Body found in Wyoming believed to be Gabrielle Petito
MOOSE, Wyo. (AP) — 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.
Police officers in Moah, Utah, responding to reports of a dispute between doomed “van-life” couple Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie, who is now a person of interest in her homicide, were told by dispatch that Laundrie had reportedly hit Petito during the Aug. 12 argument, newly released audio reveals. © Provided by The Daily Beast YouTube
“RP [reporting party] states a male hit a female,” the police dispatcher says over the radio. “Domestic. He got into a white Ford Transit van. Has a black ladder on the back. Florida plate… The female who got hit, they both—the male and the female—both got into the van and headed north.”
911 Caller Said He Saw Brian Laundrie Hitting Gabby Petito: 'Gentleman Was Slapping the Girl'
Police believe they have found the body of Gabby Petito, and her fiancé Brian Laundrie has gone missing"We drove by and the gentleman was slapping the girl," the caller tells the dispatcher.
The tape, obtained by Fox 13 in Salt Lake City, helps paint a fuller picture of the narrative laid out in an incident report filed by one of the cops after the encounter, which somehow ended with police viewing Petito, 22, as the aggressor. In a previously released 911 call shortly before the officers were dispatched, a witness tells the operator, “We drove by him, a gentleman was slapping the girl. They ran up and down the sidewalk. He proceeded to hit her, hopped in the car, and they drove off.”
Laundrie, Petito’s 23-year-old fiancé, inexplicably returned home to Florida—without Petito—two weeks later. In the report, a copy of which The Daily Beast obtained from the Moab City PD, Officer Eric Pratt wrote, “It appeared that a male and female had left the scene traveling north on Main in a white Ford Transit van with a black ladder on the rear after the male and female had engaged in some sort of altercation. It wasn’t clear, but I believe it was reported the male had been observed to have assaulted the female.”
Gabby Petito Timeline: What We Know So Far
The 22-year-old vlogger went missing following a cross-country trip with boyfriend Brian Laundrie, who later returned home alone.Laundrie returned home from the trip alone at the start of September and was last seen around mid-September.
But after interviewing Petito and Laundrie, as well as contacting the witness who called 911 in the first place, Pratt came to a different conclusion. Petito and Laundrie had “some sort of argument,” he wrote in the report. Laundrie then “tried to create distance” by telling Petito to take a walk and calm down, it says. However, Petito “didn’t want to be separated” from Laundrie, and “began slapping him,” the report continues. The document claims Laundrie grabbed Petito’s face and “pushed her back as she pressed upon him and the van.” The fight erupted over a phone, according to the report.
“No one reported that the male struck the female, both the male and the female reported they are in love and engaged to be married and desperately didn’t wish to see anyone charged with a crime,” says Pratt’s writeup, which goes on to assert that Laundrie “did not exhibit any indicators that he may be a victim of ‘battered boyfriend syndrome,’” and that he was “assessed to be at low risk of danger or harm as a result of his proximity” to Petito.
Body Found in Wyoming Confirmed to Be Missing 22-Year-Old Gabby Petito, Who Died by Homicide
The body found in Grand Teton National Park on Sunday has been identified as Gabby Petito, the New York woman who vanished during a cross-country road trip with her fiancé , Brian Laundrie. © Provided by People Gabby Petito Instagram According to a tweet by the FBI's Denver field office, Petito died by homicide. Petito was reported missing on Sept. 11 — 10 days after Laundrie quietly returned to his parents' Florida home without her — prompting a search through the Wyoming wilderness where authorities believe she was last seen.
In bodycam video from the encounter later released by authorities, a second officer can be seen telling Petito that he has “decided not to cite you for domestic violence battery.”
“It was only going to be a Class-B misdemeanor, however the domestic violence portion of it enhances it—makes life a major pain in the butt, especially, you’re 22, right?” he says.
Petito told police she was frightened that Laundrie was going to leave her behind in Moab, according to the incident report. They both suffered from extreme anxiety, the two said. In the end, responding officers declared the incident a “mental/emotional health ‘break,’” rather than a domestic assault, the report concludes.
