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“The #FBI is executing a court-authorized search warrant today at the Laundrie residence in North Port, FL relevant to the Gabrielle ‘Gabby’ Petito investigation,” FBI Tampa tweeted on Friday morning. “No further details can be provided since this is an active and ongoing investigation.”
Reporters at the scene said that a man and woman, believed to be Chris and Roberta Laundrie, Brian's parents, were placed in an unmarked van for at least an hour as the search was being conducted, WABC-TV reports. They have since been allowed back inside, according to Fox News.
Brian Laundrie — officially classified as a person of interest in 22-year-old Petito’s disappearance last week — refused to talk to authorities, with his family referring them to his lawyer, until he apparently vanished Tuesday after telling his parents he was going for a hike Sarasota County’s Carlton Reserve. He remains unaccounted for Monday after authorities conducted a search of the reserve Saturday and Sunday.
Petito was reported missing by her family on Long Island on Sept. 11 and her apparent remains were found on Sunday as investigators searched the border of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming; it was the last spot her family knew her to be when they spoke to her in late August. The couple began traveling cross-country together in her van, a trip that Gabby was documenting on social media, in July.
Both Laundrie and Petito, who both grew up on Long Island, had been living in the Laundrie family home in North Port, Florida, for at least a year, a fact Petito's distraught family brought up in a letter penned to the Laundrie parents last week pleading with them for information on their daughter's whereabouts, WABC-TV reported.
“She was going to be your daughter in law,” Petito's family urged. “How can you keep her location hidden?”
An autopsy to confirm the identity of the remains found in Wyoming is scheduled to be conducted this week.
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