NORTH PORT, Florida
FBI agents and police raided the home of a young man wanted for questioning in the disappearance of his girlfriend, Gabby Petito, whose body was apparently discovered this weekend in a Wyoming national park.
The FBI office in Tampa said in a tweet that it was serving a search warrant, and local media reported that the parents of Brian Laundrie, 23, were seen entering a police van outside of the House. The agents would not comment further.
The video showed at least a dozen law enforcement officers rushing to the laundromat house in North Port and rushing inside. Brian Laundrie and Petito lived with her parents before hiking across the country in which she died.
Petito, 22, disappeared after she and Laundrie left in July in a converted van to tour the Western National Parks. They had an argument along the way and Laundrie was alone when he got into the van at his parents’ house on September 1, police said.
In Wyoming, the FBI announced on Sunday the discovery of a body by officers searching campsites on the edge of Grand Teton National Park, which the couple had visited. An autopsy has been set for Tuesday.
“Full forensic identification has not been done to 100% confirm that we have found Gabby, but her family has been notified,” FBI agent Charles Jones said. “It is an incredibly difficult time for (Petito) family and friends.”
Jones and other law enforcement officials did not ask any questions at the evening press conference.
Petito’s father, Joseph, posted on social media an image of a broken heart above a photo of his daughter, with the message: “She touched the world.”
A lawyer who acted as a spokesperson for Petito’s family asked in a statement that the family be given an opportunity to mourn.
Jones said investigators were still seeking information from anyone who might have seen Petito or Laundrie around Grand Teton.
A weekend search at a Florida nature preserve failed to find laundry facilities, North Port police said. They said in a statement that they “had exhausted all possibilities to search the grounds” of the 24,000-acre (9,700-hectare) Carlton Reservation in Sarasota County.
Investigators focused carefully on the area after Laundrie’s parents told police he may have been there.
Petito’s family on Long Island in New York begged the Laundrie family to tell them where their son last saw her.
Petito and Laundrie were childhood sweethearts who met growing up on Long Island. His parents then moved to North Port, about 55 kilometers south of Sarasota.
Police video released by the Moab, Utah Department showed an officer stopped the couple’s van on August 12 after it was seen speeding up and hitting a sidewalk near the entrance to Arches National Park. Body camera video showed an upset Petito.
Laundrie said on video the couple got into a fight after getting into the van with dirty feet. He said he did not want to pursue a domestic violence charge against Petito, whose officers decided he was the abuser.
Moab police separated the couple for the night, with Laundrie checking in at a motel and Petito staying with the van.