US law enforcement said that human remains discovered near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming match the description of Gabby Petito, a 22-year-old lifestyle blogger who recently disappeared while on a road trip in a van with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie.
The FBI announced the tragic discovery at a press conference on Sunday afternoon, ending multi-agency search efforts that captured attention nationwide.
“On behalf of the FBI personnel and our partners, I would like to extend sincere and heartfelt condolences to Gabby’s family,” FBI agent Charles Jones said. “As every parent can imagine, this is an incredibly difficult time for the family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.”
Jones said that the cause of death has not yet been determined. He also said authorities had not fully identified the body, though he offered condolences to Petito’s family.
“Full forensic identification has not been completed to confirm 100% that we found Gabby. The cause of death has not been determined at this time. We appreciate your continued support and patience as we work through this process,” Jones said.
Laundrie’s family released a statement later Sunday, calling the news “heartbreaking.”
The body was found earlier Sunday near Grand Teton National Park, which was the last place Petito was seen. The discovery was first reported by Fox News, citing a local coroner. The Teton County coroner also confirmed to BuzzFeed News that a body was found in the Bridger-Teton National Forest.
Petito was near the end of a “van life” cross-country road trip with Laundrie when she went missing. Her 23-year-old fiancé raised speculation about his involvement in Petito’s disappearance when he returned to his parents’ home in Florida on September 1 without her.
Police said Laundrie was not willing to talk with investigators about Petito’s disappearance. He has since vanished himself, with the FBI launching an investigation into his whereabouts on Friday.