Authorities believe they have found the body of Gabby Petito.
Earlier on Sunday, investigators announced that they had discovered a body while a search was underway across the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming — which was one of the places she had visited with her fiancé Brian Laundrie during their road trip. During a press conference on Sunday evening, FBI agent Charles Jones later confirmed that “human remains were discovered consistent with the description” of the 22-year-old.
However, they are still awaiting forensic confirmation. And while the coroner has not 100 percent positively identified the body, her family has been notified of her death, and no cause of death has been determined at this time. According to People, Jones expressed:
“First and foremost, on behalf of the FBI personnel and our partners, I would like to extend sincere and heartfelt condolences to Gabby’s family. Joe and Tara Petito, and Jim and Nicole Schmidt, as every parent can imagine, this is an incredibly difficult time for the family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. We ask that you all respect the privacy as they mourn the loss of their daughter.”
The North Point Police Department in Florida also tweeted that they are “saddened and heartbroken to learn that Gabby has been found deceased” following the FBI announcement, adding:
“Our focus from the start, along with the FBI, and national partners, has been to bring her home. We will continue to work with the FBI in the search for more answers.”
It is truly a heartbreaking conclusion. If you’ve been following the story, then you know that the discovery comes days after Gabby’s family reported the van life influencer missing on September 11. Her mother, Nicole Schmidt, last heard from her daughter on August 25 while she was traveling with Brian. They became increasingly concerned when she never returned home to Florida with her partner, who showed up alone on September 1. Laundrie immediately lawyered up and refused to talk to the police about her disappearance. Since then, he has been named a person of interest in the investigation and suspiciously disappeared. His family reportedly told investigators that Brian left for a hike on Tuesday but never returned. Following the news, Gabby’s family stated that they do not believe he is “missing” but instead “hiding” at this time.
Our heart goes out to the family during this difficult time.
[Image via Gabby Petito/Instagram]