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US: Body found in Wyoming is missing ‘van life’ blogger Gabby Petito

THE FBI has confirmed that a body found inside a Wyoming national park on Sunday belongs to the missing “van life” blogger Gabby Petito.

A coroner made an initial finding that her death was homicide but gave no indication as to how she died.

Ms Petito, 22, was visiting Grand Teton National Park with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, 23.

Police are currently searching for Mr Laundrie, whose whereabouts are unknown.

He is considered a “person of interest” in the case, but has not been charged with any crime.

No details from the post-mortem have been released.

“Teton County Coroner Dr Brent Blue confirmed the remains are those of Gabrielle Venora Petito… Coroner Blue’s initial determination for the manner of death is homicide,” the FBI’s Denver office tweeted.

The couple had been travelling for several weeks before Mr Laundrie returned home to Florida alone with their white van on 1 September. He did not contact police or the Petito family on his return.

Ms Petito’s family reported her missing 10 days later.

Several weeks earlier, police in the Utah town of Moab were called to a possible domestic violence incident.

Bodycam footage showed Ms Petito crying and complaining about her mental health. A police report later said Mr Laundrie claimed Ms Petito had struck him during an argument.

No charges were filed, with officers recommending that the couple spend the night apart. What happened next is unclear.

Mr Laundrie’s family reported him missing over the weekend. They claim he left for a hike on 14 September and never returned. He had refused to speak with investigators before disappearing.

The search for Mr Laundrie has focused on a 24,000-acre nature reserve near his home in North Port, Florida.

Police are using dogs, drones, and all-terrain vehicles for the search, which officers say is complicated by difficult, swampy terrain.

Additionally, police are investigating hundreds of reported sightings of Mr Laundrie, including more than a dozen from Alabama, which borders Florida to the west.

On Monday, investigators searched the Laundrie family home. Agents were then seen removing several boxes from the house and towing away a silver Ford Mustang.

The case has captivated the public, with each new development becoming the focus of web sleuths on platforms such as TikTok, Instagram and Twitter.

As of Tuesday, the hashtag #GabbyPetito had received more than 650 million views on TikTok alone, according to the Associated Press.

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Naija Times