Officers search Brian Laundry, Gabi Pettito’s fiancé in Florida
Moss, Yu. FBI and police agents on Monday invaded the home of a young man wanted for questioning in the case of the disappearance of his girlfriend, Gabe Pettito, whose body was apparently discovered over the weekend in Wyoming National Park.
The Tampa FBI office said in a tweet on Twitter that it was issuing a search warrant, and local media reported that the parents of 23-year-old Brian Laundry were seen riding in a police car outside the house. Agents will not comment further.
A video clip showed at least a dozen law enforcement officers withdrawing to a Northport laundromat and rushing inside. Brian Laundry and Pettito were living with his parents before taking a trip across the country where she died.
Pettito, 22, disappeared after she and Londry left in July in a converted truck to visit national parks in the West. Police said they fought along the road, and Laundry was alone when he returned in the van to his parents’ home on September 1.
In Wyoming, the FBI on Sunday announced the discovery of a body by agents searching camp sites on the edge of Grand Teton National Park, which the couple visited. An autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday.
“Full forensic identification has not been completed to confirm 100% that we have found Gabe, but her family has been notified,” said FBI agent Charles Jones. “This is a very difficult time for Petito’s family and friends.”
Jones and other law enforcement officials did not respond to any questions during the evening press conference.
And Joseph, Pettito’s father, posted, through social networking sites, a picture of a broken heart over his daughter’s picture, with the message: “I touched the world.”
An attorney who served as the Pettito family’s spokesperson asked in a statement that the family be given space to grieve.
Jones said investigators are still seeking information from anyone who may have seen Pettito or Laundry around the Grand Teton.
Northport police said a weekend search at a Florida nature reserve failed to find Laundry. In a statement, they said they had “exhausted all avenues to search for land” of the 24,000-acre (9,700 ha) Carleton Preserve in Sarasota County.
Detectives focused intently on the area after Laundry’s parents told the police that he might have gone there.
The Pettito family on Long Island, New York, was begging the Laundrys to tell them where their son had last seen her.
Pettito and Londry were childhood sweethearts who met while growing up on Long Island. His parents later moved to Northport, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) south of Sarasota.
Police video released by the Moab State Department of Utah showed that an officer stopped the couple’s truck on August 12 after it was seen speeding and crashing into a curb near the entrance to Arches National Park. The body cam video showed Pettito being upset.
Laundry said in the video that the couple got into a fight after they got into the truck with dirty feet. He said he did not want to pursue the domestic violence charge against Pettito, who officers determined was the abuser.
Moab police separated the couple overnight, with Laundry registered at a motel and Pettito staying with the truck.
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