The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation said last night (Sunday) that the body of missing Gabi Patito, who traveled with her fiancé in the western U.S. and has not been in contact since late August, was apparently found in the forests of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, where the couple traveled.
The body meets its description, but the work of identification is continued by the forensic professionals.
His fiancé, Brian Lundry, returned with their car to Florida when he was alone, raising suspicions that something had happened to her, but he refused to cooperate with police, and in the end the family said he had not contacted her since last Tuesday.
Police do not yet define him as a suspect, but they want to talk to him and ask him about the circumstances of their separation and whether he knows what happened to her.
Following the discovery of the body, and especially if they find findings linking her to her death, he may be defined as a suspect, in part in light of the incident between the two in the state of Utah when police forced them to sleep overnight separately.
The fate of a couple who got engaged and went on a trip across America has been preoccupying law enforcement in recent days after 22-year-old Petito stopped sharing their experiences online and rating the sites they visit on social media.
Authorities said passersby reported to police in August of a quarrel that developed between the two during the trip when they were in the state of Utah, which also developed into a physical quarrel, but the two told police then they were still in love.
In that case, the couple's vehicle was seen speeding insanely and colliding with a sidewalk in the tourist town of Moab, leading to a conversation with police. Gabi apologized to the policeman and told him: "We fought a bit this morning," adding: "I'm not going to complain against my fiancé, I love him. I apologize that the quarrel between us went out in public." The city police were not impressed by the explanation and decided that the couple would sleep separately that night, Gabi sleeping in a car and Brian in a roadside lodge.
In parallel with Patito's absence, authorities are trying to track down a fiancée Brian who has not been seen since last Tuesday.
Police and the FBI in Florida, who are mostly searching the Carlton Nature Reserve, were able to get their hands on a cell phone location that he had in his possession, but have not yet received legal approval to use that information. Lundry's family refuses to volunteer information about his whereabouts, which raises suspicions about the possibility that he was involved in his fiancée's disappearance.
Patito's family, however, believes he is running away from the authorities: "We want to emphasize, Gabi is the one who is missing, while Lundry is not missing - he is hiding," it was said earlier yesterday on behalf of her family.