Police Find Body Believed to Be Missing Van Trekker Gabby Petito

(MOOSE, Wyo.) Authorities believe that Gabrielle Gabby Petito was the body found in Wyoming on Sunday. She disappeared while she was on a cross country trek with her boyfriend. He has been identified as a person-of-interest and is being sought by authorities within a Florida nature preserve.
According to the FBI, the body was discovered by law enforcement officers who searched campgrounds for the body over the past two days.

According to Charles Jones, FBI Supervisory Special Agent, the cause of death is still unknown.

Jones stated that although forensic identification is not complete to confirm Gabby's identity, her family has been notified. This is a very difficult time for the (Petitos') family and friends.

Petitos family attorney, an attorney acting as a spokesperson for Petitos family, requested in a statement that Petitos family be allowed to grieve.

Attorney Richard Benson Stafford stated that the family would make an official statement at a later time and thanked Grand Teton Search and Rescue, the FBI and all other agencies involved in the search for Petito.

Stafford stated that his family and I will always be grateful.

Jones stated that an undeveloped camping area located on the east side Grand Teton, bordering national forest land, will remain closed while Jones investigates further.

Jones stated that investigators are still looking for information from anyone who might have seen Petito and Brian Laundrie at the camp sites. This is the same area that was searched by law enforcement over the weekend.

Petito and Laundrie left July to embark on a cross-country trip in a van that was converted for use in visiting national parks in the U.S. West. According to police, Laundrie was driving the van home to North Port, Florida with his girlfriend Petito on July 31st.

Laundrie has been identified in the case as a person to watch. Family members in Florida last saw him Tuesday.

On Sunday, more than 50 law enforcement officers began a second day to search for Laundrie on the 24,000-acre (9.712-hectares) Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County. This wildlife area has more than 100 miles (160 km) of trails and campgrounds.

Petitos' family filed a missing person report September 11th with the police in Suffolk County, New York.

Petitos family had been asking the Laundrie family for information about their son since he was a child. Petito and Laundrie were childhood best friends who met as children while growing up in Long Island, New York. His parents moved to North Port, approximately 35 miles (55 km) south of Sarasota.

The couple began their trek with the Ford Transit van in July, starting from Long Island. According to their social media accounts they intended to reach Oregon by October's end. However, Petito disappeared in late August after she last contact with her family at Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.

The Moab Police Department released video of the officer pulling the van over after the vehicle was speeding up and hitting a curb close to Arches National Park. The bodycam video shows Petito sitting in a police cruiser as officers questioned Laundrie.

Moab police decided not to file any charges against the couple and instead separated them for the night. Laundrie checked into a motel while Petito stayed with the converted sleeper van.

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