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Body believed to be Gabby Petito found in Wyoming

The remains were found at a campground in Bridger-Teton National Forest, an FBI official said Sunday.
/ Source: NBC News

A body believed to be missing 22-year-old Gabby Petito was found Sunday in a Wyoming national forest, authorities said.

The remains were found at a campground in Bridger-Teton National Forest, near Grand Teton National Park, which Petito’s mother said she planned to visit last month, said Charles Jones, the FBI supervisory agent in the bureau's Denver office.

The remains were “consistent” with Petito, Jones said, adding that a forensic investigation would later confirm the discovery made at the Spread Creek Dispersed Campground.

A cause of death had not yet been determined, he said.

“As every parent can imagine, this has been an incredibly difficult time” for Petito’s family, Jones said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with them. We ask that you all respect their privacy as they mourn the loss of their daughter."

The discovery came as authorities in Florida continued their hunt for Petito’s fiance, Brian Laundrie, who was named a “person of interest” in Petito’s disappearance last week and vanished Friday night.

Police in the city of North Port, where the couple lived, said they were searching for Laundrie in the nearly 25,000 acre Carlton Reserve, a wildlife refuge southeast of Sarasota.

The two had ventured on a cross-country tour of national parks in July, documenting their journey on YouTube and Instagram using the hashtag #VanLife. Laundrie returned home to North Port, south of Tampa, in the couple's van on Sept. 1—10 days before Petito's family reported her missing, police said.

The 22-year-old Petito was last known to be in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming in late August when she stopped communicating with her family, police said.

Police emphasized on Friday that Laundrie has been named as a person of interest, but is not wanted for a crime.

Petito's family addressed his disappearance, saying through a family lawyer that "All of Gabby's family want the world to know that Brian is not missing, he is hiding. Gabby is missing."

The FBI's Denver branch said on Saturday that it was searching for Gabby in collaboration with the Wyoming Resident Agencies, the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Teton County Sheriff's Office & the Jackson Police Department.

Gabrielle Petito and Brian Laundrie.
Gabrielle Petito and Brian Laundrie.Instagram

Much of that search was conducted in the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area, which was closed to the public as it was being surveyed.

Throughout last week, numerous developments in the case were revealed.

On Aug. 12, police in Moab, Utah, responded to an alleged physical altercation between the two. Body camera footage released Thursday shows Petito wiping away tears as she told the responding officer she was struggling with her mental health and Laundrie being asked about scratches on his face.

On Friday, North Port officials confirmed that police interviewed a woman who said on a video posted to TikTok that on Aug. 29, she and her boyfriend picked up a hitchhiker whom she later realized was Laundrie.

Laundrie offered her and her boyfriend $200 for a ride away from Grand Teton National Park but later got out of the car abruptly, the woman alleged in her account which has not been verified by authorities.

Laundrie's sister, Cassie, told reporters she has not spoken to her brother and is looking for answers.

The couple left Salt Lake City for Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming around Aug. 24, Petito's mother, Nicole Schmidt, said. Schmidt has not spoken with her daughter since, but said received texts sent from her daughter's phone until Aug. Petito's last text to her mother read: "No service in Yosemite." It is unclear whether Petito ever made it to Yosemite and if she sent the text. Her last post on Instagram is dated Aug. 25, with no location specified.

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