A body found near Grand Teton National Park “meets the description” of the missing 22-year-old Gabby Petito, officials said at a press conference on Sunday afternoon. The body has not been officially identified and the cause of death has not been confirmed.
“I want to express my sincere and sincere condolences to Gabby’s family,” said an FBI supervisor. “As any parent can imagine, this is an incredibly difficult time for family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. We ask all of you to respect their privacy as they mourn the loss of their daughter.”
Authorities had been searching since Saturday near the scattered Spread Creek camping area just outside Grand Teton National Park. The campsite will remain closed for the moment.
Police in North Port, Florida, where Petito lived with her fiance, Brian Laundrie, who is considered a person of interest and was also reported missing on Friday night, tweeted their condolences.
“Saddened and heartbroken to learn that Gabby has been found dead”, the department tweeted. “Our goal from the start, along with the FBI and domestic partners, has been to bring her home. We will continue to work with the FBI in finding more answers.”
Petito, 22, had made a trip across the country withwhen she’s gone. Laundrie returned to Florida on September 1 without Petito.
Petito’s last known contact with her family was in late August and she was in Grand Teton National Park at the time, authorities said. His family filed a missing persons report in Suffolk County, New York on September 11.
Laundrie had been named a person of interest in the Petito case, but authorities had been unable to speak to him. Then, on Friday, a lawyer for Laundrie’s family contacted the FBI saying they wanted to talk about their son’s disappearance. They said they had not seen him since Tuesday, the police noted.
“Please be aware that the fate of Brian Laundrie is currently unknown,” Laundrie family lawyer Steven Bertolino said on Friday.
Authorities on Saturday began searching for laundry facilities in the Carlton Preserve, a 24,000-acre county park in Sarasota County, Florida.
“His family say they believe he entered the area earlier this week. More details when they become available,” he added. North Port Police tweeted Saturday morning.
“For the past six days, the North Port Police Department and the FBI have been begging the family to contact investigators regarding Brian’s fiancée Gabby Petito,” police said. “Friday is the first time they have spoken in detail with investigators.”
“It is important to note that although Brian is a person of interest in Gabby’s disappearance, he is not wanted for a felony,” police said. “We are not currently working on a criminal investigation. We are now working on an investigation of several missing persons.”
On Friday, the FBI was at Laundrie’s residence in North Point “removing property to help locate Brian,” Laundrie’s family lawyer said in a statement to CBS News.
Police video released Thursday shows Petito and Laundrie had ain Moab, Utah, weeks before she went missing.