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Body found matching description of Gabby Petito in Wyoming

Gabby Petito
Posted at 5:21 PM, Sep 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-20 10:41:45-04

The FBI on Sunday confirmed it had found a body matching the description of missing traveler Gabby Petito while searching a remote area of the Grand Teton National Park and the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming.

The FBI says the body was found near the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area, which is located within the Bridger-Teton National Forest on the east boundary of Grand Teton National Park.

Charles Jones with the FBI's field office in Denver confirmed that the body recovered matched Petito's description, though a full forensic identification is pending. Officials have not yet determined a cause of death.

Jones also noted that Petito's family had been notified and said he extended his "heartfelt condolences" to the family.

Petito was reported missing on Sept. 11. She disappeared while traveling on a months-long cross-country trip with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie.

On Aug. 12, police encountered the couple after bystanders witnessed them fighting at a convenience store in Moab, Utah. Body camera footage from the incident showed that Petito was emotional and told officers that she and her fiancé had been "fighting all morning."

Laundrie also told officers that the two had been fighting. There were scratches visible on his face, which he said resulted from a physical scuffle with Petito.

Police declined to file charges in the incident, classifying it only as a "mental health crisis" when the couple agreed to spend the night in separate places. Police say Petito stayed in the van while Laundrie got a hotel room.

Petito's family says they last spoke with her on Aug. 25, at which point Petito told them she was in Grand Teton National Park.

Laundrie returned to the couple's Florida home without Petito on Sept. 1. He has refused to speak with police regarding the case.

On Thursday, police said they were aware of Laundrie's location. However, on Friday, officials said that they did not know where he was. They've since confirmed they're searching for Laundrie in a Florida nature reserve, though they have been unable to locate him.