Cops cancel search for Gabby Petito’s Van-Life fiancé Brian Laundrié in nature reserve and swarm his house
Police have ended their search in a Florida nature reserve for Brian Laundrie, the fiancé of Gabby Petito, 22, missing, whose body was reportedly discovered in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming on Sunday.
“The North Port Police Department currently has no plans to conduct a major search on the Carlton Reservation today,” North Port, Florida spokesman PD Josh Taylor said in a statement. “At the moment, we currently believe that we have exhausted all possibilities of finding land there.”
Laundrie, 23, was reported missing by her family on Friday. Relatives told cops he left the home he shared with his parents on Tuesday with the intention of hiking the 25,000-acre Carlton Preserve. Investigators combed the area for days, to no avail.
“We’re going by the word of the family, that’s where the family said he was going,” Taylor said on Sunday. He also said Laundrie’s relatives only spoke with police about Brian’s whereabouts, not about Petito’s disappearance.
Monday morning, the authorities came down on the Laundrie house with a search warrant and declared it an “active crime scene”. At least six unmarked vehicles carrying at least a dozen FBI agents wearing bulletproof vests drove to the residence shortly before 10 a.m. Laundrie’s parents, Christopher and Roberta, were then spotted getting into a black van with an FBI agent.
“The FBI is executing a court-authorized search warrant at Laundrie’s residence in North Port, Florida today regarding the Gabrielle ‘Gabby’ Petito investigation,” the office’s field office in Tampa said. said in a press release. “No further details can be provided as this is an active and ongoing investigation.”
Petito’s desperate search came to an end on Sunday night when the FBI discovered a body in a remote area of Bridger-Teton, near Grand Teton National Park, which fitted the young woman’s description. The office did not confirm that the remains were those of Petito, pending a forensic examination. The cause of death has not yet been determined. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.
“It’s been a tough morning,” Gabby’s father Joe Petito told The Daily Beast on Monday. “I haven’t heard anything new [about Laundrie], and honestly, I don’t really care about it at the moment. Me and the family are going to get together again and review things and be on the same page, and then we’ll issue a statement. “
Laundrie’s parents did not respond to multiple requests for comment on Monday.
When Petito went missing, the couple had been on a road trip across the country for several months that began in July.
“After our first trip across the country in a little Nissan Sentra, we both decided to cut our lives down and travel full time, but trying to fit everything for two in the tiny trunk of the car, by also spending way too much on gasoline, food and Airbnb, it was not the route to take ”, the couple wrote on their shared YouTube page. “We quickly realized that we had to find a solution if we were to continue traveling and living nomadically, which is why we handcrafted our own mini van … using the space with designs and unique characteristics. Create space for both artistic expression and distance hiking. Thanks so much for watching, and we hope you follow our journey wherever the van takes us!
Laundrie returned to North Port on September 1, without Petito. Her parents reported her missing 10 days later, after not hearing from her for two weeks.
“We had been in contact with her while she was traveling,” Joe Petito told The Daily Beast in an interview last week. “I spoke to her about once a week, her mother spoke to her two or three times a week. My son often spoke to him on Snapchat, FaceTime; my niece would be in constant contact with her.
But when Gabby fell silent, the family instinctively knew something was wrong.
In the days that followed, information began to flow that the things revealed were not all they appeared to be. Although videos posted by the couple from the road showed a couple smiling and happy, a police report obtained by The Daily Beast described a physical confrontation the two had while in Moab, Utah. Bodycam footage subsequently released by the City of Moab PD provided some insight into the recent tensions the couple had apparently experienced.
In the video, which lasts over an hour and a quarter, Petito tells a police officer that she and Laundrie had argued over “personal issues” which came to a head after months of traveling together. Neither wanted the other to be arrested or charged with a crime. Petito said she was afraid Laundrie would leave her in Moab and the two would suffer from severe anxiety. Ultimately, the cops determined the incident was more of a mental / emotional “health break” than a domestic assault, “the police report said.
Laundrie has so far refused to speak to investigators. In a statement provided to The Daily Beast last week, Laundrie’s attorney Steven Bertolino said that was not going to change.