NewsLocal News


Search warrant documents reveal new details in Gabby Petito case; Preliminary autopsy results could be released as early as Tuesday

The whereabouts of Petito's boyfriend Brian Laundrie remain unknown
NewCoroner (1).jpg
Posted at 6:35 AM, Sep 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-21 16:15:14-04

GRAND TETON COUNTY, Wyoming — The body believed to be Gabby Petito will undergo an autopsy Tuesday as her fiance, Brian Laundrie, remains missing.

FOX 13 News witnessed FBI crime scene vehicles coming and going from the coroner's office in Teton County Tuesday.

Around 12:20 p.m. (MST) Petito's family released a statement to the media through their lawyer: "I want to personally thank the press and news media for giving the Petito and Schmidt family time to grieve. We will be making a statement when Gabby is home."

An FBI crime scene vehicle leaves the Teton County coroner's office on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021.

Coroner Brent Blue on Monday confirmed to Fox News that an autopsy of the remains authorities discovered in the Bridger-Teton National Forest on Sunday would be complete by Tuesday.

The preliminary results could be released as early as Tuesday.

The coroner's office in Wyoming told our news partners in Tampa at WFTS-TV that the final results from the autopsy could take up to two weeks.

The body found in the Moran Vista dispersed camping area in Moose, Wyoming, was consistent with a description of Gabby Petito, the FBI said Sunday, adding that the remains matched the description of the missing woman as the search for her fiancé intensified.

Search for Brian Laundrie intensifies after likely remains of Gabby Petito recovered in Wyoming

No other information about the body, such as the physical state of the remains discovered, have been released. The 22-year-old blogger was one of three people missing near Grand Teton National Park this summer.

Gabby Petito Brian Laundrie

Defense attorney says Brian Laundrie was 'right' to stay quiet

Meanwhile, search warrant documents for the Laundrie house reveal new details in the case not previously made public.

According to the search warrant documents obtained by FOX 13 News, Gabby Petito, 22, sent her mother, Nichole Schmidt, a text message on August 27, in which she wrote: "Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls."

According to the document: "The reference to ‘Stan’ was regarding her grandfather, but per the mother, she never calls him ‘Stan.’ The mother was concerned that something was wrong with her daughter."

On Monday, Sept. 20, FBI agents search the house that Brian Laundrie shares with his parents in North Port, Florida. Laundrie is considered missing and his whereabouts remain unknown.

Schmidt told authorities Petito began to describe how there "appeared to be more and more tension between her and Laundrie," according to the search warrant.

The text was one of a dozen grounds local law enforcement claimed it had for probable cause to conduct a search warrant at the home of Brian Laundrie, Petito’s boyfriend, and his parents.

911 call details Laundrie 'slapping' Petito during Moab altercation

On Aug. 12, police in Moab responded to a report of a domestic dispute between the young couple. In a 911 call placed at the time, a person can be heard telling a police dispatcher that "the gentleman was slapping the girl."

petito bodycam web.jpg
Body cam footage released by Moab police shows the aftermath of a fight between Gabby Petito and her boyfriend Brain Laundrie two weeks before she disappeared.

Moab police body cam video shows Petito upset during fight with boyfriend before she disappeared

The call appears to contradict a Moab police report in which an officer states "no one reported that the male struck the female."

"The male tried to create distance by telling Gabbie to go take a walk to calm down, she didn’t want to be separated from the male, and began slapping him," the report continued. "He grabbed her face and pushed her back as she pressed upon him and the van, he tried to lock her out and succeeded except for his driver’s door, she opened that and forced her way over to him and into the vehicle before it drove off."

One of the officers on the scene wrote that the incident could be "more accurately categorized as a mental/emotional health ‘break’ than a domestic assault."

Schmidt later reported that she received a text message from her daughter on August 30, in which Petito allegedly wrote: "No service in Yosemite." But Schmidt did not believe that the text was actually written by her daughter.

The search warrant describes the Aug. 27 text message as being "the last communication anyone had with the subject." After that, according to the document, her cell phone was "no longer operational."

The search warrant also reveals that Brian returned home in the van – alone – just before 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 1.

Petito's family officially reported her missing on Sept. 11 and police seized the van from Laundrie's home on a separate warrant three days later.

Gabby Petito
This undated photo provided by the North Port, Fla., Police Department shows Gabrielle "Gabby" Petito. Petito, 22, vanished while on a cross-country trip in a converted camper van with her boyfriend. Investigators say she last contacted her family in late August 2021 when the couple was visiting Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park. Much of their trip was documented on social media accounts that abruptly ceased. (Courtesy of North Port Police Department via AP)

On Sunday, FBI officials announced they had discovered human remains in Teton County, Wyoming that "are consistent with the description" of Petito.

FBI agents raided the Laundrie home in North Port, Florida on Monday.

Agents were seeking, and received, permission to search a black Western Digital External Hard Drive, the document shows.

Law enforcement officers gather to search for Brian Laundrie in a Florida nature preserve on the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021.

Authorities resume search for Laundrie in Florida park

On Tuesday, the North Port Police Department said it would start searching for Brian Laundrie again in the Carlton Reserve. This time coming in through the Venice, Florida side. The FBI is now the lead agency in the search for Laundrie, according to our news partners at WFTS-TV in Tampa.

If you have any information that could assist in this investigation you're asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI.