WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – Human remains were found on Wednesday (Oct 20) in a Florida wilderness area where authorities were searching for Brian Laundrie, the fiance of Gabby Petito, a young woman who vanished on a road trip with Laundrie, MSNBC reported, citing a senior law enforcement official.
The Sarasota County Medical Examiner’s Office was called on Wednesday morning to the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park where the search for Laundrie was under way, a spokesman for the office said.
The spokesman declined to comment on the reported human remains found in the park.
The FBI was processing a scene in Carlton Reserve, which is near the park, it said on Twitter. The agency said, “Items of interest were located at the Carlton Reserve” on Wednesday morning in connection with the search for Laundrie.
Petito’s disappearance last month during a cross-country road trip with her boyfriend captivated the country, first as an internet sensation and then as a tabloid mystery that grew more enigmatic by the day.
Petito was killed by strangulation, a local coroner said earlier this month.
Petito, 22, was last seen alive on Aug 26. Her body was discovered near the remote Spread Creek Dispersed Campground in Bridger-Teton National Forest in western Wyoming.
Petito and Laundrie, who lived with Laundrie’s parents in North Port on Florida’s west coast, embarked on their trip in early July from New York’s Long Island, where her parents live.
As they travelled through Kansas, Colorado, Utah and points west, Petito documented their “van life” on social media with videos and pictures that depicted a loving couple having an American adventure.
A post shared by Gabby (@gabspetito)
She posted her final photo to Instagram on Aug 25, the same day she last spoke to her mother by phone.
Police in Utah released a video last month of an August encounter with the Florida woman tearfully describing a dispute she had on a road trip with her boyfriend, who was named a person of interest in her disappearance.
On Sept 23, a federal grand jury in Wyoming indicted Laundrie on a charge of fraudulently using Petito’s bank debit card between Aug 30 and Sept 1 to spend US$1,000 (S$1,300) or more. He had not been charged in her death.
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