Police and FBI agents investigating the disappearance of Gabby Petito searched the Florida home of her fiance’s parents for computer files on Monday (September 20), one day after finding a body in Wyoming that matched her description.
The search marked the latest turn in a story that has captivated Americans and made international headlines: the vanishing of 22-year-old Petitio during a cross-country road trip as she documented “van life” with her fiance Brian Laundrie on social media.
Local TV stations showed images of the yellow suburban house surrounded by police vehicles and marked off with crime scene tape. Officers could be seen loading cardboard boxes into the back of a police van.
Police have called Laundrie, who returned to Florida from the road trip on Sept. 1 without Petito, a “person of interest” in the case.
Laundrie’s family told police on Friday (September 16) that they had not seen him since the 23-year-old man left three days earlier, telling them he planned to hike in the nearly 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve, a wilderness area near North Port.
North Port police said on Monday that their efforts to find Laundrie had shifted away from the reserve.
In court documents seeking the search warrant, North Port police said they believed a felony had been committed and were looking to seize computer storage devices and hard drives from the home.
Search and rescue crews on Sunday (September 19) found a body in a remote area of the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming, which an FBI spokesman said was “consistent” with the 5’5, 110-pound Petito.
An autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday (September 21).
(Production: Njuwa Maina)