NORTH PORT, Fla. (NEXSTAR) — An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday after human remains were found during the search for Gabby Petito in Grand Teton National Park on Sunday. The autopsy could result in the identification of the remains and probable cause of death.
The Teton County coroner in Wyoming says it usually takes two to three weeks to issue an autopsy report, according to WFLA. However, the report could take longer. By state law, the coroner could request more time.
Also on Tuesday, authorities renewed their search of a swampy preserve area near the home of the boyfriend wanted for questioning in the death of 22-year-old Gabby Petito, whose body was discovered at a Wyoming national park months after the pair set out on a cross-country road trip.
Police in North Port, Florida, said Tuesday morning that investigators have returned to the Carlton Reserve to look for Brian Laundrie, 23. Investigators searched the 24,000-acre Florida nature preserve over the weekend without success. They focused on the area after Laundrie’s parents told police he may have gone there.
A 911 call released this week from a reported domestic situation in Utah between Petito and Laundrie, identified by police as a person of interest in the case, provided some insight into the time leading up to her disappearance.
A portion of the call is as follows:
- Caller: “We’re driving by and I’d like to report a domestic dispute.”
- Dispatch: “What were they doing?”
- Caller: “Uh… we drove by and the gentleman was slapping the girl.”
- Dispatch: “He was slapping her?”
- Caller: “Yes, and then we stopped. They ran up and down the sidewalk. He proceeded to hit her, hopped in the car, and they drove off.”
The call, which happened on August 12, conflicts with the story Petito and Laundrie told responding officers about the situation in Utah. In their account, Petito had said she was the one who was hitting Laundrie. Ultimately, officers separated the pair for the night. No charges were filed.
Petito and Laundrie were childhood sweethearts who met while growing up on New York’s Long Island. His parents later moved to North Port, about 35 miles south of Sarasota. They’d been living with his parents at the North Port home before the road trip on which she disappeared. The young couple had set out in July in a converted van to visit national parks in the West. Laundrie was alone when he returned in the van to his parents’ home on September 1, police said.
In Wyoming, the FBI announced Sunday that agents had discovered a body on the edge of Grand Teton National Park, which the couple had visited. “Full forensic identification has not been completed to confirm 100% that we found Gabby, but her family has been notified,” FBI agent Charles Jones said.
In an interview broadcast Monday on “Dr. Phil,” Joseph Petito said Laundrie and his daughter had dated for 2 1/2 years, and Laundrie was “always respectful.” During the interview, which was recorded before his daughter’s body was found, Petito said the couple had taken a previous road trip to California in her car and there were no problems.
Earlier this week, Joseph posted an image of a broken heart above a picture of his daughter to social media, with the message: “She touched the world.” He said the family began worrying after several days without hearing from their daughter.
“We called Brian. We called the mom. We called the dad. We called the sister. We called every number that we could find,” Joseph Petito said. “No phone calls were picked up. No text messages were returned.”
Petito said he wants Laundrie to be held accountable for whatever part he played in his daughter’s disappearance, along with his family for protecting him. “I hope they get what’s coming, and that includes his folks,” he said. “I’ll tell you right now, they are just as complicit in my book.”
On Monday, the FBI went to Laundrie’s parents’ home in North Port, removed several boxes, and towed away a car that neighbors said Laundrie’s mother typically used. The FBI said investigators are seeking information from anyone who may have seen the couple around Grand Teton.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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