Gabby petito case , Body found near North Carolina park isn’t Brian Laundrie, FBI says

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body found near a scenic North Carolina overlook is not Florida fugitive Brian Laundrie, according to the FBI.

The discovery of the unidentified body beneath the Yadkin Valley Overlook near the Blue Ridge Parkway led to wide speculation online that it was Laundrie, who is sought in the disappearance and death of Long Island native Gabby Petito.

The feds have dismissed that rumor.

“At this time there is no evidence to connect or any reason to believe it is related to the search for fugitive Brian Laundrie,” the FBI told WSOC-TV in a statement Sunday.

The federal agency, along with the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, are probing the remains and have not released an ID.

The FBI has led a manhunt for Laundrie after the 23-year-old slipped away from his parents’ home in North Port, Fla., last month. He remains on the loose.

Laundrie is the sole person of interest in the death of Petito, whose body was found at a remote Wyoming campground on Sept. 19. Her death was ruled a homicide.

Laundrie returned home from the couple’s ill-fated cross-country trip without his 22-year-old girlfriend on Sept. 1, lawyered up and refused to speak to authorities.

He has not been charged in her death but is wanted on federal charges out of Wyoming for fraud after using Petito’s bank card.

Police have searched a swampy, 25,000-acre reserve near the Laundrie home for weeks, but tipsters have reported spotting Laundrie along the Appalachian Trail as far north as the North Carolina/Tennessee border.

Authorities have said the sightings were investigated and were not substantiated.

Before Gabby Petito disappeared while on a cross-country van trip with her fiancé, her conversations with her mother appeared to reveal Petito had “more and more tension” with her travel partner, a police affidavit for a search warrant indicates.

The affidavit, filed by Florida police last week, offers new insight into what investigators have gleaned as they try to determine not only what happened to Petito but also the current whereabouts of the fiancé who returned to Florida this month without her.

Brian Laundrie, Gabby Petito’s fiancé, has been missing for a week. Here’s why it’s been so hard to find him

Brian Laundrie, Gabby Petito’s fiancé, has been missing for a week. Here’s why it’s been so hard to find him

Human remains that officials said are consistent with Petito’s description were found Sunday in an undeveloped camping area in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest on the eastern edge of Grand Teton National Park.

An autopsy was underway Tuesday morning, and the FBI is expected to release the results later in the day, Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue said

And a police search for the fiancé, Brian Laundrie, resumed Tuesday at a Florida nature reserve where his parents reportedly said he indicated he was going last week.

Petito, 22, and Laundrie, 23, had been road-tripping in a white van from New York through the US West over the summer, regularly posting photos and stories to their social media pages with the hashtag #vanlife.

Those posts abruptly stopped in late August, and Laundrie returned to his North Port, Florida, home on September 1 in their van without Petito, whose family reported her missing September 11. Authorities are looking for Laundrie, whose parents told investigators he left home with a backpack September 14, and have searched his home, including.

The case has become an obsession for many, spurring digital detectives to comb through the couple’s online trail. The story has also further highlighted the tens of thousands of unsolved missing persons stories.

Before she vanished, Petito sent multiple text messages and had many talks with her mother via cell phone during her trip, Florida police wrote in an application filed last week for a search warrant for an external hard drive found in the couple’s van.

In those conversations, there “appeared to be more and more tension between her and Laundrie,” the affidavit reads. On August 27, Petito’s mother received one last communication from her daughter, which she called an “odd text,” the affidavit says.

The message read: “Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls.” Because the text message referred to Petito’s grandfather as Stan, her mother was concerned that something was wrong, the warrant states.

Following that text message, Petito’s phone was no longer operational and she stopped posting anything on social media about their trip, the warrant says.

One more text came on August 30 that read, “No service in Yosemite,” but her family doubts she wrote it, Richard Stafford, an attorney representing Joseph Petito and her mother, Nicole Schmidt said.

Other evidence of tension between Petito and Laundrie also has emerged. A 911 audio recording in Utah sheds new light on a now-well-publicized incident in which police confronted the pair on August 12.

In the 911 recording from the Grand County Sheriff’s Office in Moab, Utah, a caller reports what he called a “domestic dispute” between a couple.

Bodycam footage from the Moab Police Department shows them talking with Brian Laundrie.

Bodycam footage from the Moab Police Department shows them talking with Brian Laundrie.

“We drove by and the gentleman was slapping the girl,” the caller says. “Then we stopped. They ran up and down the sidewalk. He proceeded to hit her, hopped in the car, and they drove off.”

Police later stopped the couple, and previously released police documents and body-camera video reveal what followed that day.

Although the Petito and Laundrie are described in a police report 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,” Officer Eric Pratt wrote in the report.

At the suggestion by police, the couple separated for the night, the report said, which described Petito as “confused and emotional.”

A National Park Service ranger who also responded to the call interacted with Petito for about 90 minutes, and warned her that her relationship with Laundrie had markings of a “toxic” one, the ranger told the Deseret News of Utah.

“I was imploring with her to reevaluate the relationship, asking her if she was happy in the relationship with him, and basically saying this was an opportunity for her to find another path, to make a change in her life,” ranger Melissa Hulls said

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