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World News

FBI searches home of Gabby Petito’s missing fiance Brian Laundrie

today20/09/2021

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The FBI have searched the home of Brian Laundrie – the fiance of Gabby Petito, whose body was apparently found over the weekend in a Wyoming national park.

Video showed a dozen law enforcement officers, including one wearing an FBI jacket, pulling up to the house in North Port, Florida, on Monday.

According to local media reports, Mr Laundrie’s parents were seen getting into a police van while the house, which belongs to them, was searched. The FBI’s Tampa office said in a tweet that it was serving a search warrant.

Ms Petito, 22, disappeared after she and Mr Laundrie, 23, left on a cross-country trek in a converted van to visit national parks in July.

They got into a fight along the way, and Mr Laundrie was alone when he returned in the van to his parents’ home in North Port on 1 September – making him a “person of interest”, police said.

ATTENTION S. HALL- In this undated photo released by the North Port, Fla., Police Dept., shows Gabrielle ...Gabby... Petito. Petito, 22, vanished while on a cross-country trip in a converted camper van with her boyfriend. Investigators say she last contacted her family in late August when the couple was visiting Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park. Much of their trip was documented on social media accounts that abruptly ceased. (North Port Police Dept. via AP)
Image: Ms Petito, 22, vanished while on a cross-country trip in a converted camper van with her boyfriend. Pic: AP

Mr Laundrie and Ms Petito had been living with his parents before making the trek.

It comes after a police search for Mr Laundrie was launched at the weekend. His family reported him missing, with relatives telling officers they had not seen him for three days.

More on Florida

On Sunday, the FBI announced the discovery of a body on the edge of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, which the couple had visited.

Police tape blocks off the home of Brian Laundrie's parents in North Port, Florida. Pic: AP
Image: Police tape blocks off the home of Brian Laundrie’s parents in North Port, Florida. Pic: AP

“Full forensic identification has not been completed to confirm 100% that we found Gabby, but her family has been notified,” FBI agent Charles Jones said.

“This is an incredibly difficult time for [Petito’s] family and friends.”

Ms Petito’s father Joseph posted on social media an image of a broken heart above a picture of his daughter, with the message: “She touched the world.”

A post-mortem examination is set for Tuesday and a lawyer acting as a spokesman for the family asked in a statement that they be given room to grieve.

Mr Jones said investigators were still seeking information from anyone who may have seen Ms Petito or Mr Laundrie.

A weekend search of the Florida nature preserve failed to find Mr Laundrie, North Port police said.

They said in a statement that they “exhausted all avenues in searching the grounds” of the 24,000-acre Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County.

Investigators focused on the area Mr Laundrie’s parents told police he may have visited.

Ms Petito’s family on New York’s Long Island have been pleading for the Laundrie family to tell them where their son last saw her.

She and Mr Laundrie were childhood sweethearts who met while growing up on Long Island.

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Police bodycam of Gabby Petito

Video released by police in Moab, Utah, showed that an officer pulled the couple’s van over on 12 August after it was seen speeding and hitting a curb near the entrance to Arches National Park. The body-camera video showed an upset Ms Petito.

Mr Laundrie said on the video that the couple had got into a scuffle after he climbed into the van with dirty feet.

He said he did not want to pursue a domestic violence charge against Ms Petito, who officers decided was the aggressor.

Moab police separated the couple for the night, with Mr Laundrie checking into a motel and Ms Petito remaining with the van.

 Sky News

© Sky News 2021

Written by: Rother Radio News


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today20/09/2021