Special agents from the FBI Denver field office have officially named Gabby Petito’s fiancé, Brian Laundrie, as a person of interest in what they now know to be her homicide.
Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue confirmed Tuesday that human remains found in the Spread Creek area of the Wyoming wilderness near Grand Teton National Park belonged to Petito.
According to the preliminary autopsy results, officials said Dr. Blue determined the manner of death was homicide.
An official cause of death was pending final autopsy results.
FBI seeks public's help finding Brian Laundrie
FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider said they were committed to finding justice for Gabby.
"The FBI and our partners remain dedicated to ensuring anyone responsible for or complicit in Ms. Petito's death is held accountable for their actions," he said. "Mr. Brian Laundrie has been named a person of interest."
SAC Schneider said anyone with information on Laundrie's whereabouts or his role in Gabby's death has been asked to contact the FBI or local law enforcement.
'Person of interest' in disappearance
Laundrie was initially named a person of interest in Petito's disappearance. After her family called to report her missing on Sept. 11, investigators learned Laundrie had returned to Florida 10 days earlier with Petito's Ford Transit van.
The couple lived in a North Port home with his parents. Shortly after officials started looking for clues into Gabby's disappearance, the family released a statement through New York attorney Steven Bertolino saying Brian refused to talk. He invoked his constitutionally-protected right to remain silent.
"This is understandably an extremely difficult time for both the Petito family and the Laundrie family," read the statement issued Sept. 14.
They expressed hope that the search for Gabby would be successful and that she would be re-united with her family, but said there would be no further comment.
"On the advice of counsel the Laundrie family is remaining in the background at this juncture and will have no further comment," they said.
Brian Laundrie goes missing
Investigators were called to the Laundrie house on Friday at the request of Brian's parents. They told police their son had been missing since Tuesday - the same day the statement was released.
The said Brian had gone hiking in the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve in Venice, Florida and hadn't come back.
Several dozen law enforcement officers began searching for the man, and has been back to the scene every day since.
It was not known if searchers found any evidence, nor was it confirmed that was where he was located.
A search warrant was issued at the home Monday. Officers were seen going inside and bringing out boxes and other items.
Officials from the FBI Denver field office have asked for anyone with information about Brian's whereabouts or had information about his time in Wyoming to call them or local police.