Gabby Petito case: FBI issues arrest warrant for Brian Laundrie

Gabby Petito Case

TAMPA, Fla. (NewsNation Now) — The FBI issued an arrest warrant for Brian Laundrie, the boyfriend of 22-year-old Gabby Petito, whose body was discovered in a Wyoming national park after the couple set out on a cross-country trek.

NewsNation’s Brian Entin reported Laundrie is wanted for “use of unauthorized access device” related to his activities following Petito’s death. The FBI says Laundrie used a debit card and a pin to access two bank accounts Aug. 30 and Sept. 1.

A federal grand jury indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Wyoming alleges he used a Capital One Bank card and someone’s personal identification number to make unauthorized withdrawals or charges worth more than $1,000 during the period in which Petito went missing. It does not say who the card belonged to.

You can read the full indictment below:

Teton County Coroner Brent Blue classified Petito’s death as a homicide — meaning her death was caused by another person — but did not disclose how she was killed pending further autopsy results. Laundrie, 23, has not been charged in relation to her death but has been considered a person of interest in her disappearance.

Laundrie was seen last week entering the 24,000-acre Carlton Reserve but was not reported missing until a few days later. Investigators had focused intently on the area after Laundrie’s parents told police he may have gone there.

The search ended for the day Thursday with nothing noteworthy.

North Port police used drones and helicopters to survey the area and on Wednesday called in divers to help with the search.

“At this time, this does not mean anything has been found,” police told NewsNation reporter Brian Entin. “It’s part of the overall search process.”

Thursday marked the fifth day searching the reserve. The outdoors search includes thousands of acres of forbidding, swampy subtropical terrain replete with alligators, snakes, bobcats, coyotes, turkey, deer and many other wild creatures. There are more than 100 miles of hiking and horseback riding trails, plus numerous camping areas and rivers.

Officers and FBI agents executed a court-authorized search warrant at Laundrie’s residence earlier this week, where he lived with his parents and Petito. No further details were provided. Images from the scene show police tape surrounding the home and agents entering with evidence boxes.

Laundrie’s parents briefly left their home Thursday morning with a police escort to pick up a vehicle, Entin reported.

Utah police announced Thursday that they would investigate how the department handled an incident between the couple that was caught on police bodycam.

Video released by the Moab police showed an officer pulled the couple’s van over Aug. 12 after it was seen speeding and hitting a curb near Arches National Park. Hourlong 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.  Petito told officers she and Laundrie had been having “little arguments” that day. Petito told Moab police that when she saw the officer trying to pull them over, she “hit Brian in the arm to get his attention,” which caused him to hit the curb.

The entire time she spoke with police, the officer says Petito was breathing heavily and could not stop crying “or compose a sentence without needing to wipe away tears, wipe her nose, or rub her knees with her hands.”

Authorities reported Laundrie told officers the couple had been traveling for four to five months, which “created emotional strain between them and increased the number of arguments.” He also said “issues between the two had been building over the last few days,” causing them to argue more than usual.

“The police department will identify an unaffiliated law enforcement agency to conduct the formal investigation on our behalf,” the Moab City Police Chief said in a statement. “We look forward to the investigation. Should the investigation identify areas for improvement we will take that information to heart, learn from it, and make changes if needed to ensure we are providing the best response and service to our community.”

Petito vanished while on a cross-country road trip with Laundrie in a converted camper van.

The trip was well-documented on social media until it abruptly ceased allegedly somewhere in Wyoming. The couple documented most of their trip, which started in July, on a YouTube Vlog called “VAN LIFE”.  The last posts to both their Instagram accounts were from Grand Teton National Park.

Petito, 22, was reported missing Sept. 11 by her parents after she did not respond to calls and texts for several days while the couple visited parks in the West. Her body was discovered Sunday at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

Click here for more coverage of the Gabby Petito case.

Moloney’s Holbrook Funeral Home in New York confirmed there would be a memorial for Petito held Sunday, Sept. 26.

Petito and Laundrie were childhood sweethearts who met while growing up on New York’s Long Island. His parents later moved to North Port, about 35 miles south of Sarasota.

NewsNation affiliates WFLA, KTXL and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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