A makeshift memorial dedicated to missing woman Gabby Petito is located near City Hall on September 20, 2021 in North Port, Florida. (Photo by Octavio Jones/Getty Images)
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There’s a manhunt underway to find Bryan Laundrie, after the remains of his 22-year-old fiancee Gabby Petito were found in Grand Teton National Park and her death was initially determined to be a homicide.
Laundrie, 23, returned to Florida from a cross-country trip without Petito earlier this month. His family has refused to cooperate with authorities on Petito’s disappearance over the last few weeks, and has since apparently gone missing.
Petito’s body, however, was found in “a remote area” of Grand Teton National Park on Sunday.
“The FBI and our partners remain dedicated to ensuring anyone responsible for or complicit in Ms. Petito’s death is held accountable for their actions,” Michael Schneider, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Denver division, said in a tweet Tuesday night. “Mr. Brian Laundrie has been named a person of interest. Anyone with information concerning Mr. Laundrie’s role in this matter or his current whereabouts should contact the FBI.”
The FBI is also “seeking information from anyone who utilized the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area” in the Bridger-Teton National Forest between August 27 and August 30 who had contact with Petito or Laundrie or saw their van.
While the investigation into Petito’s death continues, here’s what we know about Laundrie.
Petito and Laundrie, who were engaged last year and lived in North Port, Florida with Laundrie’s parents, began what was supposed to be a four month “vanlife” trip across the United States in July, which they documented on their Instagram accounts.
Laundrie is featured prominently in Petito’s Instagram posts from August, and in a video documenting their trip which was posted to the couple’s YouTube account, Nomadik Statik. Their adventures were typical #vanlife content: In one clip in the video, when the couple were in Utah, shows Laundrie reading and lounging in a hammock.
Laundrie posted to his own Instagram account less frequently. In his most recent post on August 13, he posted a picture of himself next to a tree in Moab and lamented that “our culture, our society has put itself above all living creatures, creating needs purely to support destructive economic practices.”
“Thank you @gabspetito for putting up with me through Utah, a topographic playground,” he wrote in one July Instagram post.
On August 16, police in Moab, Utah responded to reports that Petito and Laundrie “had engaged in some kind of altercation” and forced the two to separate for the night, but ultimately did not charge either Petito nor Laundrie and characterized the incident as a “mental health crisis.” Moab police released body camera footage from the incident last week.
Petito made the final post on her Instagram account on August 25, but Petito’s mother continued to receive text messages from her. An unsealed Florida search warrant showed that one of the texts said, “Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls.” The “Stan” was Petito’s grandfather, and her mother was “concerned that something was wrong,” as she never called her grandfather by his first name.
On the morning of September 1, Laundrie arrived back in North Port. On September 11, Petito’s family reported her as a missing person in New York. That night, Laundrie’s family “refused to allow Brian to speak with law enforcement and directed the officers on scene to speak with their attorney,” according to the warrant.
On September 17, after the Petito family publicly begged for the Laundries’ help in finding their daughter, Brian Laundrie was reported as a missing person. A day later, authorities in Florida
began searching the Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County, but thus far have not found Laundrie.
An underwater dive team from the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Department arrived at the Carlton Reserve on Wednesday, according to CNN.
So far at least one person has come forward claiming she saw Laundrie on August 29. Miranda Baker said in a TikTok last week that the man she believes is Laundrie approached them in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming and offered the couple $200 to drive him to Jackson Hole, which she described as “kinda weird.” Baker said Laundrie told her that he had been camping for multiple days without Petito.
Before they got to Jackson Hole, however, Baker said Laundrie “freaked out” and asked them to stop the car near the Jackson Lake Dam. Florida authorities have spoken to Baker, according to Good Morning America.
“He got out, and he was thankful and he was kind of in a hurry,” Baker told Good Morning America. “He said he was going to go across the street into the parking lot and find someone else to give him a ride, but, when we looked back 10 or 15 seconds after he got out of the vehicle he was just gone.”