An autopsy has confirmed that a body found in Grand Teton National Park does belong to “van life” blogger Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito.
The FBI’s Denver office confirmed the news on Twitter, writing “Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue confirmed the remains are those of Gabrielle Venora Petito, date of birth March 19, 1999. Coroner Blue’s initial determination for the manner of death is homicide. The cause of death remains pending final autopsy results.”
Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue confirmed the remains are those of Gabrielle Venora Petito, date of birth March 19, 1999. Coroner Blue’s initial determination for the manner of death is homicide. The cause of death remains pending final autopsy results. pic.twitter.com/JoHenMZ9UU
— FBI Denver (@FBIDenver) September 21, 2021
A statement from Michael Schneider, the special agent in charge of the investigation, read, “The FBI and our partners remain dedicated to ensuring anyone responsible for or complicit in Ms. Petito’s death is held accountable for their actions. Mr. Brian Laundrie has been named a person of interest. Anyone with information concerning Mr. Laundrie’s role in this matter or his current whereabouts should contact the FBI.”
The autopsy was performed several days after remains consistent with Petito’s description were discovered Sunday, September 19th. At the time, while a coroner had yet to officially identify the body as Petito’s, authorities had notified her family of her death.
The autopsy results come as authorities continue to look for Petito’s fiancé, Brian Laundrie, who has been named a person of interest in Petito’s disappearance. Two months into what was supposed to be a four-month cross-country trip, Laundrie returned to Florida on September 1st without Petito, but with her van. Petito’s family filed a missing person report for her on September 11th after failing to get an answer about her whereabouts from Laundrie.
Laundrie then lawyered up and refused to speak with police. On September 17th, Laundrie’s parents allowed investigators into their home in North Port, Florida. At that point, the Laundries revealed that they had not seen their son in three days.
A month before Petito’s disappearance, a police report was filed after the pair got into a fight in Moab, Utah. A person called the police about “some sort of altercation” outside a shop, and while officers pulled them over in their van, they decided the incident had been more of a “mental/emotional health ‘break’ than a domestic assault.” Neither Petito nor Laundrie wanted to file charges against the other, but police still separated them for the night, sending Laundrie to a hotel and leaving Petito with the van.
Petito’s disappearance has also captured the attention of true crime communities on social media, especially TikTok, where videos with the hashtags #findgabby and #gabbypetito generated tens of millions of views.