The FBI confirmed Tuesday that the remains found Sunday in an area of Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest were those of 22-year-old Gabby Petito, whose parents reported her missing more than a week earlier.
The coroner’s initial determination for Petito’s manner of death is homicide, the FBI said in a tweet.
Petito had been traveling with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, prior to her disappearance.
Laundrie returned to the pair’s North Port, Florida, home earlier this month without Petito and refused to talk to authorities, police said. His parents later told police he left home with a backpack on Sept. 14. A source close to Laundrie’s family told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that Laundrie left their home without his cell phone and wallet.
Local and federal authorities have been searching for Laundrie in a 25,000-acre Florida nature reserve. On Thursday, the FBI announced a federal arrest warrant was issued for Laundrie for his activities after Petito’s death.
Here’s what we know about the timeline in Petito’s case.
Petito and Laundrie embark on a cross-country trip, according to North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison, who refers to Laundrie as Petito’s fiancé.
They planned to travel in Petito’s white Ford van to the West Coast and visit state and national parks across the western United States, Garrison says at a news briefing.
She had been excited to share her journey with her family and others on social media, he says.
“She maintained regular contact with her family members during her travels; however, that communication abruptly stopped around the end of August,” the police chief adds.
Aug. 12, 2021
Moab, Utah, police have an encounter with the couple on Aug. 12, where officers describe them as having “engaged in some sort of altercation.”
Although the two are described as getting into a physical fight following an argument, “both the male and female reported they are in love and engaged to be married and desperately didn’t wish to see anyone charged with a crime,” a report from officer Eric Pratt says.
At officers’ suggestion, the couple separated for the night, according to the report, which describes Petito as “confused and emotional.”
“After evaluating the totality of the circumstances, I do not believe the situation escalated to the level of a domestic assault as much as that of a mental health crisis,” officer Daniel Robbins writes in the report. No charges are filed.
The couple each had their own cell phones in case of emergency, the report adds.
In a 911 audio recording from that day that was provided by the Grand County Sheriff’s Office, a caller tells dispatch he wanted to report a domestic dispute and described a white van with a Florida license plate.
The caller said that as they were driving by, “the gentleman was slapping the girl.”
“Then we stopped,” the caller added. “They ran up and down the sidewalk. He proceeded to hit her, hopped in the car and they drove off.”
Last week of August
Petito’s family told police they were last in contact with her during the last week of August, North Port police say. Before that last communication, Petito is believed to have been in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, police say.
In a news conference in September, Petito family attorney Richard Stafford says the family’s last communication with Petito was Aug. 30, but they do not believe the message they received was from her.
Stafford shares a timeline of events on Sept. 17, as the family knows it:
On Aug. 24, Petito FaceTimes with her mother and tells her she is leaving Utah and heading to the Teton range in Wyoming.
On Aug. 25, there are multiple texts between Petito and her mother. The young woman’s family believes she is in the Tetons on this date.
On Aug. 27, there were more texts between Petito and her mother, during which her family believes she remains in the Tetons.
On Aug. 30, her family receives their last text from Petito. They doubt she wrote that text. According to Stafford, that message reads, “No service in Yosemite.”
Also in September, a woman publicly claimed that she and her boyfriend gave Laundrie a ride on August 29 in Wyoming—and that Laundrie claimed he’d been camping by himself for multiple days while Petito was at their van working on social media posts.
In a series of videos posted on TikTok, Miranda Baker said she and her boyfriend picked up Laundrie that evening while he was hitchhiking in Colter Bay, Wyoming. Laundrie told them he had been camping at a site outside the Grand Teton National Park, near the Snake River, she said.
Once Laundrie found out Baker and her boyfriend were going to Jackson Hole instead of Jackson, he got agitated, asked that the vehicle stop, and got out near the Jackson Dam, according to Baker.
Baker said she spoke to law enforcement about the interaction. North Port police confirmed to CNN that Baker spoke with the department before posting the videos on TikTok.
“Her account is plausible, it appears,” North Port police spokesperson Josh Taylor said. CNN has not been able to independently verify Baker’s claims.
Additionally, Norma Jean Jalovec, a seasonal Wyoming resident, told CNN that she picked up Laundrie not far from Jackson Lake Dam on August 29 and gave him a ride to the Spread Creek dispersed camping area, where Petito’s remains were later found.
According to Jalovec, Laundrie told her he and his fiancée had a travel blog, that she was in their van at the camping area working on the blog, and that he had been hiking along the Snake River embankment for a few days. Jalovec said she later provided the FBI with that information.
