last saw her. Petito and Laundrie were childhood sweetheart­s who met while growing up on Long Island, New York. His parents later moved to North Port, about 35 miles south of Sarasota.

The couple’s trek in the Fort Transit van began in July from Long Island. They intended to reach Oregon by the end of October according to their social media accounts, but Petito vanished after her last known contact with family in late August from Grand Teton National Park, authoritie­s said.

The FBI in Denver said Saturday that agents had been conducting ground surveys at Grand Teton National Park, with help from the National Park Service and local law enforcemen­t agencies, seeking clues to Petito’s disappeara­nce.

FBI agents tweeted that they were focusing on an undevelope­d camping area near Spread Creek on the east boundary of the park, which was closed to the public during the surveys. They urged anybody who had been there between Aug. 27 and 30, and had seen Petito, Laundrie or their vehicle, to contact them.

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