Authorities looking for 22-year-old Gabby Petito, who was reported missing by her family after she had been traveling with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, said Sunday human remains had been found in Wyoming that are “consistent with the description of” Petito.
A full identification had not yet been completed at the time the FBI announced the discovery.
Local and federal authorities had been searching the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming for any evidence of the woman.
Laundrie returned to the pair’s North Port, Florida, home earlier this month without Petito and has refused to talk to authorities, police say. Petito’s family and their attorneys have pleaded with Laundrie and his family to cooperate and help bring her home.
Laundrie has not been seen since last Tuesday, according to his family. Authorities have searched for him in a Florida nature preserve.
An attorney for the Laundrie family said in a statement his family is “remaining in the background at this juncture and will have no further comment” on the advice of counsel.
Here’s what we know about the timeline in the case of the missing woman.
Petito and Laundrie embark on a cross-country trip, according to North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison, who refers to Laundrie as Petito’s fiancé.
They planned to travel in Petito’s white Ford van to the West Coast and visit state and national parks across the western United States, Garrison says at a news briefing.
She had been excited to share her journey with her family and others on social media, he says.
“She maintained regular contact with her family members during her travels; however, that communication abruptly stopped around the end of August,” the police chief adds.
August 12, 2021
Moab, Utah, police have an encounter with the couple on August 12, where officers describe them as having “engaged in some sort of altercation.”
Although the two are described as getting into a physical fight following an argument, “both the male and female reported they are in love and engaged to be married and desperately didn’t wish to see anyone charged with a crime,” a report from officer Eric Pratt says.
At officers’ suggestion, the couple separated for the night, the report says, which describes Petito as “confused and emotional.”
“After evaluating the totality of the circumstances, I do not believe the situation escalated to the level of a domestic assault as much as that of a mental health crisis,” officer Daniel Robbins writes in the report. No charges are filed.
The couple each had their own cell phones in case of emergency, the report adds.
Last week of August
Petito’s family tell police they were last in contact with her during the last week of August, North Port police say. Before that last communication, Petito is believed to have been in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, police say.
In a news conference in September, Petito family attorney Richard Stafford says the family’s last communication with Petito was August 30, but they do not believe the message they received was from her.
Stafford shares a timeline of events on September 17, as the family knows it:
On August 24, Petito FaceTimes with her mother and tells her she is leaving Utah and heading to the Teton range in Wyoming.
On August 25, there are multiple texts between Petito and her mother. The young woman’s family believes she is in the Tetons on this date.
On August 27, there were more texts between Petito and her mother, during which her family believes she remains in the Tetons.
On August 30, her family receives their last text from Petito. They doubt she wrote that text. According to Stafford, that message reads, “No service in Yosemite.”
September 1, 2021
Laundrie returns to the couple’s North Port home, where his parents also live, on September 1, according to police.
The white vehicle Petito and Laundrie had been traveling in was later recovered by police at the home. It was processed and “there was some material in there” that authorities will be going through, North Port police spokesperson Josh Taylor says at a news briefing.
September 11, 2021
After not being able to get in touch with her, Petito’s family — who lives in New York — reports her missing to the Suffolk County, New York, Police Department.
North Port authorities go to Laundrie’s home that night and ask to speak to him and his family, but “we were essentially handed the information for their attorney,” Taylor, the police spokesperson, says.
“That is the extent of our conversation with them,” Taylor says.
In a letter read by the Petito family attorney during a news briefing held by police, the missing woman’s family begs for Laundrie’s family to help in the investigation.
“Please, if you or your family have any decency left, please, tell us where Gabby is located,” Stafford says. “Tell us if we are even looking in the right place. All we want is for Gabby to come home. Please help us make that happen.”
He says Petito’s family reached out to Laundrie’s family earlier in the month for information on Petito’s whereabouts, but his family refused to answer.
“We haven’t been able to sleep or eat, and our lives are falling apart,” the Petito family’s letter adds.
After several days of both Petito’s family and police pleading with Laundrie’s family to cooperate in the investigation, Laundrie’s family requests police to come to their home, where they share they haven’t seen Brian since September 14, according to Taylor, the police spokesperson.
“We’ve been trying all week to talk to his family, to talk to Brian, and now they’ve called us here on Friday, we’ve gone to the home, and they’re saying now they have not seen their son,” Taylor tells CNN’s Chris Cuomo. “It is another twist in this story.”
Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino tells CNN “the whereabouts of Brian Laundrie are currently unknown. The FBI is currently at the Laundrie residence removing property to assist in locating Brian. As of now the FBI is now looking for both Gabby and Brian.”
Local and federal authorities kick off a search for the 23-year-old man.
“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 say on Twitter. “We are not currently working a crime investigation. We are now working a multiple missing persons (investigation).”
North Port Police say authorities are conducting a search for Laundrie at the Carlton Reserve, a natural area with more than 80 miles of hiking trails in Venice, Florida.
Roughly 50 law enforcement officers from five local agencies and the FBI are searching for Laundrie, Taylor, the police spokesperson, says at a news conference, adding that Laundrie has an “enormous amount of pressure” on him to provide answers to what’s going on.
Meanwhile, the FBI announces the agency and its partners are also conducting ground surveys in Grand Teton National Park that are relevant to Petito’s disappearance.
The national park is where Petito is believed to have been before her last communication with her family, police have previously said.
Human remains discovered in Teton County, Wyoming, are “consistent with the description of” missing 22-year-old Gabby Petito, FBI officials say in a news conference.
“Full forensic identification has not been completed to confirm 100% that we found Gabby, but her family has been notified of this discovery,” Charles Jones, FBI Denver’s supervisory senior resident agent in Wyoming, says.
Jones opens the news conference extending condolences to Petito’s family.
The search for Laundrie in Florida’s Carlton Reserve continues until about 6 p.m. ET.
The parents of Brian Laundrie are questioned at their home by the FBI.
Christopher and Roberta Laundrie are escorted from their home and return after federal agents executed a search warrant, according to Taylor, the North Port police spokesperson.
Police say they have exhausted search avenues at the nature reserve and the search area has shifted.