Family of Brian Laundrie says discovery of body believed to be Gabby Petito is ‘heartbreaking’ and they are ‘praying for her and her family’: Missing son remains a ‘person of interest’

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  • Brian Laundry’s family issued a statement Sunday night about the discovery of Gabby Petito’s remains.
  • It read: ‘The news about Gabby Petito is heartbreaking. The laundry family prays for Gabby and her family’
  • It is the first time the public has heard from the family since the laundry lawyer announced that they ‘remain in the background’ of the investigation.
  • Laudry’s parents reported him missing on Friday after he allegedly went for a hike on Tuesday and failed to come home.
  • Laundry is considered a person of interest in Petito’s case

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The family of Brian Laundry, the fiancé of van-life woman Gabby Petito and interested in her disappearance, say the discovery of his body has broken their hearts.

‘The news about Gabby Petito is heartbreaking. The laundry family prays for Gabby and her family,’ attorney Steven Bertolino said in a statement released on behalf of the family on Sunday.

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Laundry has been ‘in the background’ during most of the investigation under the advice of his lawyer.

Sunday’s statement is the first public comment the family has made since last Tuesday and comes in the wake of the discovery of a body at the Spread Creek Campground in Bridger-Teton National Forest on the eastern edge of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

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Officials believe these remains to belong to Petito. An autopsy was conducted on Tuesday to confirm the identity and find out how he died.

Laundry, who was reportedly uncooperative in the investigation and is believed to be an interested person in the case, has since gone missing.

The family of Brian Laundry (left) say they are heartbroken by the discovery of Gabby Petito’s (right) remains.

The Laundry family's crust released a statement on Sunday saying: 'The news about Gabby Pettito is heartbreaking.  The laundry family prays for Gabby and her family'

The Laundry family’s crust released a statement on Sunday saying: ‘The news about Gabby Pettito is heartbreaking. The laundry family prays for Gabby and her family’

Pettito was reported missing by his family on September 11, after they had not heard from him in 13 days.  She had been traveling with the 23-year-old laundry since July – and last spoke to relatives on August 25.  Laundry returned to her home alone in North Port, Florida on September 1.

Pettito was reported missing by his family on September 11, after they had not heard from him in 13 days. She had been traveling with the 23-year-old laundry since July – and last spoke to relatives on August 25. Laundry returned to her home alone in North Port, Florida on September 1.

Petito, 22, was reported missing by her family on September 11 after they had not heard from her in 13 days. She had been traveling with the 23-year-old laundry since July – and last spoke to relatives on August 25.

Laundry returned home alone on September 1 in North Port, Florida, where the couple had moved with their parents two years earlier in their 2012 Ford Transit van.

At the time, he declined to speak directly to detectives to help solve the mystery behind the disappearance—and his family directed officers to his attorney, Steven Bertolino.

Bertolino issued a statement to DailyMail.com on Tuesday (September 14), saying: ‘This is an extremely difficult time for both the Petito family and the Laundry family.

‘I understand that a search has been conducted for Miss Petito in or near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. On behalf of the laundry family, it is our hope that the search for Miss Petito is successful and that Miss Petito is reunited with her family. The laundry family is currently in the background on the advice of the lawyer and will not comment further.’

Laundry reportedly went for a hike the same day and failed to return home.

Laundry went missing on Friday after his parents said he had gone for a hike on Tuesday and had failed to return home.

Laundry went missing on Friday after his parents said he had gone for a hike on Tuesday and had failed to return home.

On Sunday, a team of 50 police officers from six different agencies searched the crocodile-infested Carlton Reserve for laundry.  he is still missing

On Sunday, a team of 50 police officers from six different agencies searched the crocodile-infested Carlton Reserve for laundry. he is still missing

His parents told investigators on Friday that their son had told them Tuesday, when they last saw them, that he was on his way to Mykahatchi Creek Environment Park, the site of his frequent hiking, which is home to 25,000 Adjacent to the Carlton Reserve of Acre.

Bertolino said the family went to the reserve to look for him on Wednesday and found a note on Brian’s Mustang from the North Port Police Department saying it needed to be relocated.

“The family left the car overnight so he could drive back, but when he didn’t come home on Thursday, they took the car back, which was seen in the driveway on Friday,” said Bertolino.

