FBI Removes Possible Evidence From The Home Of Gabby Petito’s Fiancé

This is how they reported to 911 the dispute between Petito and Laundrie 1:03

North Port, Florida (CNN) – After spending many hours and removing many items, the FBI search of the family home of Gabby Petito’s fiancé Brian Laundrie in Florida ended Monday. But authorities continue to search for the man who, according to his family, disappeared a week ago, three days after Petito’s disappearance was reported.

On Sunday, human remains that officials said are consistent with Petito’s description were found in a camping area in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest on the eastern edge of Grand Teton National Park. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday to confirm the identity.

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Petito, 22, and Laundrie, 23, had been traveling in a white van from New York across the west of the country during the summer. Laundrie returned home to Florida on September 1 in his truck, but without Petito. His family reported Petito missing on September 11.

Laundrie’s parents, Christopher and Roberta, were escorted from their home Monday morning so agents could execute a search warrant, North Port public information official Joshua Taylor told CNN. They were later brought inside for questioning.

His parents had previously told police that they had not seen Laundrie since last Tuesday, which began a search that initially focused on a nearby nature reserve. Investigators changed their focus after they “exhausted all avenues to search the land there,” Taylor said Monday.

An attorney for Laundrie’s family, Steven P. Bertolino, said he would also hold a press conference on Tuesday, but later canceled the event. He said the FBI asked him not to hold the conference.

Possible evidence is removed from Brian Laundrie’s family home in North Port, Florida, by FBI agents on September 21, 2021.

A search warrant affirms “more and more tension” between the couple

Officers removed several items from the home, and a Ford Mustang convertible was also towed away.

Investigators also obtained a search warrant for an external hard drive found in the truck last week.

Petito sent several text messages and had many conversations with his mother on the cell phone, according to the probable cause stated for the search warrant. And during those conversations, “there seemed to be more and more tension between her and Laundrie,” she says.

On August 27, Petito’s mother received one last communication from her daughter, calling it a “strange text message,” the probable cause affidavit says.

The message read, “Can you help Stan? I keep getting his voicemails and missed calls.” Because the text message referred to Petito’s grandfather as Stan, his mother was concerned that something was wrong, the order says.

After that text message, Petito’s phone was no longer operating and he stopped posting about his trip on social media, the search warrant says.

One more text message arrived on Aug. 30 saying, “No service in Yosemite,” but her family doubts she wrote it, said Richard Stafford, an attorney representing Joseph Petito and Gabby’s mother, Nicole Schmidt. .

There has been other evidence of tension between the two.

Moab Police Department body camera footage showing officers talking to Brian Laundrie.

CNN obtained a 911 audio recording from the Grand County Sheriff’s Office in Moab, Utah, in which a caller reports what he called a “domestic dispute” between a couple.

The caller described a man slapping a woman and continuing to beat her until they got into their car and drove off in a white van with Florida license plates, according to the audio.

Police later detained the couple.

Although a police report describes that Petito and Laundrie had a physical fight after an argument, “both the man and the woman reported that they are in love and engaged to be married and that they desperately wished not to see anyone charged with a crime,” he wrote. Agent Eric Pratt in the report.

At the suggestion of the police, the couple separated at night, according to the report, which described Petito as “confused and sensitive.”

‘She touched the world’, says the father

Pathologists will do a full forensic examination of the remains found Sunday to confirm identity, said Charles Jones, a supervising resident agent for the FBI in Denver. Authorities must also identify the cause of death, he said.

Still, Petito’s family has been notified of the discovery.

His father, Joseph Petito, tweeted a picture of her Sunday night, saying, “She touched the world.” Richard Stafford, an attorney representing Joseph Petito and her mother, Nicole Schmidt, released a statement obtained by CNN affiliate WABC asking that the family be given space.

Laundrie’s family attorney, Steven Bertolino, called the news “heartbreaking” and added: “Laundrie’s family prays for Gabby and her family.”

Laundrie’s sister also issued a statement to ABC News praising Petito for his relationship with Laundrie’s nephews.

“Gabby was a fun and loving influence on ‘the kids’ as she always called them. We will appreciate the time we spent with her,” Cassie Laundrie said in the statement.

CNN’s Leyla Santiago reported from North Port, Florida, and CNN’s Madeline Holcombe reported and wrote in Atlanta. CNN’s Eric Levenson, Travis Caldwell, Chris Cuomo, Aya Elamroussi, Rob Frehse, Deanna Hackney, Jennifer Henderson, Laura James, MiSeon Lee, Gregory Lemos, Christina Maxouris, Artemis Moshtaghian, Shawn Nottingham, Andy Rose, Jenn Selva, Alta Spells and Joe Sutton contributed to this report.



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