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gabby petito

Autopsy Report: Laundrie Was Eaten By Animals After Death In Florida Park

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Brian Laundrie, who confessed to killing girlfriend Gabby Petito while vacationing in the Rockies last year, was partially eaten by animals following his death by a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in Florida last fall, an autopsy report revealed.

Investigators only found the skeletal remains of Laundrie last October, but a medical examiner noted in a 47-page report released Monday that “moderate to extensive animal predation” occurred to Laundrie’s remains.

“These areas are consistent with carnivores and/or omnivores including canines such as feral dogs and coyotes along with rodents and raccoons,” the report said.

According to the autopsy report, the area where Laundrie’s remains were discovered was overgrown with trees and vegetation, but a winding trail for pedestrians and vehicles cut through it.

His remains were “in plain sight” and “scattered” on the dirt, the report said.

Laundrie, 23, died by suicide last fall after claiming responsibility for Petito’s death. Her body was found in September in Bridger-Teton National Forest and Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue identified the cause of Petito’s death as homicide by strangulation.

He also said her body had been in the forest for three to four weeks before law enforcement officials discovered it.

Laundrie and Petito spent most of the summer touring the county in a van. Laundrie returned to his home in Florida without Petito on Sept. 1 and later disappeared. His body was found in October and authorities determined he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. A notebook found near Laundrie’s body contained his written confession to Petito’s murder.

After what officials believe was the date of Petito’s death, several text messages were sent between the cell phones of Laundrie and Petito. Investigators said the messages were sent by Laundrie in an attempt to convince law enforcement officers that Petito was still alive.

A warrant was issued for Laundrie’s arrest in September after by the federal court in Cheyenne. The warrant did not accuse Laundrie of any role in Petito’s death, but accused of him of unlawfully using a credit card in the days following her disappearance.

According to the FBI, Laundrie had used Petito’s debit card between Aug. 30 and Sept. 1 on his drive back to Florida from Wyoming.

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FBI: Laundrie Took Responsibility In Notebook For Killing Gabby Petito

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The fiance of a woman who was found dead in Bridger-Teton National Forest last fall admitted to killing her in a notebook he left behind after committing suicide, the FBI reported on Friday.

In October when Brian Laundrie’s remains were found in a Florida park, investigators also found a backpack, notebook and revolver. A review of the notebook revealed written statements by Laundrie claiming responsibility for Petito’s death.

Petito and Laundrie had been traveling the country in a van over the summer and her body was found in Bridger-Teton National Forest in September. Laundrie returned to his home in Floria without Petito on Sept. 1 and later disappeared. His body was found in October and authorities determined he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

The release of the information from Laundrie’s notebook marks the end of the investigation into the incident, said FBI Denver Division Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider.

“All logical investigative steps have been concluded in this case,” he said. “The investigation did not identify any other individuals other than Brian Laundrie directly involved in the tragic death of Gabby Petito. The FBI’s primary focus throughout the investigation was to bring justice to Gabby and her family. The public’s role in helping us in this endeavor was invaluable as the investigation was covered in the media around the world.

“On behalf of the FBI, I want to express my deepest appreciation to the public for the thousands of tips that were provided during the investigation, and to our local, state and federal law enforcement partners for their work throughout the investigation,” he concluded.

Petito’s family was notified this week that the investigation into her death will be closed in the near future.

Petito’s body was found in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in September after she was last heard from in August. Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue identified the cause of Petito’s death as homicide by strangulation.

He also said her body had been in the forest for three to four weeks before law enforcement officials discovered it.

After what officials believe was the date of Petito’s death, several text messages were sent between the cell phones of Laundrie and Petito. Investigators said the messages were sent by Laundrie in an attempt to convince law enforcement officers that Petito was still alive.

On Sept. 1, Laundrie returned to his home in Florida with the van and without Petito.

A warrant was issued for Laundrie’s arrest not long after by the federal court in Cheyenne. The warrant did not accuse Laundrie of any role in Petito’s death, but accused of him of unlawfully using a credit card in the days following her disappearance.

According to the FBI, Laundrie had used Petito’s debit card between Aug. 30 and Sept. 1 on his drive back to Florida from Wyoming.

On Sept. 15, Laundrie’s Ford Mustang was recovered from a park in North Port, Florida. Two days later, his parents reported him missing.

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Attorney Believes Human Remains Found In Florida Are Brian Laundrie’s

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The attorney for the family of Brian Laundrie believes that the partial human remains found in a Florida park this week are likely those of the former fiance of murder victim Gabby Petito.

