Thursday, December 08, 2022

Officers Search Home of Gabby Petito’s Boyfriend in Florida

The search for Gabby Petito's boyfriend came empty handed

by Kurt Anderson

scheduled tribe. Petersburg, Fla. (AP) — Police on Monday surrounded the home of a man wanted for questioning in connection with the disappearance of his girlfriend, Gabby Pettito, whose body was found in Wyoming National Park over the weekend.

Officers issued a search warrant and local media reported that the parents of 23-year-old Brian Laundry were seen boarding the police van. The video showed at least a dozen law enforcement officers, including one wearing an FBI jacket, pulling up to a home in North Port, Florida, and running inside.

Petito, 22, went missing in July after going on a cross-country trek in a converted van to visit national parks in the West. Police said they had a fight on the way, and Laundry was alone when he returned in a van to his parents’ home in North Port on September 1.

In Wyoming, the FBI on Sunday announced the discovery of a body by agents searching campsites at the edge of Grand Teton National Park that the couple had seen. It was kept for post-mortem on Tuesday.

“Full forensic identification is not complete to confirm 100 percent that we found Gabby, but her family has been notified,” said FBI agent Charles Jones. “This is an incredibly difficult time for (Petito’s) family and friends.”

Jones and other law enforcement officers did not take any questions during the evening news conference.

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

A lawyer acting as a spokesman for Petito’s family said in a statement that the family should be given a place to grieve.

Jones said investigators were still seeking information from anyone who may have seen the petito or laundry around Grand Teton.

North Port Police said a weekend search of the Florida Nature Preserve failed to find the laundry. He said in a statement that he had “elided all avenues for base searches” of the 24,000-acre (9,700 ha) Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County.

Laundry’s parents told police that investigators focused on the area after she left.

Petito’s family on Long Island, New York, are calling on the laundry family to tell them where their son last saw him. Petito and Laundry were childhood friends who met while growing up on Long Island. Her parents later moved to North Port, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) south of Sarasota.

Police video released by the Moab, Utah, department shows an officer pulled over the couple’s van on August 12 when it was seen speeding and hitting a curb near the entrance to Arches National Park . Body-camera video showed Petito upset.

Laundry said on video that the couple had a scuffle after they climbed into the van with dirty feet. He said he did not want to level domestic violence charges against Petito, who officials decided was the attacker.

Moab police separated the couple for the night, laundry checked into a motel, and Petito stayed with the van.

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