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Missing people

FBI Raids Gabby Petito’s Boyfriend’s House In Florida

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Less than one day after the likely remains of Gabby Petito were found in Bridger-Teton National Forest, the FBI raided the family home of Brian Laundrie, the boyfriend of the young woman.

On Monday morning, FBI investigators surrounded and entered Laundrie’s parents’ home in North Port, Florida as part of a “court-authorized search warrant,” according to CNN. His parents were escorted out of the house during the search, but later brought back inside for questioning.

Laundrie was reported missing late last week as the investigation into Petito’s disappearance ramped up. He has not been cooperative with authorities regarding the investigation, officials have said.

Remains matching Petito’s description were found on Sunday within the forest, the last place she was seen alive. A cause of death has not yet been announced.

Laundrie has not been identified as a suspect, only a person of interest, in Petito’s disappearance.

Petito and Laundrie had been traveling together in a van converted so they could live in it. Laundrie returned to his home in Florida on Sept. 1 without Petito. The FBI got involved with the investigation late last week.

Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino called the discovery of remains in Wyoming “heartbreaking,” adding: “The Laundrie family prays for Gabby and her family,” according to CNN.

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

“Gabby was a fun and loving influence to ‘the boys’ as she always referred to them. We will cherish the time we spent with her,” Cassie Laundrie said in the statement.

Police visited the Laundrie family home after Petito was reported missing, but Laundrie’s family refused to talk and instead gave authorities their attorney’s information, according to CNN.

Their home was searched Friday evening after Laundrie’s family told police he had not been seen for days. He left home with his backpack Tuesday and told them he was going to a local nature reserve, CNN reported.

Police had an encounter with the couple in Moab, Utah, on Aug. 12, where officers described them as having “engaged in some sort of altercation.”

Although the two are described as getting into a physical fight following an argument, “both the male and female reported they are in love and engaged to be married and desperately didn’t wish to see anyone charged with a crime,” a report from Officer Eric Pratt said.

On Aug. 24, Petito FaceTimed with her mother and told her she was leaving Utah and heading to the Teton range in Wyoming, CNN reported.

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Body Found At Grand Teton National Park; Body “Consistent” With Description of Gabby Petito

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By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily

A body matching the description of 22-year-old Gabby Petito has been found in the Bridger-Teton National Forest, law enforcement authorities announced Sunday.

“Earlier today, human remains were discovered consistent with the description of Gabby Petito,” FBI Agent Charles Jones said during a news conference. “Full forensic identification has not been completed to confirm 100% that we found Gabby, but her family has been notified of the discovery.”

“The cause of death has not been determined at this time,” he added.

Jones, a supervisory special agent for the FBI, held back tears as he expressed condolences to the family of Petito before making the announcement at the press conference in Grand Teton National park.

“On behalf of the FBI personnel and our partners, I would like to extend sincere and heartfelt condolences to Gabby’s family,” he said.  

In the meantime, authorities in Florida continued searching Sunday for Petito’s fiancé Brian Laundrie who still has not been identified as a suspect, only a person of interest.  

Laundrie disappeared earlier in the week.

A campground on the eastern edge of Bridger-Teton National Forest was closed over the weekend as officers searched for Petito, a New York woman whose family reported her missing on Sept. 11.

Petito and Laundrie had been traveling together in a van converted so they could live in it. Laundrie returned to his home in Florida on Sept. 1 without Petito.

Laundrie has not cooperated with authorities in their investigation into Petito’s whereabouts and he was reported missing by his family last week.

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Gabby Petito Investigation: Brian Laundrie Still Not Cooperating; Sister Defends Him

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By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily

The fiancé of a missing New York woman believed to have disappeared while at Grand Teton National Park is still refusing to talk to law enforcement officials.

However, Cassie Laundrie, the sister of Brian Laundrie, defended her brother’s character during an appearance a national news show on Friday morning.

