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Body found in Wyoming likely that of missing Gabrielle "Gabby" Petito, FBI says

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Posted at 3:32 PM, Sep 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-20 08:21:10-04

DENVER — The Federal Bureau of Investigations believes they have found the body of missing Gabrielle "Gabby" Petito. They said human remains found in Wyoming Sunday were consistent with the description of the missing woman.

The FBI in Denver made the announcement Sunday at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. They said further forensic testing will need to be done for a definitive identification, but they said her family has been notified. A cause of death has not been determined.

The coroner from Teton County, Wyoming confirmed in an email earlier Sunday that a body was found on National Forest land in the county. Authorities had been searching the vicinity of Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area in the Bridger-Teton National Forest for the missing woman. The FBI said the campground will remain closed while they continue their investigation.

Petito was reported missing on Sept. 11. She disappeared while traveling on a cross-country trip to visit national parks in the U.S. West with her boyfriend, 23-year-old Brian Laundrie.

Petito's family says they last spoke with her on Aug. 25, at which point Petito told them she was in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

Police say Laundrie was alone when he drove back to his parents’ home in North Port, Florida, on Sept. 1.

On Aug. 12, police encountered the couple after bystanders witnessed them fighting at a convenience store in Moab, Utah. Body camera footage from the incident showed that Petito was emotional and told officers that she and her fiancé had been "fighting all morning."

Police declined to file charges in the incident, classifying it only as a "mental health crisis" when the couple agreed to spend the night in separate places. Police say Petito stayed in the van while Laundrie got a hotel room.

Laundrie is a person of interest in her disappearance. He too has gone missing and authorities are searching for him in a wildlife area near Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Scripps National contributed to this report.