Gabby Petito’s family meets with FBI in Tampa

Gabby Petito Case

NORTH PORT, Fla. (NewsNation Now) — Gabby Petito’s family met with the FBI in Tampa Thursday, though the topic of conversation was kept secret.

The parents of Brian Laundrie, the boyfriend of Gabby Petito and person of interest in her death, are trying to reclaim items found near his body, including a notebook that is still in FBI custody, his family’s lawyer said earlier this month.

Steven Bertolino told NewsNation’s Brian Entin that this was part of the formal proceedings to administer Laundrie’s estate and confirmed the notebook was part of the request. The Petito family had previously filed to obtain Gabby Petito’s belongings that were in the Laundrie family home or in FBI custody.

Laundrie was at the center of a nationwide search after Petito vanished. The FBI never officially connected him to Petito’s death beyond calling him a person of interest.

Laundrie’s remains were found in October after more than a month of searching a 24,000-acre Florida nature reserve. Authorities confirmed that Laundrie died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in November.

Other personal items believed to be Laundrie’s, including a backpack and a notebook, were also found in the reserve where his remains were located. The FBI has never released what is in the notebook.

The items and remains were found in a swampy area — home to alligators, snakes, coyotes and other wildlife — that had previously been underwater, according to Michael McPherson, chief of the Tampa FBI office.

Petito, 22, 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.

Petito was reported missing Sept. 11 by her parents after she did not respond to calls and texts for several days. Petito’s body was found Sept. 19 just outside Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. A Teton County coroner said Petito died by strangulation three to four weeks before her body was found.

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