Gabby Petito’s boyfriend accused of using his bank card; arrest warrant issued

September 23 (Reuters) – Gabby Petito’s boyfriend, who police searched for six days in connection with the 22-year-old travel blogger’s death on their trip across the country, was accused on Thursday of having fraudulently used his bank debit card.

A search warrant has been issued against Brian Laundrie, 23, after a grand jury in the U.S. District Court in Wyoming indicted him with one count of illegal use of the card and phone number. personal identification of Petito. He was not charged in his death.

“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,” said the FBI Denver Special Agent Michael Schneider in a statement.

“We urge those with knowledge of Mr. Laundrie’s involvement in this matter or his current whereabouts to contact the FBI,” Schneider said.

The indictment accuses Laundrie of spending $ 1,000 or more on the card between August 30 and September 1. Petito was last seen alive on August 24. Investigators seem to believe that she was killed from August 27 to 30.

The Americans have followed the case closely in the media since Petito was reported missing by his mother, Nicole Schmidt, on September 11. Ten days earlier, Laundrie had returned home to North Port, Florida, without her from the road trip. Read more

Petito’s body was discovered near the remote Spread Creek Dispersed Campground in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in western Wyoming on Sunday. Coroner’s investigators ruled his death a homicide, but did not disclose the cause of death.

Police and FBI agents using divers, tracking dogs and helicopters have been searching for Laundrie in the Carlton Preserve Wilderness Area near North Port since Friday, when his parents told them he was gone. there to hike three days earlier.

Search teams ended a sixth day of searching the alligator-infested wilderness after dark on Thursday, saying they would resume the search on Friday.

Gabrielle Petito, 22, who was reported missing on September 11, 2021 after traveling with her boyfriend across the country in a van and never returning home, poses for a photo with Brian Laundrie in this undated photo . North Port / Florida Police / Document via REUTERS /

SUSPECTED TEXT MESSAGES

The FBI on Thursday requested information from members of the public who may have been in contact with Laundrie or Petito at the scattered Spread Creek Campground from August 27-30.

Petito’s remains were found within 1,000 feet (300 m) of where, on the evening of August 27, another pair of travel bloggers took video footage of the couple’s parked white Ford Transit 2012 van. along a dirt road.

Petito, who was documenting the couple’s ‘van life’ road trip on social media, posted her latest photo to Instagram on August 25, the same day she last spoke to her mother by phone. .

The family believe the couple were heading to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming at the time.

Schmidt received texts from Petito’s phone on August 27 and 30, but suspects someone other than his daughter sent them, investigators said.

In one text, Petito’s grandfather is referred to by his first name, which Schmidt said did not match his daughter’s character. The second message only said “No service in Yosemite”, the California national park that Petito and Laundrie would not have visited on their trip.

Petito and Laundrie, who met at a high school in Long Island, New York, left New York in early July heading west and posted on social media as they traveled through Kansas, Colorado and the Utah.

On August 12, a 911 caller reported that Laundrie was slapping and punching Petito outside the Moonflower Community Co-op in Moab, Utah.

Moab police stopped the van on a highway near Arches National Park. Body camera footage showed Petito crying as she described an argument that escalated until she slapped Laundrie while he was driving. The police did not detain the couple but told them to spend the night separately.

Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Peter Cooney, Cynthia Osterman and Leslie Adler

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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