Attorney Steve Bertolino told CNN late Wednesday that “the probability is strong that it is Brian’s remains.”

“It’s quite sad, you can imagine as a parent, finding your son’s belongings alongside some remains. That’s got to be heartbreaking. And I can tell you that they are heartbroken,” Bertolino said Wednesday night.

CNN reported this week that after a brief search Wednesday of a trail Laundrie frequented, the Laundrie family and law enforcement found “some articles” belonging to him.

According to the FBI, which gave a news conference on Wednesday afternoon, the items found were a notebook and a backpack belonging to Laundrie. During the news conference, officials said they could not confirm if the remains found were Laundrie’s.

The notebook and backpack were first signs of Laundrie since he disappeared in mid-September after Petito was reported missing. Laundrie has never been named a suspect in Petito’s death, but is considered a person of interest.

Petito’s body was found in the Bridger-Teton National Forest last month after she was last heard from in August. She and Laundrie had been traveling the country in a van.

On Sept. 1, Laundrie returned to his home in Florida with the van and without Petito.

A warrant has been issued for Laundrie’s arrest by the federal court in Cheyenne. The warrant does not accuse Laundrie of any role in Petito’s death, but accuses of him of unlawfully using a credit card in the days following her disappearance.

Last week, Teton County coroner Dr. Brent Blue confirmed the cause of Petito’s death as homicide by strangulation. He also said her body had been in the forest for three to four weeks before law enforcement officials discovered her remains.

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Gabby Petito’s Mother Calls Brian Laundrie A “Coward” In Interview

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The mother of murder victim Gabby Petito, speaking during a recent appearance on “60 Minutes Australia,” called the man being sought in connection with her daughter’s death a coward.

Nicole Schmidt, who appeared on the show over the weekend with Petito’s father and stepfather, was explicit in her thoughts about Brian Laundrie, who disappeared shortly before Petito’s body was found in Bridger-Teton National Forest.

“He’s a coward,” she said. “He consciously knows what he’s doing.”

Petito’s body was found in the forest in northwest Wyoming last month after she was last heard from in August. She and Laundrie, her fiance, had been traveling the country in a van. On Sept. 1, Laundrie returned to his home in Florida with the van and without Petito.

Nicole Schmidt did say she was concerned about her daughter going on the road trip, but felt more secure due to the fact that she would be with Laundrie. The mother and daughter spoke regularly, about every other day, while Petito and Laundrie were out seeing the country.

Schmidt and Petito last spoke by video conference on Aug. 24. Petito was reported missing by her family on Sept. 11 and her body was found on Sept. 19. Laundrie was reported missing in Florida on Sept. 17.

Laundrie has yet to be found, despite extensive searches by law enforcement agencies, along with Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman. A warrant has been issued for Laundrie’s arrest by the federal court in Cheyenne. The warrant does not accuse Laundrie of any role in Petito’s death, but accuses of him of unlawfully using a credit card in the days following her disappearance.

Nicole Schmidt told “60 Minutes Australia” that Laundrie had always been polite, but quiet whenever he was around Petito’s family. However, she said he got along well with Petito’s younger siblings.

“He just seemed like a nice guy,” she said.

Nicole Schmidt said she did not even know Laundrie had been home with his family for nearly two weeks until she reported her daughter missing.

Last week, Teton County coroner Dr. Brent Blue confirmed Petito’s cause and manner of death as homicide by strangulation. He also said her body had been in the forest for three to four weeks before law enforcement officials discovered her remains.

“I just hope she didn’t suffer and that she wasn’t in any pain, that she was in a place she wanted to be, looking at the beautiful mountains,” Nicole Schmidt said.

The Schmidts believed Laundrie is hiding from police to escape justice.

“We were up every day and every night until we found Gabby,” said stepfather Jim Schmidt. “Are the people that love him doing the same for him? And why not?”

Joe Petito, Gabby’s father, echoed similar sentiments, questioning why Laundrie’s parents have refused to speak with police about the incident.

During their appearance, the family members expressed frustration.

“Gabby was 22-years-old. Her life was stolen from her,” Jim Schmidt said. “She was taken from us. This was evil.”

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Brian Laundrie Search Turns Into Circus With Laundrie Lawyer Attacking Dog The Bounty Hunter And John Walsh

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

It was likely bound to happen when two celebrity detectives got involved in a crime investigation that has captured the attention of the nation.

