Oroville Mercury-Register

Body found in Wyoming believed to be Gabrielle Petito

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NORTH PORT, FLA. » Authoritie­s say a body discovered Sunday in Wyoming is believed to be Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito, who disappeare­d while on a crosscount­ry trek with a boyfriend who has been identified by authoritie­s as a person of interest and is now being sought within a Florida nature preserve.

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

The cause of death has 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 Petito’s family asked in a statement that the family be given room to grieve.

Attorney Richard Benson Stafford indicated that the family would make a public statement at a later date, and he thanked officials with the FBI, Grand Teton Search and Rescue and other agencies that participat­ed in the search for Petito.

“The family and I will be forever grateful,” Stafford said in a statement.

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 Brian Laundrie around the camp sites, the same area that was the subject of law enforcemen­t search efforts over the weekend.

Petito and her boyfriend, Laundrie, 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 24,000acre Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County, Florida, a wildlife area with more than 100 miles of trails, as well as campground­s.

 ?? NORTH PORT POLICE DEPARTMENT — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ?? Law enforcemen­t officials conduct a search of the vast Carlton Reserve in the Sarasota, Fla., area for Brian Laundrie on Saturday.
NORTH PORT POLICE DEPARTMENT — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Law enforcemen­t officials conduct a search of the vast Carlton Reserve in the Sarasota, Fla., area for Brian Laundrie on Saturday.

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