Remains found in Florida park amid search for Gabby Petito’s fiance

Authorities looking for Brian Laundrie in connection with woman who vanished on road trip

A still image from August 12th, 2021, from a police bodycam released by the Moab City Police Department in Utah shows Gabrielle Petito with police. File photograph: Moab City Police Department/via Getty

A still image from August 12th, 2021, from a police bodycam released by the Moab City Police Department in Utah shows Gabrielle Petito with police. File photograph: Moab City Police Department/via Getty

 

Human remains were found on Wednesday in a Florida wilderness area where authorities were searching for Brian Laundrie, the fiance of Gabby Petito, a young woman who vanished on a road trip with Mr Laundrie, MSNBC reported, citing a senior law enforcement official.

The Sarasota County Medical Examiner’s Office was called on Wednesday morning to the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park where the search for Mr Laundrie was under way, a spokesperson for the office said. The spokesperson declined to comment on the reported human remains found in the park.

The FBI was processing a scene in Carlton Reserve, which is near the park, it said “Items of interest were located at the Carlton Reserve” on Wednesday morning in connection with the search for Laundrie, said the bureau.

Ms Petito’s disappearance last month during a cross-country road trip with her boyfriend captivated the country, first as an internet sensation and then as a tabloid mystery that grew more enigmatic by the day.

Ms Petito (22) was killed by strangulation, said a local coroner earlier this month. She was last seen alive on August 26th. Her body was discovered near the remote Spread Creek Dispersed Campground in Bridger-Teton National Forest in western Wyoming.

‘Van life’

Ms Petito and Mr Laundrie, who lived with his parents in North Port on Florida’s west coast, embarked on their trip in early July from New York’s Long Island, where her parents live.

As they travelled through Kansas, Colorado, Utah and points west, she documented their “van life” on social media with videos and pictures that depicted a loving couple having an American adventure.

She posted her final photograph to Instagram on August 25th, the same day she last spoke to her mother by phone.

Police in Utah released a video last month of an August encounter with the Florida woman tearfully describing a dispute she had on a road trip with her boyfriend, who was named a person of interest in her disappearance.

On September 23rd, a federal grand jury in Wyoming indicted Mr Laundrie on a charge of fraudulently using Ms Petito’s bank debit card between August 30th and September 1st to spend $1,000 or more.

He had not been charged in her death. – Reuters