Cassie Laundrie, the sibling of Brian Laundrie who is a person-of-interest in the ongoing investigation of missing person Gabby Petito, defended her brother’s character on Good Morning America without commenting directly on her disappearance.

“He’s a wonderful uncle,” Ms. Laundrie said during her appearance on Good Morning America. “He’s always been there when I need him. He’s been there every time Gabby has needed him.”

“Obviously, me and my family want Gabby to be found safe,” she said. “She’s like a sister and my children love her, and all I want is for her to come home safe and found, and this to be just a big misunderstanding.”

Brian Laundrie has been named a person of interest in the ongoing investigation into Petito’s disappearance. The two were traveling together in the Rocky Mountain West when Petito disappeared.

An hour after Cassie Laundrie’s television appearance, Gabby’s father Joe Petito said her comments didn’t make any sense to him.

“If that’s that family’s version of love, to just ignore and not care that someone’s gone,” Mr. Petito said, “and people are looking for them and entire countries looking for them, I mean, that explains how we got to where we are today. Because I mean, look at their version of what they call love.”

The day prior, Petito’s parents read a letter addressed to Laundrie’s parents begging for their cooperation during a media appearance.

“We believe you know the location where Brian left Gabby,” the letter reads. “We beg you to tell us. As a parent, how could you let us go through this pain and not help us? As a parent, how could you put Gabby’s younger brothers and sisters through this.”

Although Petito and Laundrie were vacationing together, Laundrie returned home to Florida on Sept. 1 without his fiancé and said nothing publicly about it. Ten days later, Petito’s family reported her missing.

Since then, their van has been located and impounded and police in Utah reported they were called to investigate a fight between the two, but did not press charges against either.

Laundrie’s refusal to speak to law enforcement has infuriated the daughter’s parents and has hindered progress on the case, according to New York investigators.

A leading defense attorney said Laundrie’s refusal to cooperate isn’t a good sign for Petito.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s an arrest,” Lara Yeretsia told FOX News on Friday. 

“It doesn’t look very good, doesn’t look very kosher to me at this point,” she said. “Doesn’t look like he’s completely innocent, but he doesn’t have to help law enforcement.”

Yeretsia said she understood why Laundrie is being advised not to talk.

“Basically, he got a lawyer before law enforcement got him…and the lawyer is not going to make it easier for law enforcement to build a case against him,” she said. “He’s telling them, go do your job. You can have no access to this guy.” 

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Stepfather Of Missing 22-Year-Old New York Woman Arrives in Wyoming To Help With Search

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By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily

The stepfather of a New York woman who reportedly disappeared while in Grand Teton National Park in September has flown out to Wyoming to help in the search.

The New York Post reported that James Schmidt, the stepfather of 22-year-old YouTuber Gabby Petito arrived in the state on Tuesday.

“He’s not leaving until he brings Gabby home,”Nicole Schmidt, Petito’s mother, told the Post. “Now we have eyes, ears, feet on the ground in both her home state and where she was last seen.”

Authorities believe Petito was last seen with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, in Grand Teton National Park.

Since that time, the van they had been traveling in has been located and Laundrie is in his home state of Florida. However, he is not cooperating with authorities.

On Wednesday, law enforcement officials in Florida told the Miami Herald that Laundrie, now listed as a person of interest, is “hindering” the investigation.

“We are pleading with anyone, including Brian, to share information with us on her whereabouts in the past few weeks,” North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison said. “The lack of information from Brian is hindering this investigation. The answers will eventually come out.”

Utah authorities, also on Wednesday, announced that police were called to an incident between Petito and Laundrie in August. The two were in Moab, Utah, immediately before they traveling to Wyoming.

“Our officers did respond to an incident involving Brian Laundrie and Gabrielle Petito on 12 August 2021,” Chief Bret Edge told 2News, “however, neither Brian or Gabrielle were the reporting party. Officers conducted an investigation and determined that insufficient evidence existed to justify criminal charges.”