On Sunday, a team of 50 police officers from six different agencies searched the crocodile-infested Carlton Reserve for laundry. He is still missing.

Meanwhile, in Wyoming, investigators discovered that the remains belonged to Petito.

The FBI said the body found in Grand Teton National Park was “according to Petito’s description,” but said a full forensic identification was yet to be completed. The cause of death will be known after the post-mortem.

Investigators found that the remains belonged to Petito on Sunday.  The FBI said the body found in Grand Teton National Park was 'according to Petito's description', but said a full forensic identification was yet to be completed.

Investigators found that the remains belonged to Petito on Sunday. The FBI said the body found in Grand Teton National Park was ‘consistent with the description’ of Petito, but said a full forensic identification was yet to be completed.

The Teton County coroner was seen leaving the campsite on Sunday afternoon in what is believed to be Petito's remains

The Teton County coroner was seen leaving the campsite on Sunday afternoon in what is believed to be Petito’s remains

Joseph, the father of missing Van-Life girl Gabby Petito, shared a tribute to his daughter on social media on Sunday with a photo adorned with angel wings (pictured) and the caption: 'She touched the world'

Joseph, the father of missing Van-Life girl Gabby Petito, shared a tribute to his daughter on social media on Sunday with a photo adorned with angel wings (pictured) and the caption: ‘She touched the world’

FBI Denver Supervisory Senior Resident Agent Charles Jones delivered the sad news Sunday evening.

Jones told reporters: ‘As every parent can imagine this is an incredibly difficult time for family and friends, our thoughts and prayers are with them. We want you all to respect his privacy as he mourns the loss of his daughter.

Following the FBI announcement, Petito’s father, Joseph, shared a tribute to his daughter on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with a photo of him adorned with a pair of angel wings, and the caption: ‘She touched the world.’

Richard Benson, a lawyer for Petito and the Schmidt family, on behalf of her mother, thanked law enforcement and search and rescue teams for their efforts in finding the girl.

“Your tireless work and determination helped bring Gabby to her parents’ home,” he said in a statement. ‘Family and I will always be grateful.’

The Laundry family also released their statement on Sunday evening, the first time they spoke publicly in nearly a week.

Timeline of the disappearance of Gabby Petito’s case

  • July 1: Gabby Petito and her boyfriend, Brian Laundry leave Blue Point, New York for a cross-country road trip
  • 12 August: Police in Moab, Utah respond to a domestic incident involving a couple
  • Aug 21: Petito’s father, Joseph Petito, made his last FaceTime video call with his daughter, who was in Salt Lake City, Utah
  • August 24: Petito was last seen with laundry at a Salt Lake City hotel
  • August 25: Pettito making final call to his mother, Nicole Schmidt, saying she was in Grand Teton National Park
  • August 25 or 26: Couple chats with the owner of a shop called ‘Rustic Row’ in Victor, Utah for about 20 minutes
  • August 27: Video of Petito’s van was captured by blogger Jane Bethune of Red White & Bethune at the Spread Creek Campground at around 6.30 p.m.
  • August 29: The day Wisconsin TikToker Miranda Baker claimed that laundry in Grand Teton National Park had approached her and her boyfriend and asked them for a ride at 5.30 p.m.; Schmidt says she is not entertaining the claim and believes it is probably factual.
  • Aug 30: Schmidt receives final text from Petito: ‘No service in Yosemite’
  • September 1: Laundry returns to his parents’ home in North Port, Florida in a van without Pettito
  • September 11: Schmidt reports Petito’s disappearance to authorities in New York; Petito and laundry vans were confiscated by police in Florida on the same day
  • 12 September: Grand Teton National Park rangers search for petitos
  • 14 September: Laundry issues a statement through his lawyer about Petito’s disappearance; Also on this day, Laundry reportedly left his parents’ house to rent
  • 15 September: Laundry is officially named a Person of Interest in Petito’s case
  • September 17: Lawyer for the Laundry family confirms his whereabouts are unknown
  • September 18: North Port Police and the FBI begin a search for the Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County for the disappearance of Brian Laundry
  • September 19: Bethune learns he has video of Petito’s van at around 12 a.m. and presents the FBI with the footage 10 minutes later; Officials announced that a body that matched Petito’s description had been found near Grand Teton National Park in the afternoon

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