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'She Touched The World': Gabby Petito's Father Pens Heartbreaking Message After Body Recovered In Wyoming
The FBI announced Sunday that they believed they had found the remains of 22-year-old Gabby Petito in Grand Teton National Park, while her boyfriend Brian Laundrie, a person of interest in her disappearance, remains missing in Florida.
“She touched the world,” Joseph Petito wrote on Twitter alongside a broken heart emoji and a photo of Gabby standing next to a mural with angel wings.
The FBI announced on Sunday that remains “consistent” with the 22-year-old were discovered Sunday in Grand Teton National Park—the last known location where Gabby had been visiting with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, before she stopped communicating with her family.
“Earlier today, human remains were discovered consistent with the description of Gabrielle ‘Gabby’ Petito,” FBI Special Agent Charles Jones said as his voice cracked, according to the news outlet Greater Long Island.
“Full forensic identification has not been completed to confirm 100 percent that we found Gabby, but her family has been notified of the discovery.”
Jones said investigators wanted to pass their “sincere and heartfelt condolences” to Petito’s family.
“As every parent can imagine, this is an incredibly difficult time for the family and friends,” he said. “We ask that you respect their privacy as they mourn the loss of their daughter.”
The cause of death has not been determined.
The Petito family’s attorney, Richard Benson Stafford, thanked the authorities who worked so tirelessly to try to bring the 22-year-old home.
“The family and I will be forever grateful,” he said, according to The Associated Press, adding that the family planned to make a more in-depth statement at a later date.
Officials continue to search for Laundrie, who disappeared last week in Florida.
Laundrie, who has been named a person of interest in Petito's disappearance, returned to Florida in the couple’s van on Sept. 1 and refused to cooperate with investigators about Gabby’s disappearance.
Gabby's mother reported her missing on Sept. 11 after she was concerned that she hadn't heard from her daughter in days.
Laundrie's parents reported that he had gone missing himself on Sept. 14, after telling his family that he was heading to the Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County, Florida to go for a hike, according to a statement from the North Port Police Department. More than 50 law enforcement officers searched the 24,000-acre reserve on Sunday in an attempt to find the 23-year-old.
Authorities said there will be “no major search” at the location on Monday.
“At this time, we currently believe we have exhausted all avenues in searching of the grounds there. Law enforcement agencies continue to search for Brian Laundrie,” police said in a statement to WTVT, adding that all media interviews are put on hold until further notice.
Laundrie is described as a white male, 5’8” tall and 160 pounds, with brown eyes, short brown hair and trimmed facial hair. Anyone with information about the case is urged to contact authorities.
"The Murder of Gabby Petito: Truth, Lies and Social Media" will air on Oxygen on Monday, January 24 at 9/8c. It's also available to stream on Peacock now.