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'She Touched The World': Family In Mourning After Body Believed To Be Gabby Petito Found

A father honors his daughter.
A father honors his daughter. Photo Credit: Joseph Petito/Facebook

After the FBI announced that a body found in the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming was most likely that of missing 22-year-old New York resident Gabby Petito, her father paid tribute to his daughter.

Petito's father, Joseph, took to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter with a photo of Gabby adorned with a pair of angel wings, and the caption: "She touched the world."

The FBI asks all to honor the parent's privacy as they grieve for their daughter.

Petito, age 22, was reported missing on Saturday, Sept. 11 after last speaking with her mother in their Long Island hometown of Blue Point in Suffolk County on Tuesday, Aug. 24.

Her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, age 23, formerly of Blue Point and now of North Port, Florida, returned home to Florida on Wednesday, Sept. 1 without her, and refused to cooperate with authorities, and was reported missing himself on Friday, Sept. 17.

North Port Police have not announced as of Monday, Sept. 20, if they plan to continue their massive search for Laundrie at a nature preserve in Florida. 

A body believed to be Petito was found Sunday afternoon, Sept. 19, FBI officials said. An autopsy will be conducted on Tuesday, Sept. 21 to determine a cause of death.

After the announcement, her family made a statement through its attorney thanking the hard work of law enforcement: "Your tireless work and determination helped bring Gabby home to her parents," the attorney said. 'The family and I will be forever grateful."

The Laundrie family said through its attorney: "The news about Gabby Petito is heartbreaking. The Laundrie family prays for Gabby and her family."

North Port Police also released a statement.

"Saddened and heartbroken to learn that Gabby has been found deceased," they said. "Our focus from the start, along with the FBI, and national partners, has been to bring her home. We will continue to work with the FBI in the search for more answers." 

If you have seen Brian Laudnrie or have helpful info on either please use 1-800-CALL-FBI or submit online at tips.fbi.gov.

This continues to be a developing story. Check back to Daily Voice for updates.

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