Gabby Petito: Body found in search for missing 22-year-old woman

·4-min read

A body believed to be that of 22-year-old Gabby Petito, who vanished during a road trip across the United States with her boyfriend, has been found. 

Authorities in the US have confirmed their search had uncovered human remains "consistent with the description of Gabrielle 'Gabby' Petito".

A photo of Gabby Petito taken on her cross-country road trip with her boyfriend. Source: Facebook
A body "consistent with the description of" Gabby Petito has been discovered in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming - the last known location of the 22-year-old. Source: Facebook

The FBI made the announcement at a news conference in Grand Teton National Park - Gabby's last known location and where law enforcement agents had spent the past two days searching campgrounds. 

"First and foremost, on behalf of the FBI personnel and our partners, I would like to extend sincere and heartfelt condolences to Gabby's family," FBI Denver supervisory senior resident Charles Jones told reporters.

"As every parent can imagine, this is an incredibly difficult time for the family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. We ask that you all respect the privacy as they mourn the loss of their daughter."

The body is yet to be formally identified and the cause of death is not known at this time. 

"We continue to seek information from anyone who utilised the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area between the dates of August 27 and August 30. 

Anyone that may have had contact with Gabby, or her boyfriend or who may have seen their vehicle in that area, please share any new information with the FBI," Mr Jones said.

Boyfriend missing after named 'person of interest' 

The 22-year-old was traveling in a converted 2012 Ford camper van with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, when she disappeared in late August.

He was named as a person of interest after returning home alone in her van on September 1 but has refused to speak with investigators despite not being accused of any wrongdoing. 

Mr Laundrie has since disappeared, sparking a large-scale manhunt in Florida. 

In a statement Friday night (local time), a lawyer for the family of Mr Laundrie said his client's whereabouts is "currently unknown".

"Brian was last seen by his family Tuesday morning," lawyer Steven Bertolino said in a statement to CBS News.

Police last week released video footage of the pair in an emotional fight just days before Gabby vanished.

The couple, who were childhood sweethearts, had started a YouTube channel to showcase their road trip called "Nomadic Statik".

Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie are pictured left with their camper van on the right.
Gabby Petito, 22, set out on a road trip with her boyfriend in a converted camper van in early July to tour national parks. Source: Youtube/Nomadic Statik

Police reveal grim theory about boyfriend's disappearance 

There is a "possibility" Mr Laundrie has "hurt himself" after telling his family he was going for a hike in Carlton Reserve at Sarasota County, police say. 

“We’ve got 50-plus folks searching,” North Port Police spokesman, Josh Taylor told WFLA 8.

“We’ve got drones in the air, bloodhounds, K-9s, four-wheelers, side by sides.”

Mr Taylor also told the New York Post: “As far as hurting himself in there, we don’t know that one way or another. I think it’s a possibility certainly". 

Petito family says Laundrie ‘is hiding’

As the search for Mr Laundrie continues, a lawyer for the Petito family has accused him of going into hiding.

“All of Gabby’s family want the world to know that Brian is not missing, he is hiding,” he said in a brief statement on Friday.

Heartbreaking final words to family

Gabby’s mother Nicole Schmidt revealed her last phone call with her daughter was on August 25, when she was at Grand Teton National Park.

"I don't know if she left Grand Teton or not," Schmidt told Fox News.

"I did receive a text from her on the 27th and the 30th, but I don't know if it was technically her or not, because it was just a text. I didn't verbally speak to her."

Gabby was reported missing by her family on September 11 when they were unable to contact her. 

Her father, Joseph Petito, took to Twitter following news of her body being discovered, writing: "she touched the world". 

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting