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Petito coverage may have led to remains of missing Texas man in same Wyoming forest

The remains of Robert Lowery were found in Bridger-Teton National Forest, where Gabby Petito's body was discovered.
/ Source: NBC News

The intense media attention surrounding the case of Gabby Petito may have helped solve the disappearance of a Texas father of two who vanished last month in a Wyoming national forest, police said.

Remains matching the description of Robert "Bob" Lowery, 46, were found Tuesday at the base of Teton Pass in Wyoming's Bridger-Teton National Forest, the Teton County Search and Rescue said in a statement.

Petito's body was discovered in the same national forest on Sept. 19 at the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area. Petito's fiancé, Brian Laundrie, was named a person of interest in her case and has disappeared, sparking a manhunt.

Robert Stiles Lowery.
Robert Stiles Lowery.Teton County Search and Rescue

Teton County Sheriff’s Deputy Chad Sachse previously told NBC's "Dateline" that the two cases were not related and that the area where Petito's body was found was on the opposite side of the forest.

Authorities said Tuesday that coverage of Petito's disappearance helped highlight Lowery's case, resulting in at least two people contacting police over the weekend with new information about the last place he was possibly seen.

"The new information put Lowery on the Black Canyon Trail, wearing a black baseball cap with a gold P, and carrying a black duffle bag with the Nike logo," authorities said.

A volunteer rescue group was put together and around 1 p.m. Tuesday a dog team located a body and black Nike duffle bag on a steep, wooded slope, the Teton County Search and Rescue said. A cause of death is still pending.

Lowery's sister, Leigh Lowery, said in a statement that the family was still waiting for the coroner's report. She said her brother, who has a 12-year-old daughter and a 15-year-old son, has been "a wonderful father, son, brother and friend."

"At this time, we especially want to thank Teton County Sheriff’s Deputy Chad Sachse and his department for all of their work during this month that Bob has been missing. We also appreciate the search today by Teton County Search and Rescue volunteer teams and the care and concern demonstrated by so many in the Jackson Hole news media and community," she said in a Facebook post on Tuesday evening. "We also thank you all for your support and prayers."

Lowery, of Houston, had flown to Jackson Hole on Aug. 19. The following day he took a ride-sharing car service to Wilson, a town near multiple national forest trailheads. His sister told "Dateline" that he had recently resigned from his job in real estate and was going to go on various hiking and camping trips before starting a new work venture.

His family became concerned when he stopped contacting his children, Leigh Lowery said.

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