The search for Gabby Petito’s fiancé Brian Laundrie turned into even more of a circus when Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman and television host John Walsh became very much of the story as they launched their own investigations into the matter.

The outspoken and brash attorney for Laundrie’s family doesn’t appear to appreciate their involvement and lashed out at the two on Thursday stating that the two crime-solvers are aging attention-seekers who are investigating the case to get publicity for themselves.

“Dusty relics like that Dog and John Walsh need a tragic situation like this so they can clear the cobwebs off their names and give their publicity hungry egos some food,” Steve Bertolino told TMZ on Thursday.

Chapman, never one to back down, fired back at Bertolini suggesting that he prefers Laundrie to remain missing.

“It’s ironic that Mr. Bertolino would criticize the people trying to find Brian Laundrie, unless perhaps he doesn’t want him found,” Chapman said.

Both Chapman and Walsh have been hypercritical of the Laundrie family. Walsh believes Laundrie’s family helped him disappear.

“I absolutely believe that his family is helping him stay on the run,” he said during news special he hosted about Petito’s death.

Although Walsh has ignored Bertolini’s comments (so far), he was outspoken during a press conference held by Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue.

Repeatedly during the news event, Walsh asked the coroner if he thought Laundrie was the killer. Blue never answered the question but Walsh did.

“I think everybody in the world believes that Brian Laundrie killed Gabby,” he said.

Laundrie remains a person of interest in the investigation into the death of Petito, who was found dead in Bridger-Teton National Forest last month.

A warrant has been issued for Laundrie’s arrest by the federal court in Cheyenne. The warrant does not accuse Laundrie of any role in Petito’s death, but accuses of him of unlawfully using a credit card in the days following her disappearance.

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Coroner: Gabby Petito Died By Strangulation, Body Left In Woods For Weeks

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Gabby Petito died by strangulation and her body was left in Bridger-Teton National Park for three to four weeks before police found her, the Teton County coroner announced on Tuesday.

Dr. Brent Blue held a news conference to announce the manner and cause of death for Petito, whose body was found in the woods almost one month ago. Her death was ruled a homicide not long after she was found, but Blue officially announced the cause this week.

He could not reveal much information about how his office determined the manner of death or how they knew Petito had been in the woods for as long as she had, due to a Wyoming state statute. He also could not say whether Petito was killed in the woods and left there or if she had been killed elsewhere and her body was left in the park.

Blue also could not reveal an approximate date of death, but confirmed Petito’s remains have been released to a local mortuary, which will work with her family to return her to them.

Petito’s fiance, Brian Laundrie, is a person of interest in the investigation into her death, but has been missing since Sept. 17.

John Walsh, former host of “America’s Most Wanted,” questioned Blue about his thoughts on whether or not Laundrie was Petito’s killer.

“I think everybody in the world believes that Brian Laundrie killed Gabby,” he said.

Blue could not attest to who killed Petito, and continued to affirm her manner and cause of death only.

One reporter questioned Blue about why it took so long to get the autopsy results.

“The reason was that we were very exacting on our examination and the detail by which the examination was done,” Blue said. “It was just a matter of making sure we had everything right.”

Blue also confirmed that law enforcement took DNA samples from Petito’s remains.

Petito and Laundrie had been traveling the country in a van. On Sept. 1, Laundrie returned to his home in Florida with the fan and without Petito. She was reported missing on Sept. 11.

A warrant has been issued for Laundrie’s arrest by the federal court in Cheyenne. The warrant does not accuse Laundrie of any role in Petito’s death, but accuses of him of unlawfully using a credit card in the days following her disappearance.

Police from various departments are searching for Laundrie. The case has also attracted national attention, meaning that the FBI and even reality star Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman have gotten involved in the search for Laundrie.

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September Ends With No Sign Of Laundrie; FBI, Dog The Bounty Hunter Continue Search

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

After two weeks of searching, law enforcement officers still have not found Brian Laundrie, the fiance of Gabby Petito, whose remains were found in the Bridger-Teton National Forest earlier this month.

Laundrie was reported missing from his Florida home by his parents on September 17. Petito’s remains were found two days later in Wyoming, nearly a month after she was last seen. Her death has been ruled a homicide, although Laundrie has not been formally accused of her death, but is considered a person of interest.

Petito and Laundrie had been traveling the country in a van. On Sept. 1, Laundrie returned to his home in Florida with the fan and without Petito. She was reported missing on Sept. 11.

