NORTH PORT, Fl. (Fwrd Axis) — An autopsy of the remains found Sunday in the Bridger-Teton National Forest are those of Gabby Petito and the FBI has officially ruled her death a homicide, it was announced on Tuesday afternoon.
The remains were found on Sunday at the Bridger-Teton National Forest and police said they were “believed to be” that of the 22-year-old that had been missing since September 11 after going on a cross-country trip with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, who is now been identified as a person of interest in the case.
“Anyone with information concerning Mr. Laundrie’s role in this matter or his current whereabouts should contact the FBI,” Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider said.
While on a cross-country trip with Laundrie, a police affidavit revealed Petito had “more and more tension” with Laundrie. Police searched Laundrie’s parents’ home on Tuesday. The house and considerable perimeter area was declared a “crime scene”. After an hour, Chris and Roberta Laundrie were escorted back into their home where it is presumed that questioning commenced.
Petito exchanged multiple text messages with her mother before she disappeared. On August 27, Petito’s mother received the final message from her daughter, labeling it as “odd”. The message read: “Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls.”
However, the mother flagged it as “odd” because the 22-year-old Petito never referred to the grandfather as Stan.
Other signs of tension between the couple came when police were called over a “domestic dispute”.
“We drove by and the gentleman was slapping the girl,” the caller says. “Then we stopped. They ran up and down the sidewalk. He proceeded to hit her, hopped in the car, and they drove off.”
A woman has said she and her boyfriend gave Laundrie a ride on August 29 in Wyoming. Laundrie claimed he was camping by himself for multiple days and Petito was alone working on social media posts.
“I was imploring with her to reevaluate the relationship, asking her if she was happy in the relationship with him, and basically saying this was an opportunity for her to find another path, to make a change in her life,” ranger Melissa Hulls told the Deseret News.