Now it is official.
After the disappearance of Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito on a road trip in the USA, there is a sad certainty: The 22-year-old is dead and the victim of a homicide. As the US Federal Police FBI announced on Tuesday, the body found on Sunday in a national park in the US state of Wyoming was identified.
The coroner came to the preliminary conclusion that Petito died through third party fault.
The exact cause of death is still unclear, as the FBI explained. The final result of the autopsy is not yet available.
Meanwhile, the search for Petito’s fiancé Brian Laundrie continues under high pressure. The police have classified him as a “person of interest”. The 23-year-old is not officially a suspect.
“The FBI and its partners are determined to ensure that anyone responsible or complicit in Petito’s death is held accountable for their actions,” said senior investigator Michael Schneider. He asked the population for clues about the whereabouts of Laundries.
Petito and Laundrie, who lived together in North Port, Florida, set off on a trip across the United States in a converted van in July. They shared their experiences on the adventure planned for four months on the online services Instagram and Youtube. The photos always showed a smiling couple and impressive landscapes.
According to police, Laundrie returned to North Port by vehicle on September 1 – without Petito. The 22-year-old finally reported her family as missing on September 11th. Petito last had contact with her family in late August, when she was believed to be in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.
A female body was found there on Sunday. The authorities have now confirmed that it is Petito’s body.
The couple had apparently argued violently during their trip. Police intervened in the state of Utah in mid-August. Petito can be seen crying on a police officer’s body camera, admitting that she hit her fiancé in an argument. She also claims to have psychological problems. The police did not file a complaint, but obliged the couple to spend one night separately.
Most recently, a call from an eyewitness to the police also became public. It says Laundrie beat his fiancée.
The 23-year-old initially refused to testify after his return to Florida – and then disappeared. His family said last week they hadn’t seen him in days.