The New York Post, which acquired a copy of the police report, said the couple was apparently in an argument which became physical.

“Brian said Gabrielle, thinking he was going to leave her in Moab without a ride, went to slap him,” the report said. “As Gabrielle started to swing, Brian pushed her away to avoided the slap. As a result Gabrielle, off-balance, but still caught Brian’s face with some fingers causing minor visible scratches.”

The report went on to say that neither party wanted to press charges.

Laundrie did release a statement from his attorney on Tuesday which said he and his parents hoped Petito was found.

The statement’s release only incensed Petito’s father.

Appearing on FOX News Wednesday, Joe Petito called the statement “bullshit”.

“Forget Brian, Brian’s home safe. His parents, yeah it’s hard for them. Bullshit. You know what? My daughter is not here. Our daughter is not here. We don’t even know what state she’s in,” Petito said.

“You know, we’re shooting from the hip here and trying to do what we can. So I don’t care about the statement. I care about finding Gabby,” he said.

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Police: Missing Douglas Woman Is Alive; Private Investigator Says “Very Complex Case”

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By Jen Kocher, Cowboy State Daily

Douglas police have made contact with the female veteran from Douglas who was reported as missing after last being seen in June.

According to Detective Sean Leman of the Douglas Police Department, 41-year-old Amy  Frontiero Needham “is alive and well” as confirmed in a Sunday phone call with her and is no longer considered a missing person.

“To maintain Amy’s privacy as well as the integrity of the case, there isn’t much more I can disclose,” Leman wrote to Cowboy State Daily Wednesday, adding that her name has been removed from the National Crime Information Center as missing.

However, Leman said the case remains active until other information can be corroborated.

Needham, 41, was last seen on June 5 at a motel in Burlington, Colorado, with a female companion who identified herself as “Michelle Halle,” which may not be her actual name. 

Needham, the former director of a facility for victims of domestic violence in Douglas, apparently met Halle at the facility.

Halle told her that she was on the run from an abusive husband and needed help.

The pair reportedly have been staying at various motels throughout Nebraska and Colorado, but Needham has not contacted friends or family members since leaving Douglas, which family members say is unlike her, according to a release from “We Help the Missing,” a national non-profit that helps locate missing people throughout the country. 

Needham also left without taking any personal belongings or her dogs and car, per WHTM private investigator Amanda Waldron, and it is believed that she left under suspicious circumstances. 

“This case is very complex, and the back story is long, complicated, part of the investigation and not to be shared publicly,” Waldron said. 

According to Waldron, the phone call between law enforcement and Needham was short and police are still working to verify other information about her whereabouts.

“It was a very short call from a burner phone,” Waldron said. “They are still concerned with her well-being and are still trying to make physical contact with her as the call was very concerning.”

She has not reported to a law enforcement agency to verify her information as requested by Leman, Waldron added, and police do not know her actual location.

Needham is a Casper native who had previously served in the Air Force. 

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Police Seek Information About Missing Douglas Woman; Family Worries She’s in Danger

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Staff reports

Family members and law enforcement officers are asking for the public’s help in locating a Douglas woman and veteran who has been missing since early June.

Amy Frontiero Needham, 41, was last seen on June 5 at a motel in Burlington, Colorado, with a female companion who identified herself as “Michelle Halle,” which may not be her actual name. 

Needham, the former director of a facility for victims of domestic violence in Douglas, apparently met Halle at the facility.

Halle told Needham that she was on the run from an abusive husband and needed help.

The pair reportedly have been staying at various motels throughout Nebraska and Colorado, but Needham has not contacted friends or family members since leaving Douglas, which family members say is unlike her, according to a release from “We Help the Missing,” a national non-profit that helps locate missing people throughout the country. 

Needham also left without taking any personal belongings or her dogs and car, per WHTM private investigator Amanda Waldron, and it is believed that she left under suspicious circumstances. 

“This case is very complex, and the back story is long, complicated, part of the investigation and not to be shared publicly,” Waldron said. 

