DENVER (NewsNation Now) — FBI Denver confirmed Sunday that remains found in Wyoming fit the description of missing YouTuber Gabby Petito. The body was found in Teton Park.
“Earlier today, human remains were discovered consistent with Gabrielle Petito,” FBI spokesman Charles Jones said. “Full forensic identification has not been completed to confirm 100% that we found Gabby, but her family has been notified of this discovery.”
Jones said the cause of death was yet to be determined.
Shortly after the FBI update, Petito’s father tweeted an image of her with wings.
An attorney who has been acting as a spokesman for Petito’s family asked in a statement that the family be given room to grieve.
Attorney Richard Benson Stafford indicated that the family would make a public statement at a later date, and he thanked officials with the FBI, Grand Teton Search and Rescue and other agencies that participated in the search for Petito.
“The family and I will be forever grateful,” Stafford said in a statement.
Jones said investigators are still seeking information from anyone who may have seen Petito or Brian Laundrie, the 23-year-old man that authorities consider a person of interest in her disappearance, around some camping sites located on the park’s eastern boundary, the same site that was the subject of a law enforcement search efforts over the weekend.
NewsNation’s Brian Entin posted a tweet with a statement from the Laundrie family attorney Sunday evening.
Meanwhile, more than 50 law enforcement officers started a second day of searching in a vast wildlife area near Florida’s Gulf Coast for Laundrie.
The search for Laundrie resumed at the more than 24,000-acre Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County, Florida, a wildlife area with more than 100 miles of trails, as well as campgrounds.
Laundrie and Petito, 22, left in July on a cross-country trek in a converted van to visit national parks in the U.S. West.
Police said Laundrie was alone when he drove the van back to his parents’ home in North Port, Florida, on Sept. 1. Petito’s family filed a missing persons report Sept. 11 with police in Suffolk County, New York.
Laundrie has been identified as a person of interest in the case.
“It is important to note that while Brian is a person of interest in Gabby’s disappearance, he is not wanted for a crime,” North Port police said in a statement.
Laundrie’s family members told investigators that the last time they saw him was Tuesday, when they believe he went to the wildlife reserve in the Sarasota area.
Petito’s family had been pleading for the Laundrie family to tell them where their son last saw her. Petito and Laundrie were childhood sweethearts who met while growing up on Long Island, New York. His parents later moved to North Port, about 35 miles south of Sarasota.
“Saddened and heartbroken to learn that Gabby has been found deceased,” North Port police said on Twitter. “Our focus from the start, along with the FBI, and national partners, has been to bring her home. We will continue to work with the FBI in the search for more answers.”
On Aug. 12, Moab City Police in Utah responded to reports of an alleged physical interaction between Petito and Laundrie. Hour-long body camera footage from the investigation shows officers responding to the 911 call with Petito crying “uncontrollably,” saying the pair had been having “little arguments” that day.
The couple’s trek in the Ford Transit van began in July from Long Island. They intended to reach Oregon by the end of October, according to their social media accounts, but Petito vanished after her last known contact with family in late August from Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, authorities said.
Stuart Kaplan, a former FBI special agent, told NewsNationNow.com he believes the case will now be “quickly resolved or solved” because of the resources the FBI has.
“That is where the FBI is at its best because of their ability to bring in resources that, quite frankly, the local and state law enforcement agencies do not have,” Kaplan said.
See Kaplan’s interview about where the case stands now in the player below.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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