A warrant has been issued for Laundrie’s arrest by the federal court in Cheyenne. The warrant does not accuse Laundrie of any role in Petito’s death, but accuses of him of unlawfully using a credit card in the days following her disappearance.

Police from various departments are searching for Laundrie. The case has also attracted national attention, meaning that the FBI and even reality star Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman have gotten involved in the search for Laundrie.

According to CNN, the extent of Laundrie’s parents’ involvement in his disappearance is still up in the air, but a former FBI special agent said the family would have had 10 days to two weeks to plan out how we would slip away from police.

CNN also reported that the Laundrie family stayed at a Florida campground between Sept. 6 and 8, about 75 miles from their North Port home. He also purchased a new cell phone during this time.

The U.S. Sun reported that Chapman has found personal items he believes may belong to Laundrie while searching in Fort De Soto Park in Florida, which spans more than 1,100 acres. He also claimed on Wednesday that he was “closing in” on Laundrie’s location.

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Prosecutors Say Laundrie A Flight Risk, Want Him Jailed If Found

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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

Federal prosecutors are asking that once the missing boyfriend of Gabby Petito is found, he be detained prior to his trial on a federal charge of unlawful use of a credit card.

In a petition to the U.S. District Court in Cheyenne, prosecutors alleged that prior to his trial, there is a risk Brian Laundrie could flee and pose a risk to the community.

Prosecutors asked for a hearing on the motion on Monday.

Officials in Florida continued their search Friday for Laundrie, who was reported missing one week ago. He remains a “person of interest” in the death of Petito, whose body was found in Bridger-Teton National Forest on Sept. 19.

A warrant has been issued for Laundrie’s arrest by the federal court in Cheyenne. The warrant does not accuse Laundrie of any role in Petito’s death, but accuses of him of unlawfully using a credit card in the days following her disappearance.

Petito and Laundrie had been traveling the country in a van. On Sept. 1, Laundrie returned to his home in Florida with the fan and without Petito. She was reported missing on Sept. 11.

Since returning to his home, Laundrie has not cooperated with law enforcement officers in the investigation into Petito’s disappearance and death.

Laundrie was reported missing by his family on Sept. 17.

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Arrest Warrant Issued For Brian Laundrie As Search Continues in 25,000-Acre Swamp

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By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily

An arrest warrant has been issued for Brian Laundrie, the fiancé of Gabby Petito, the 22-year-old who was found dead in the Bridger Teton National Forest on Sunday.

The FBI announced on Thursday afternoon that the U.S. District Court of Wyoming issued the arrest warrant for Brian Laundrie “pursuant to a Federal Grand Jury indictment related to Mr. Laundrie’s activities following the death of Gabrielle Petito.”

“While this warrant allows law enforcement to arrest Mr. Laundrie, the FBI and our partners across the country continue to investigate the facts and circumstances of Ms. Petito’s homicide,” FBI Special Agent Michael Schneider said.

The warrant does not seek Laundrie’s arrest in connection with Petito’s death. Instead, he is being arrested for the unlawful use of a credit card after Petito was killed.

The single-count indictment alleges that from Aug. 30 to Sept. 1, Laundrie “knowingly and with intent to defraud, used one or more unauthorized access devices, namely a Capital One Bank debit card […] and a personal identification number for Capital One Bank accounts.” Through that illegal conduct, the indictment alleges, Laundrie “obtained things of value aggregating to $1,000 or more.” 

Laundrie’s lawyer made sure to bring this bit of detail to the press.

“The arrest warrant for Brian Laundrie is related to activities  occurring after the death of Gabby Petito and not related to her actual demise,” Steven Bertolino said.

However, the search for Laundrie continues.

Although he made it home to his parents’ house in Florida two weeks ago, he was reported missing late last week.

Adam Walsh, host of the television show “America’s Most Wanted” and a longtime victims’ rights advocate, told USA Today that law enforcement in Florida erred, stating that the police should have kept an eye on the house and followed Laundrie if he left.

“”All these mistakes were made on my son Adam’s case, and similar mistakes were made in this case,” said Walsh, whose son Adam was abducted and found murdered in 1981. “It’s pretty damn sad.”

Authorities think Laundrie may be located in the Carlton Reserve, a 25,000-acre swamp he told his parents he was headed to.

“We’ve deployed numerous resources and we are trying to cover every acre in this preserve,” Joe Fussell said, a police commander in Florida.

Besides the hundreds of searchers, drones, dogs, and dive teams are looking for the 23-year-old.

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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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