A missing person report was filed with the Douglas Police Department last week.

Department officials did not immediately respond to Cowboy State Daily’s request for information about the case. 

According to Needham’s longtime friend Jessica Brehe, this behavior is very unlike her friend.

Needham is a Casper native who had previously served in the Air Force. 

“This is not typical behavior for Amy,” she said. “She is very kind and generous and would give you the shirt off her back. It is not like her to not be in contact with her friends and family.”

Needham said she fears her friend might be in danger as it’s been over three months since anyone has heard from her.

“Amy is very loved by her friends and family,” Brehe said. “We just want to know she’s okay.”

Anyone with information about Needham is asked to call the Douglas Police Department at (307) 358-3311, Waldron at (307) 797-0363, or submit a tip to WHTM tipline at (866) 660-4025.

“Someone, somewhere knows where Amy is,” Waldron said. “Please keep sharing her flyer and encourage your friends and family to do the same.”

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Texas Man Disappears In Jackson, May Have Been Camping

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The Teton County Sheriff’s Office is looking for information about a missing Texas man who was last seen in Jackson.

Robert “Bob” Stiles Lowery, 46, was from Houston and was last seen in Jackson on Aug. 19, according to Attempt to Locate, a social media page that shares information about missing persons cases. The organization received information about the case from the sheriff’s department.

Lowery was last seen on video at Piste Mountain Bistro at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Teton Village. It is believed he took a rideshare car to Pearl Street Bagels in Wilson the following day.

Lowery had never been to Jackson prior to his arrival and may have had plans to go camping, as he’d recently obtained a sleeping bag and tent. However, he had no previous camping experience.

Lowery’s family believes he might have been working somewhere in town before he disappeared. The last “ping” on his cell phone was in Jackson on Aug. 23, but the phone is now no longer working or trackable.

Lowery is 6 feet tall, has brown hair and blue eyes and often wore a Patagonia vest over a T-shirt. He was last seen wearing a black baseball hat with the letter “P,” a blue down vest, a plaid shirt and blue jeans.

Before Lowery left Houston, he canceled his mail delivery.

Anyone with information about Lowery is encouraged to call the sheriff’s department at 307-733-2331, especially if they have seen or spoken with him since Aug. 20.

A number of people have disappeared from the Grand Teton and Jackson area over the last few months. Cian McLaughlin, an Irish man who worked as a ski instructor, disappeared after being last seen hiking in Grand Teton National Park. He has yet to be found.

Just days after Lowery was last seen, a young woman from New York, Gabby Petito, was last seen in Grand Teton. She is also still missing.

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Virginia Woman Missing In Montana’s Glacier National Park

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Authorities are searching for a Richmond, Virginia woman who was last seen in Glacier National Park in Montana earlier this week.

Jennifer “Jenn” Coleman is believed to have been hiking around Logan Pass on Monday or Tuesday. She is 5-foot, 6-inches tall, weighs 135 pounds and has blond, shoulder-length hair and blue eyes.

She was last heard from around noon Monday, according to the AWARE Foundation, an organization that assists in locating missing people.

According to a Montana TV station, park rangers found Coleman’s car in the Logan Pass parking lot this week.

A local newspaper reported that Coleman could have been hiking the Highline Trail. Park officials are seeking information from anyone who might have seen her in a particular area in order to focus their search efforts.

The AWARE Foundation said a welfare check was done at her campsite by the local sheriff’s office where they discovered her belongings. Coleman was on vacation and was set to pick up her dogs from a boarding facility the following day, but she never showed up to get them.

According to a missing persons poster, the boarding facility contacted her family when her dogs were not picked up.

She was wearing a watch enabled with a GPS that was synced to her cell phone, but her phone appears to be dead.

Park rangers and a helicopter are being used to search for Coleman.

Coleman’s LinkedIn profile describes her a Director of Compliance and Enforcement at the Virginia Department of Health.