Jalovec said when they arrived at Spread Creek, she dropped Laundrie off before the gate at the entrance of the camping area. She said she offered once or twice to take him farther, but he was insistent that he be dropped off at the entrance. Laundrie then offered her gas money, but she declined, she said.
Jalovec said she picked him up around 6:15 p.m., which was just a few minutes after Baker had said Laundrie had departed her vehicle.
Sept. 1, 2021
Laundrie returns to the couple’s North Port home, where his parents also live, on Sept. 1, according to police.
According to an affidavit attached to a search warrant request, a license plate reader shows the vehicle exited Interstate 75 into North Port at 10:26 a.m. ET.
The white vehicle Petito and Laundrie had been traveling in was later recovered by police at the home. It was processed and “there was some material in there” that authorities will be going through, Taylor, the police spokesperson, says at a news briefing.
Sept. 11, 2021
After not being able to get in touch with her, Petito’s family—who lives in New York—reports her missing to police in Suffolk County, New York.
North Port authorities go to Laundrie’s home that night and ask to speak to him and his family, but “we were essentially handed the information for their attorney,” Taylor, the police spokesperson, says.
“That is the extent of our conversation with them,” Taylor says.
In a letter read by the Petito family attorney at a news briefing held by police, the missing woman’s family begs for Laundrie’s family to help in the investigation.
“Please, if you or your family have any decency left, please, tell us where Gabby is located,” Stafford says. “Tell us if we are even looking in the right place. All we want is for Gabby to come home. Please help us make that happen.”
He says Petito’s family reached out to Laundrie’s family earlier in the month for information on Petito’s whereabouts, but his family refused to answer.
“We haven’t been able to sleep or eat, and our lives are falling apart,” the Petito family’s letter adds.
After several days of both Petito’s family and police pleading with Laundrie’s family to cooperate in the investigation, Laundrie’s family requests that the police come to their home, where they share they haven’t seen Brian since Sept. 14, according to Taylor, the police spokesperson.
“We’ve been trying all week to talk to his family, to talk to Brian, and now they’ve called us here on Friday, we’ve gone to the home, and they’re saying now they have not seen their son,” Taylor tells CNN’s Chris Cuomo. “It is another twist in this story.”
Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino tells CNN “the whereabouts of Brian Laundrie are currently unknown. The FBI is currently at the Laundrie residence removing property to assist in locating Brian. As of now the FBI is now looking for both Gabby and Brian.”
Local and federal authorities kick off a search for the 23-year-old man.
North Port police say authorities are conducting a search for Laundrie at the Carlton Reserve, a nature area with more than 80 miles of hiking trails in Venice, Florida.
Roughly 50 law enforcement officers from five local agencies and the FBI are searching for Laundrie, Taylor, the police spokesperson, says at a news conference, adding that Laundrie has an “enormous amount of pressure” on him to provide answers to what’s going on.
Meanwhile, the FBI announces the agency and its partners are also conducting ground surveys in Grand Teton National Park that are relevant to Petito’s disappearance.
The national park is where Petito is believed to have been before her last communication with her family, police have previously said.
Human remains discovered in Teton County, Wyoming, are “consistent with the description of” Petito, FBI officials say in a news conference.
“Full forensic identification has not been completed to confirm 100 percent that we found Gabby, but her family has been notified of this discovery,” Charles Jones, FBI Denver’s supervisory senior resident agent in Wyoming, says.
The parents of Brian Laundrie are questioned at their home by the FBI.
Christopher and Roberta Laundrie are escorted from their home and return after federal agents executed a search warrant, according to Taylor, the North Port police spokesperson. Authorities search the home for hours.
Police say they have exhausted search avenues at the nature reserve and the search area has shifted.
The Teton County coroner confirms the human remains found Sunday in the Bridger-Teton National Forest were those of Petito, according to the FBI.
“The cause of death remains pending final autopsy results,” the FBI says.
While authorities continue their search for Laundrie at the Carlton Reserve, the FBI announces the US District Court of Wyoming issued a federal arrest warrant for him.
The warrant was issued pursuant to a federal grand jury indictment for the “use of unauthorized devices” related to Laundrie’s activities after Petito’s death, the FBI says.
“While this warrant allows law enforcement to arrest Mr. Laundrie, the FBI and our partners across the country continue to investigate the facts and circumstances of Ms. Petito’s homicide,” Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider says in a statement. “We urge individuals with knowledge of Mr. Laundrie’s role in this matter or his current whereabouts to contact the FBI.”
Laundrie is suspected of using a debit card and PIN for accounts that don’t belong to him for charges of more than $1,000 sometime between Aug. 30 and Sept. 1, according to the indictment.