The boyfriend's residence wanted for questioning in the death of 22-year-old Gabby Petito, whose body was discovered over the weekend in a Wyoming national park months after the couple set out on a cross-country road trip, has been searched by FBI agents and police.
The FBI provided no information about the search, which involved at least a dozen law enforcement personnel. However, investigators seized numerous boxes and towed away a car that neighbors said belonged to Brian Laundrie's mother. Laundrie's parents were reportedly seen stepping into a police van, according to local media.
Laundrie and Petito stayed with their parents in North Port before her death on the road trip.
In July, the young couple headed out in a modified van to visit the Western United States national parks. They got into a fight on the way, and Laundrie was alone when he returned to his parent's house in the van on September 1, according to authorities.
ON SUNDAY, the FBI reported that a body had been recovered on the outskirts of Grand Teton National Park, which the couple had visited. The reason for death has not been revealed. An autopsy has been scheduled for today.
“Full forensic identification has not been completed to confirm 100 percent that we found Gabby,” FBI agent Charles Jones said.
Laundrie has been designated as a person of interest in the investigation, but his whereabouts have been unknown recently.
Petito's father, Joseph, captioned a photo of his daughter with a shattered heart and the words "She touched the world." on social media.
Joseph Petito said Laundrie and his daughter had dated for two and a half years and that Laundrie was "always respectful" in an interview broadcast Monday on TV's "Dr. Phil" show. Petito stated the couple had made a previous road trip to California in her automobile with no problems during the interview, recorded before his daughter's death was discovered.
“If there had been, I would not have gone on the trip,” Petito said.
Petito said his family became concerned after not hearing from their daughter for several days.
Petito stated, "We called Brian, we called the mom, we called the dad, we called the sister, we called every number we could find." “There were no phone calls answered, and no text messages were returned.”
Petito has stated that he wants Laundrie and his family held accountable for whatever role they played in Gabby's disappearance.
“I hope they, including his family, get what's coming,” Petito said. “Because, trust me, they're just as complicit in my book right now.”
According to the FBI, investigators are looking for anyone who may have seen the couple around Grand Teton.
Over the weekend, police searching for Laundrie failed to find her in a 24,000-acre Florida nature preserve. After Laundrie's parents told authorities he may have gone there, investigators focused on the region.
Petito and Laundrie met as children on Long Island, New York, and became childhood sweethearts. His parents then relocated to North Port, which is roughly 35 miles south of Sarasota.
According to a tape obtained from the Grand County Sheriff's Office, a guy who witnessed Petito and Laundrie arguing in Moab, Utah, on August 12, contacted 911 to report a domestic violence incident. The man claimed he saw Laundrie smack Petito while going through town and then strike her before the two got into their van and drove away.
On the same day, an officer pulled the couple's van over after it was observed speeding and hitting a curb near Arches National Park, according to a video obtained by Moab police. Petito appeared to be upset in the body camera clip.
Laundrie claims the couple got into an altercation in the video after going into the van with filthy feet. He stated that he did not wish to press domestic violence charges against Petito, who officers determined was the aggressor.
Moab police separated the pair were separated for the night by Moab police, with Laundrie checking into a motel and Petito staying with the vehicle.
Gabby Petito cried as she told the police that she and Laundrie had been bickering about her cleaning the van excessively. She confessed to the officer that she suffers from OCD or obsessive compulsive disorder.
Her father stated on "Dr. Phil" that this was not accurate. He claims she was merely trying to keep her living room tidy and was using slang.