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.