Gabby Petito’s remains positively identified
SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The Teton County, Wyoming, coroner has confirmed the remains of a woman found in the Bridger-Teton National Forest Sept. 19 are those of Gabrielle Petito.
Coroner Dr. Brent Blue’s initial determination is that her death was a homicide. The actual cause of death will not be determined until autopsy results are completed, a statement said.
Meanwhile, the search for her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, continues in North Port. Law enforcement agents from several area agencies have been combing Carlton Reserve, a 25,000-acre wilderness area between Venice and North Port. Laundrie has been named a person of interest in the case.
His parents told authorities they last saw their son Sept. 14 as he left their house, saying he was going hiking in the preserve.
The FBI in Denver had confirmed Sept. 19 that the body matched Petito’s description, extending its condolences to her family but stopped short then of saying the confirmation was 100%.
That confirmation came Tuesday in a statement release by Blue’s office.
The FBI is seeking information from anyone who utilized the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area between the dates of Aug. 27-30, 2021, who may have had contact with Petito or Laundrie.
Petito disappeared after a cross-country trip with Laundrie. The pair had been documenting their trip on social media when the posts suddenly stopped Aug. 25. Brian returned to North Port with her van but not with Petito. He and his family hired an attorney and refused to cooperate with investigators.
On Friday, Sept. 17, Laundrie’s parents reported their son had been missing for several days.
As Petito’s family waited for positive identification of their daughter’s remains, their lawyer issued a short statement Tuesday thanking the public for giving them the space they need to grieve.
“I want to personally thank the press and news media for giving the Petito and Schmidt family time to grieve,” the letter said. “We will be making a statement when Gabby is home. I will contact you to arrange a time and location.
“Sincerely, Richard Benson Stafford, Esq.”
The full coroner’s statement is below:
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