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Gabby Petito case: FBI serves search warrant at Laundrie home

Search for Laundrie at reserve comes up empty
Brian Laundrie search warrant
Posted at 11:31 AM, Sep 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-20 17:46:53-04

Law enforcement surrounded the North Port, Florida, home of Brian Laundrie Monday as officers served a search warrant in connection with the disappearance of his girlfriend, Gabby Petito.

The FBI confirmed that it was executing a "court-authorized search warrant" at Laundrie's home. Several police vehicles were parked in front of the suburban home Monday morning.

The police action comes less than a day after the FBI confirmed that it believed it had recovered Petito's body in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. While a forensic ID has not been conducted, authorities have notified Petito's family of the finding.

Police are also searching for Laundrie, who has been missing since Friday. According to The Associated Press, the North Port Police Department had been searching the nearby Carlton Reserve, but the department said Monday that it "exhausted all avenues in searching the grounds."

Petito went missing last month amid a months-long cross-country van trip the couple had been taking. Petito had been documenting her experience in blogs, online videos and on social media.

The couple set out from New York in July. On Aug. 12, police encountered the couple after bystanders witnessed them fighting at a convenience store in Moab, Utah. Body camera footage from the incident showed that Petito was emotional and told officers that she and her fiancé had been "fighting all morning."

Laundrie also told officers that the two had been fighting. There were scratches visible on his face, which he said resulted from a physical scuffle with Petito.

Police declined to file charges in the incident, classifying it only as a "mental health crisis" when the couple agreed to spend the night in separate places. Police say Petito stayed in the van while Laundrie got a hotel room.

Petito's family says they last spoke with her on Aug. 25, at which point Petito told them she was in Grand Teton National Park.

Laundrie returned in the van to his Florida home without Petito on Sept. 1. She was declared missing on Sept. 11. Prior to his disappearance, Laundrie had refused to speak to the police about the case.