Search intensifies for Gabby Petito; police respond to Laundrie home in Florida
JACKSON, Wyo. — North Port Police in Florida said they responded to the home of Brian Laundrie, Gabby Petito’s boyfriend, Friday afternoon, at the request of his parents to speak with them.
The extent of those conversations are unknown, but police confirmed they’re not speaking with Brian.
#MISSING UPDATE: @NorthPortPolice have to get through a crowd of people/protesters to go inside Laundrie home. Police say Laundrie's invited them over. However, it appears Brian is not part of convos & may not be home @KSL5TV. Video: WBBH pic.twitter.com/Pd64MnBnaI
— Garna Mejia KSL (@GarnaMejiaKSL) September 18, 2021
In the meantime, authorities, including the FBI, continued to search the area around the Tetons in Wyoming for Petito.
Deputies and FBI agents followed up on leads as far as the Idaho/Wyoming border. However, the majority of the search efforts still appeared to be focused near the Grand Teton National Park.
On Friday, park rangers were also speaking with campers at Spread Creek — it’s a dispersed camping area about 20 minutes east of the park.
KSL’s Garna Mejia actually ran into a local man who said he and a friend saw Petito’s van as they were spotting for elk on Aug. 29.
“He thought he had seen the white sprinter van described — blacked out rims, wheels,” said Tyler Valentine. “We all live in this small town, so when this stuff happens, we all take a little bit of initiative and try to look out for things.”
What’s interesting about Spread Creek is that Petito had marked the place as a possible camping area through the Dyrt website, something Valentine and his friend were unaware of when we spoke with them.
A press conference was also scheduled to take place at the Park Rangers Visitors Center in Moose at 4 p.m., but it was canceled last minute, without explanation.
@GrandTetonNPS Park Rangers and local LE are referring media inquiries in WY to @FBIDenver. This was their response to cancelled press conference 30 mins before 4 p.m. scheduled time. @KSL5TV pic.twitter.com/wwXtUE2hx1
— Garna Mejia KSL (@GarnaMejiaKSL) September 17, 2021
Grand Co. Sheriff’s Office determines Petito case, double murders near Moab ‘not related’
Officials with the Grand County Sheriff’s Office issued a press release Friday afternoon, saying the Gabby Petito case is “not related” to the double-homicide of Kylen Schulte, 24, and Crystal Turner, 38, near Moab.
An explanation as to how they came to that conclusion was not immediately available.
The announcement comes one day after GCSO officials said they were “not ruling anything out” in terms of a connection between the two cases.
Authorities started looking into it after Moab police released a report Wednesday, detailing an incident that they responded to on Aug. 12, involving Petito and Laundrie.
The following day, Aug. 13, was the last time someone saw or heard from Schulte and Turner, a married couple found murdered on Aug. 18.
KSL TV’s Morgan Wolfe confirmed Schulte was employed for five years at Moonflower Co-op and was working there on Aug. 12, though a manager said Schulte was not working when the fight was reported. She had left the Co-op before the fight.
My source tells me Kylen Schulte was working at Moonflower Coop on Aug. 12.
She was not working at the time of the dispute between Brian Laundrie and Gabrielle Petito. She got off work about an hour an a half before.
No surveillance video available at the store. pic.twitter.com/mdOG7dy6mh
— Morgan Wolfe (@MorganWolfeKSL) September 16, 2021
Grand County Sheriff’s Office has not named anyone a suspect or person of interest in the murders of Schulte and Turner.
Brian Laundrie declared missing
According to Steve Bertolino, the Laundrie family’s attorney, Brian has also gone missing.
He shared a statement with KSL-TV Friday evening that said, “the whereabouts of Brian Laundrie are currently unknown. FBI is currently at the Laundrie residence removing property to assist in locating Brian. As of now the FBI is looking for both Gabby and Brian.”
Officials with the North Port Police Department also confirmed that Brian’s parents said they last saw him on Tuesday.
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