Gabby Petito’s boyfriend, who is sought by police for six days in connection with the 22-year-old travel blogger’s death during a cross-country road trip, was charged Thursday with fraudulently defrauding her bank debit card.
A search warrant was issued for Brian Laundry, 23, after a grand jury in US District Court in Wyoming indicted him on the same count of illegally using the card and Pettito’s personal identification number. His death was not charged.
FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider said in a statement: “While this warrant allows law enforcement to arrest Mr. Laundry, the FBI and our colleagues across the country continue to investigate the facts and circumstances of the murder of Ms. Petito. keep.”
“We urge anyone with knowledge of Mr. Laundry’s involvement in this case or his current whereabouts to contact the FBI,” Schneider said.
The indictment accuses Laundry of spending $1,000 or more on the card between August 30 and September 1. Petito was last seen alive on August 24. Investigators believe he was killed sometime between August 27-30.
Opinion: What the Gabby Petito case says about women and violence
Americans have followed the case closely in the media since Pettito was reported missing on September 11 by his mother, Nicole Schmidt. Ten days ago, without her from the laundry road trip, North Port, Fla. I returned home.
Petito’s body was discovered on Sunday near the remote Spread Creek Dispersed Campground in Bridger-Teton National Forest in western Wyoming. The coroner’s investigators ruled his death a homicide, but did not reveal the cause of death.
Police and FBI agents using divers, tracking dogs and helicopters have been searching for laundry in the Carlton Reserve wilderness area near North Port since Friday after his parents told him he went for a hike there three days ago Was.
With it getting dark on Thursday, search teams ended their sixth day of searching the crocodile-infested forest, saying they would resume the search on Friday.
suspicious text messages
The FBI on Thursday sought information from members of the public who may have contact with Laundry or Petito at the Spread Creek Dispersed Campground from August 27-30.
Petito’s remains were found less than 1,000 feet (300 m) from where, on the evening of August 27, another pair of travel bloggers captured video images of the couple’s 2012 white Ford Transit van parked on the side of a dirt road .
Petito, who has been documenting the couple’s “Van Life” road trip on social media, posted her final photo to Instagram on August 25, the same day she last spoke to her mother on the phone.
The family believes the couple was visiting Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming at the time.
According to investigators, Schmidt received text messages from Petito’s phone on August 27 and August 30, but suspects someone other than his daughter sent them.
In one text, Petito’s grandfather is referred to by his first name, which Schmidt says was out of character for his daughter. The second message simply said “no service in Yosemite”, a national park in California, which Petito and Laundry are not believed to have visited during their visit.
Petito and Laundry, who met at a Long Island, NY, high school, moved west from New York in early July, and were posted on social media as they traveled through Kansas, Colorado and Utah. .
On August 12, a 911 caller reported that Laundry was slapping and beating Petito in front of the Moonflower Community Cooperative in Moab, Utah.
Moab police stop a van on a highway near Arches National Park. Body camera footage showed Petito crying as he described an argument that turned into slapping the laundry. Authorities did not take the couple into custody, but asked to be separated for the night.
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