- The body found in a Wyoming forest has been confirmed as Petito’s, the family’s lawyer told Insider.
- The Teton County Coroner’s Office performed an autopsy on the body Tuesday.
- The FBI later released the initial results, saying Petito’s death was determined to be a homicide.
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The body found in a Wyoming national forest has been confirmed to be Gabby Petito’s, the family’s lawyer told Insider on Tuesday.
The Teton County Coroner’s Office performed an autopsy on the body Tuesday.
The attorney for Petito’s family, Richard Stafford, told Insider in a text message that the remains – found near the border of Grand Teton National Park – belonged to Petito.
The FBI’s Denver office later confirmed on Twitter that the body found in Wyoming belonged to the missing 22-year-old woman and said that the coroner’s “initial determination for the manner of death is homicide.”
“The cause of death remains pending final autopsy results,” the FBI said.
Petito’s remains were discovered in a remote campsite in Bridger-Teton National Forest on Sunday.
Earlier on Tuesday, Stafford thanked reporters “for giving the Petito and Schmidt family time to grieve.”
“We will be making a statement when Gabby is home,” Stafford said.
The news comes as authorities, including the FBI, continue searching a vast nature preserve in Florida for Petito’s fiancé, Brian Laundrie, a person of interest in the case whose family reported him missing to police on Friday.
Authorities have for days searched the sprawling Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County where Laundrie’s parents said the 23-year-old North Port, Florida, man went for a hike a week ago and never returned, police said.
Earlier Tuesday, Florida police said for the first time that the Petito case was now officially a “criminal investigation.”
“This is an FBI-led criminal investigation and North Port Police are assisting our federal partner in any way we can to bring this investigation to a close,” Josh Taylor, a spokesperson for Florida’s North Port Police Department, said in a statement.
On Monday, the FBI raided the North Port home where Laundrie and Petito lived with Laundrie’s parents.
Petito was reported missing by her family in New York on September 11, 10 days after Laundrie returned home from a cross-country road trip out West in the van the couple had been driving in – but without Petito.
After Laundrie returned, he quickly retained a lawyer and refused to speak with authorities about the case, which has gripped the nation.