“Wings spread and smiling wide,” heartbroken father Joseph Petito shares a beautiful image of his daughter, Gabby Petito, as the FBI confirmed that the dead body found in a remote area in Wyoming is that of the missing social media star.
At 5.21 p.m. US Central time, Joseph shared a photo with a heartbreak emoji and the caption, “she touched the world,” in a tribute post he made via Twitter.
The tribute post came after FBI Denver issued a confirmatory statement saying that the remains found near the east boundary of Grand Teton National Park on Sunday belong to Gabby Petito, the 22-year-old woman who disappeared after a road trip across the country with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, Outsider reported.
The initial autopsy determined the manner of death as a homicide and “the cause of death remains pending final autopsy results,” the FBI stated.
Since returning from their road trip alone, Laundrie has been named a “person of interest,” and FBI agents tore through his family home, declaring it an “active crime scene.”
After returning from the trip, Laundrie, 23, declined to comment on Petito’s disappearance. He has also sought a lawyer and his whereabouts are unknown. Last Friday, authorities confirmed they are searching a nature reserve near his home.
Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis also authorized all the state agencies to assist in the search for Brian Laundrie in a tweet Tuesday. The authorized agencies include the Florida Fish and Wildlife Department.
FBI Supervisory Special Agent Charles Jones also offered his condolences to the family and asked everyone to respect their privacy at this time. The Petito’s family lawyer, Richard Benson Stafford, also asked the public to let the family grieve at this time.
In a statement, he also thanked the authorities for their tireless efforts.
“I am making a personal request to members of the press and news media to refrain from contacting the Schmidt and Petito family,” he said. “Due to today’s developments, we are asking the press and news media to have some decorum and sensitivity for Gabby’s family and allow them to grieve. I will be in contact with you when Gabby’s family is ready to make a public statement.”