The search for Gabby Petito appears to be over.
As we previously reported, the FBI announced on Sunday that they had found a body that was “consistent” with descriptions of the 22-year-old in Grand Teton National Park. The discovery concluded a week-long search that began when Gabby’s family reported her missing on September 11. The search garnered national attention and caused a social media firestorm, particularly surrounding Gabby’s boyfriend Brian Laundrie’s possible involvement in the case.
While an autopsy has not yet been conducted to conclusively identify the body as Gabby’s, her family has already posted heartbreaking Instagram tributes to the YouTuber. Her father Joseph Petito posted a snap of the young traveler standing in front of a mural with angel wings, accompanied by the caption:
“ #gabbypetito she touched the world”
Her brother TJ Schmidt shared a similar photo, writing:
“I don’t even know what to say.I’m at a total loss. My heart is shattered #justiceforgabby.”
Richard Stafford, an attorney representing Gabby’s parents, released a statement requesting privacy for the family. It read in part:
“Due to today’s developments, we are asking the press and news media to have some decorum and sensitivity for Gabby’s family and allow them to grieve. I will be in contact with you when Gabby’s family is ready to make a public statement.”
The Laundrie family also released a statement through their lawyer Steven Bertolino:
“The news about Gabby Petito is heartbreaking. The Laundrie family prays for Gabby and her family.”
The Laundries reported Brian as missing on Friday, September 17, telling law enforcement they hadn’t seen him since Tuesday. Over the weekend, police conducted a search of Carlton Reserve, where the 23-year-old allegedly told his family he was going.
North Port Police Department spokesperson Josh Taylor stated on Monday that there were no plans to continue a “major search” of the area, per the local NBC news affiliate. He said:
“At this time, we currently believe we have exhausted all avenues in searching of the grounds there. Law enforcement agencies continue to search for Brian Laundrie.”
Meanwhile, the autopsy of the body discovered in Grand Teton will be conducted on Tuesday, according to CNN. Teton County, Wyoming, Coroner Dr. Brent Blue told the outlet that “officials would confirm the identity of the remains through photographs, personal identification or DNA.” The autopsy will also identify the cause of death.
This has been such a sad case from the beginning. We can’t imagine how devastating Gabby’s family must feel now. We hope that Brian is found quickly, and that answers as to what happened will soon be revealed.
[Image via Joseph Petito/Instagram]
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