If anyone has information on Coleman’s disappearance, please call the Glacier National Park tip line at 406-888-7077.

This is not the first case of someone disappearing in a national park this summer. Cian McLaughlin, 27, went hiking in Grand Teton National Park earlier this year, and hasn’t been seen since.

Tatum Morrell, 23, went missing in the Beartooth Mountains, but she was found later, deceased.

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Missing Casper Man Found Dead, Police Investigating As Murder

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The body of a Casper man who has been missing since June was found in Natrona County this week and authorities are investigating his death as a homicide.

Ryan Schroeder’s body was discovered in rural Natrona County this week, according to the Casper Police Department. He was 36, a father and grandfather.

“The Casper Police Department extends our deepest condolences to the loved ones of Ryan Schroeder and will continue to work tirelessly to ensure justice is served,” the department said in a statement.

Schroeder was last heard from on June 26 after reportedly being dropped off a convenience store in the Denver area by a friend.

Detectives, in a statement Thursday, said based on interviews with individuals who had been with Schroeder in the days leading up to his disappearance, they do not believe Schroeder’s death was the result of a random attack. However, officials also said they do not believe the death poses any threat to the public.

Schroeder’s sisters, Allyson Schroeder and Cassidy Dieguez, told Cowboy State Daily in August they believe their brother actually returned to Wyoming after the second of two trips to Colorado.

However, officers had said they did not believe Schroeder returned to Wyoming.

Anyone with information on Schroeder’s death can call the Casper Police Department at 307-235-8278. Tips can also be reported anonymously and that person may be eligible for a monetary reward by reporting through Crime Stoppers of Central Wyoming by calling (307) 577-8477 or online at crime-stoppers.com. 

Schroeder’s case has also been taken up by private investigator Amanda Waldron of “We Help the Missing,” a nonprofit organization founded in Utah with volunteers all over the country, CSD previously reported.

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Search Continues For Casper Man Missing Since June

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By Jennifer Kocher, Cowboy State Daily

The Casper Police Department continues to seek the public’s help in locating a 36-year-old Casper man who has been missing for nearly two months.

Ryan Schroeder was last heard from on June 26 after reportedly being dropped off a convenience store in the Denver area by a friend.

While Schroeder’s sisters, Allyson Schroeder and Cassidy Dieguez, said Sunday they believe their brother actually returned to Wyoming after the second of two trips to Colorado, investigators don’t believe he returned to Wyoming after June 26.

His family fears that Schroeder is in danger, his sisters said, and they are gravely worried about his safety and ask the public for help.

“If this was someone else’s loved one, they’d want that person to come forward with any information,” Allyson Schroeder said.

Schroeder is more than just a face on a poster, Dieguez added, noting that he’s a father and grandfather and that his children and family love and miss him greatly. 

Schroeder’s whereabouts are being actively investigated by multiple law agencies both in Wyoming and in Colorado, according to Casper Police Department Public Information Officer Rebekah Ladd, who urges anyone with information to come forward. 

Schroeder’s case has also been taken up by private investigator Amanda Waldron of “We Help the Missing,” a nonprofit organization founded in Utah with volunteers all over the country.

Schroeder is described as 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighing 190 to 200 pounds. He has brown thinning hair, a short beard and blue eyes. He also has multiple tattoos on his left arm, including an American flag, a pistol and math equations as well as a green skull and numbers on his left hand and fingers and a cross and angel wings on his right arm. 

Schroeder typically wears a T-shirt, khaki shorts, tennis shoes, and a baseball cap. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Casper Police Department Detective Shannon Daley at (307) 235-8278 or e-mail at sdaley@casperwy.gov

Tips can also be reported anonymously and that person may be eligible for a monetary reward by reporting through Crime Stoppers of Central Wyoming by calling (307) 577-8477 or online at crime-stoppers.com. 

Tips can also be submitted anonymously to the We Help the Missing tip line at (866) 660-4025.

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