“I am separating you tonight,” the officer dealing with Petito tells her. “I want you guys both to be tonight, away from each other, relax, breathe… I understand that this can feel like it’s a nightmare, but you’re coming out as the golden flower on top of it all.”
Cops released the van to Petito, who legally owned the vehicle, and arranged a motel room for Laundrie. Officers told Petito where she could take a shower for “four or five bucks,” one of them said to Laundrie as he drove him to the motel.
Man Heard Gabby Petito Ask Brian Laundrie 'Why Do You Have to Be So Mean?' During Dispute
"Something seemed off" between the couple, the witness told police in Moab, UtahAccording to a recently released written statement, the witness, identified only as Chris, told Moab police he was outside the Moonflower Community Cooperative near Arches National Park when he saw the couple in the middle of "some sort of dispute," KSTU reports.
“I told her to go take a shower… cause she seems a lot like my wife,” the officer said. “And things that really work for my wife is when she gets stressed out, to take a long hot shower.”
The footage concludes with the officer checking Laundrie into a local motel and shaking his hand as he says goodbye.
Petito and Laundrie embarked on a tour of America’s national parks in early July, traveling to the Monument Rocks formation in Kansas, followed by Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes National Park, and the Zion, Bryce, and Canyonlands national parks in Utah. Although the pair’s online postings portrayed their journey as something close to perfect, and others who met them on the road said everything seemed fine, living in such close quarters month after month was beginning to take a toll on their relationship, said the police report.
Petito’s family last heard from her nine days later, in an Aug. 27 text message that raised red flags for Petito’s mom.
“The text message read, ‘Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls,’” states a Sept. 15 search warrant giving investigators permission to search a hard drive found in the couple’s van. “The reference to ‘Stan,’ was regarding her grandfather, but per the mother, she never calls him ‘Stan.’ The mother was concerned that something was wrong with her daughter.”
Arrest Warrant for Brian Laundrie Issued in Wyoming Following Gabby Petito's Death
Brian Laundrie, considered a person of interest in Gabby Petito's disappearance, has not been seen since he was reported missing last FridayLaundrie, who has been considered a person of interest in the disappearance of his fiancée, Gabby Petito, was indicted by a federal grand jury for "use of unauthorized access devices" following Petito's death.
Petito’s phone was subsequently turned off, and she “stopped posting anything on social media about their trip,” according to the warrant. “Per her family, this was not normal behavior for the subject, and they became more worried about her.”
On Sept. 19, Petito’s remains were discovered in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest. But from the start, Laundrie refused to speak to investigators. As pressure began to mount, Laundrie himself vanished when he went for a hike at a local nature preserve but never returned, his family reported. Investigators have been searching the 25,000 expanse for any sign of Laundrie, but have so far come up empty.
“Get out of the house, get into the FBI offices, and start answering some questions,” Petito’s father, Joe, told The Daily Beast earlier this month before Laundrie went missing. “Do your job as a fiancé, as most would do.”
Petito was unavailable for comment on Monday.
Late last week, federal prosecutors issued a warrant for Laundrie’s arrest after a grand jury indicted him on charges of debit card fraud following Petito’s death.
“While this warrant allows law enforcement to arrest Mr. Laundrie, the FBI and our partners across the country continue to investigate the facts and circumstances of Ms. Petito’s homicide,” FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider said in a statement.
On Sunday, FBI agents showed up at the North Port, Florida home Laundrie shares with his parents to collect “personal items” of Laundrie’s to use for DNA matching. Rewards of up to $30,000 have been offered for information as to Laundrie’s whereabouts.
Read more at The Daily Beast.
Gabby Petito's Family Says Brian Laundrie Stole Her Credit Card to Go Home to Florida .
Gabrielle Petito's family alleges that Brian Laundrie stole his slain girlfriend’s credit card to travel home to Florida at the beginning of SeptemberDuring Tuesday's episode of Dr. Phil, family spokesperson Richard Stafford told Dr. Phil McGraw that they believe that Laundrie used the card to cover his expenses to drive back to North Port, Fla. -- and then evaded authorities when he arrived home. (A clip of the episode is shown below.