Human remains “consistent” with the description of Gabby Petito have been discovered by authorities, according to the FBI.
At a Sunday evening news conference, FBI agent Charles Jones said the remains had been located earlier that day, in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest.
“Full forensic identification has not been completed to confirm 100% that we found Gabby, but her family has been notified of this discovery,” Jones told the press. “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 their privacy as they mourn the loss of their daughter.”
Petito’s parents had reported her missing on Sept. 11, just a few months into the four-month cross-country road trip their daughter had set off on in July, with her fiancé Brian Laundrie. At the start of their trip, the couple—micro “van life” influencers—documented their travels across social media, until earlier this month Laundrie returned to his Florida home without Petito. Petito’s last communication reportedly occurred on August 30, when she told her mother that there was no service in Yellowstone National Park.
After Petito was reported missing, Moab City Police Department, in Utah, released body camera footage from officers who responded to an apparent domestic incident between the couple on Aug. 12. In the video, Petito was in tears and explained to an officer that she was struggling with her mental health. Laundrie, meanwhile, said that the scratches on his face were from an attack he suffered from Petito who was trying to grab the keys for the van from him.
“No one reported that the male struck the female, both the male and the female reported they are in love and engaged and to be married and desperately didn’t wish to see anyone charged with a crime,” the resulting police report read. “There were no significant injures reported and both agreed that Gabbie suffers from serious anxiety.” Moab City police said Petito took the van for the night while Laundrie stayed in a hotel and no charges were filed.
Laundrie has been identified as a “person of interest” in the investigation, but not a suspect. Laundrie, however, is not cooperating with the investigation, police say, and has also gone missing since Petito’s reported disappearance, since Laundrie’s parents told police they have not seen him for days, according to the New York Times.
When the body cam footage was released, an attorney for Laundrie’s family, Steven P. Bertolino, told NBC news that his client wasn’t addressing the developments in Petito’s missing persons case because “intimate partners are often the first person law enforcement focuses their attention on in cases like this and the warning that ‘any statement made will be used against you’ is true,” he said, “regardless of whether my client had anything to do with Ms. Petito’s disappearance.”