Federal arrest warrant issued for Brian Laundrie for his ‘use of unauthorized devices’ after Gabby Petito’s death, FBI says


The US District Court of Wyoming has issued a federal arrest warrant for Brian Laundrie, according to the FBI’s Denver field office, after a federal grand jury indicted him for his “use of unauthorized devices” following the death of Gabby Petito.
“While this arrest warrant allows law enforcement to arrest Mr. Laundrie, the FBI and our partners across the country continue to investigate the facts and circumstances of Ms. Petito’s homicide,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider said in a statement posted on Twitter.
A timeline of 22-year-old Gabby Petito’s case
According to the indictment, Laundrie used a debit card and PIN number for accounts that did not belong to him for charges over $1,000 between the dates of August 30 and September 1.
The news comes as investigators again searched a 25,000-acre Florida nature reserve for any sign of Laundrie, who returned home September 1 from a road trip without Petito, his fiancée
Laundrie’s family told police he left home with his backpack September 14 and told them he was going to the reserve near their home. On Thursday evening, North Port Police announced via a tweet that it had halted its search for Laundrie at the reserve and that search teams would be back on Friday.
Petito’s remains were found Sunday in an undeveloped camping area in Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming, and her death was ruled a homicide on Tuesday in preliminary findings. She was reported missing by her family on September 11.
We urge individuals with knowledge of Mr. Laundrie’s role in this matter or his current whereabouts to contact the FBI,” Schneider said Thursday. “No piece of information is too small or inconsequential to support our efforts in this investigation
An attorney for Laundrie’s family emphasized in a statement that the warrant was not for Petito’s death but related to activities that took place afterward.
“It is my understanding that the arrest warrant for Brian Laundrie is related to activities occurring after the death of Gabby Petito and not related to her actual demise,” Steve Bertolino said. “The FBI is focusing on locating Brian and when that occurs the specifics of the charges covered under the indictment will be addressed in the proper forum.”
‘We won’t forget about you’
Meantime, a small crowd gathered Wednesday night in Salt Lake City to mourn the 22-year-old, whose death has captured the attention of people nationwide.
The couple had been visiting national parks in the West in their van, chronicling their travels on social media with the hashtag #VanLife, before Petito went missing. And though she never lived in Utah, Petito’s love of nature and her time there — including an encounter with Moab police that was captured on bodycam — has connected her with the community.
“We won’t forget about you. We won’t let your light dim,” vigil organizer Serena Chavez said before the group.
“We will remember other women or children who are missing,” Chavez continued, raising a broader problem highlighted by Petito’s disappearance. “Their families are devastated, and I can only imagine what Gabby’s family is going through.
Before she moved to Florida, Petito had worked as a hostess at Smoke on the Water in Wilmington, North Carolina. Coworkers there say she made everyone feel loved, according to CNN affiliate WWAY. It was another community upon which the young woman made her mark.
“She’s not just a name. She’s not just a case. She was a person, and she was very special to a lot of people and many of us here,” the restaurant’s general manager, Lara Witschen, told WWAY. “She was a good soul, a good spirit, and touched so many lives. That’s what we want her to be remembered for.”
A small memorial now also marks the spot in Wyoming where Petito’s remains were found this week. Petito’s stepfather, Jim Schmidt, left a memorial at the site and sunflowers, “which were his daughter’s favorite flower,” family attorney Rick Stafford told CNN.
Laundrie’s neighbor last saw him weekend of Sept. 10
A neighbor who lives directly across the street from the home Petito shared with Laundrie and her family told CNN the last time she saw Laundrie at the North Port, Florida, home was the weekend of September 10.
Karyn Aberts said she saw Laundrie and his family “in the neighborhood out in the front yard,” saying it looked like “a normal … they were going for a walk kind of thing,” and that she “never thought anything about it.”
Aberts told CNN outside her home that she’d watched Petito and Laundrie converting the van they eventually drove across the country. (Officials would later find that van, a white Ford, at the Laundrie home.)
“They seemed to be sitting and laughing in their car and then the van that they were working on,” Aberts said, noting the last time she saw Petito was early in the summer, before the coupe left on their road trip.


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