Gabby Petito disappearance: Post-mortem due on body found - with fiance Brian Laundrie still missing

·3-min read

A post-mortem examination is due to be conducted later on a body found in Wyoming to determine if it is Gabby Petito, the 22-year-old who went missing while on a road trip with her fiance.

The autopsy will take place in North Port, Florida, as police and FBI agents continue to search for the young woman's fiance Brian Laundrie.

Investigators have called Mr Laundrie, 23, a "person of interest" in the case.

His parents told FBI agents they last saw him one week ago, when he told them he was planning to hike alone in the 24,000-acre Carlton Reserve wilderness area, near North Port.

North Port police called off their search of the swampy reserve on Monday after "exhausting all avenues" to find
Mr Laundrie there.

Investigators spent much of Monday searching the Laundrie home, loading cardboard boxes into a van and towing away a silver Ford Mustang.

The body was found on Sunday in a remote area of Bridger-Teton National Forest. An FBI spokesman has it was "consistent" with that of 5'5, 110-pound (50kg) Ms Petito.

The autopsy is expected to identify the remains and determine a cause of death.

Ms Petito and Mr Laundrie left her home state of New York in late June or early July, heading west in her white van with plans to visit America's national parks and document the trip on social media.

Mr Laundrie returned home to North Port alone in the van on 1 September. Ten days later, members of Ms Petito's family reported her missing.

Before disappearing, Mr Laundrie had refused to speak with investigators and retained a lawyer.

Witnesses last saw Ms Petito on 24 August as she left a Salt Lake City hotel.

She posted her final photo of the trip on social media the next day.

Ms Petito's family believe she was headed to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming when they last heard from her.

The body was discovered on the edge of that park, in a remote area less than 1,000 feet (300m) from where a pair
of travel bloggers filmed the white van parked along a dirt road near Spread Creek on the evening of 27 August.

Last week, police in Moab, Utah, released body camera footage of a 12 August encounter that two of their officers had with Ms Petito and Mr Laundrie during a traffic stop.

Ms Petito sobs in the video as she describes an argument with Mr Laundrie that she says became physical at times.

The officers did not detain the couple, but insisted they spend that night separately - Ms Petito in the van and Mr Laundrie at a hotel.

Ms Petito's father, Joseph, posted on social media an image of a broken heart above a picture of his daughter, with the message: "She touched the world."

In an interview broadcast Monday on US TV's Dr Phil show, Joseph Petito said Mr Laundrie and his daughter had dated for two and a half years, and that Mr Laundrie was "always respectful".

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