A Louisiana couple who were vacationing in Jackson, Wyoming last month, said Wednesday that they witnessed an incident with Gabby Pettito and Brian Laundry at one of Pettito’s last appearances before his death at a restaurant.
Nina Angelou told CNN on Wednesday that she and her boyfriend, Matt England, witnessed an “uproar” when they left the Petito and Laundry the Merry Piglets Tex-Mex restaurant on August 27.
Angelo said Pettito was in tears and appeared to be angry at the laundry several times for going in and out of the restaurant and showing anger to the staff around the hostess stand.
The couple’s waitress was also shaken by the incident, according to Angelou, who told CNN that she saw no violence or physical altercation between Pettito and the laundry.
A manager at The Merry Piglets told CNN she witnessed “an incident” at the restaurant and called the FBI on Wednesday. The manager declined to give CNN his name or describe what happened, saying the restaurant did not have surveillance video of the incident.
When asked by CNN whether they had received any information about Petito and Laundry’s appearance on The Mary Piglets, an FBI spokesman replied, “To protect privacy, we do not comment on contacts who Is or isn’t with anyone from the FBI.”
Police in Florida said in a recent search warrant affidavit that Petito’s mother had received a strange text on August 27 and it was her last communication. Petito, who was describing the couple’s journey through the national parks, also stopped posting on social media at the time.
Petito was first reported missing by his family on September 11, and his remains were found on Sunday in Grand Teton National Park. In a preliminary autopsy, the Teton County coroner determined that the manner of death was homicide, but did not disclose the manner in which he died.
Laundry, who arrived at his parents’ home in North Port, Florida, three weeks ago, has not spoken to police about the matter. His parents have told the authorities that they have not seen him since last Tuesday.
The FBI has sought the public’s help in locating laundry as a task force in Florida explores a large natural protected area in Venice.
Dive team brought in
A law enforcement underwater dive team joined the effort Wednesday at Florida’s Carlton Reserve.
A large van and boat from the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office arrived Wednesday afternoon at a marshy 25,000-acre reserve in Venice, Florida, where Laundry told his parents he was going last week.
The dive crew, called the Sheriff’s Underwater Recovery Force (SURF), is composed of “highly trained underwater experts” who are called upon to “search for evidence of crimes and victims of drowning, water accidents and dishonesty”. Is,” The Sheriff’s Department website says.
North Port Police said the arrival of the dive team did not mean that nothing was found. This is part of the entire search process.
Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Caitlin Perez said the request was made by North Port Police on Wednesday morning with a team made up of about 10 divers.
“These divers are specially trained and very talented in low visibility bodies of water,” Perez said. “They dive down to where you and I can’t see anything. They use technology and other special equipment to help them go deeper into deeper bodies of water, so they fix whatever is there.” are out now to do. They can meet.”
According to officials, the fourth day of search of the reserve ended on Wednesday evening.
North Port Police tweeted, “Nothing found. We will be back on Thursday, similar operation.”
The ongoing search comes as investigators try to piece together what happened to 22-year-old Petito and 23-year-old Laundry on their road trip in a white Ford Transit van. Through the American West this summer.
Pettito’s remains were found in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest.
During the trip, the couple regularly posted online about their trip with the hashtag #VanLife, but those posts suddenly stopped in late August. Laundry and Van – but not Petito – went to their parents’ home in North Port, Florida on September 1. his family, unable to contact him, Reported missing after 10 days.
Laundry’s parents reported his disappearance on 17 September, saying that he had left the house three days earlier to go to the reserve and had not returned.
The FBI said the bureau seeks information from anyone who may have contact with Petito or Laundry, who visited the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area in Bridger-Teton National Forest between August 27-30, or viewed their vehicle. from person as well.
In the days since his disappearance was reported, Petito’s story has become a national obsession for many, Inspiring digital spies to comb Through the online trail of the couple to try to solve the case. The story has also uncovered the stories of thousands of missing persons that don’t take so much interest among the public.
Given the national attention to the matter, many have come forward to say that they held talks with the couple in late August. And evidence from a 911 call about a “domestic dispute” involving Petito and laundry suggests the couple’s volatile relationship was not as ambitious as their sun-drenched lives on Instagram and YouTube suggested.
Laundry search focused on nature reserve
Investigators have used ATVs, dogs, drones and more as part of their ongoing search for laundry in reserve.
The marshy, wooded landscape of the reserve has made the search particularly difficult.
Police said, “Please be aware, Carlton Reserve is sometimes a vast and unforgiving place. It is currently (waist) deep in water in several areas.” “It’s a dangerous job for the search team as they traverse gator and snake-infested swamps and flooded hiking and biking trails.”
authority also Searched the family home on Monday After getting a search warrant for the property. FBI agents removed several items from the house and took away a Ford Mustang convertible.
In addition, Laundry’s parents, Christopher and Roberta Laundry, were questioned by the FBI at their home.
Witnesses told police about conversations with the couple
In a series of videos on TikTok, Miranda Baker said that she and her boyfriend took a laundry ride in Wyoming on August 29 — and claimed he had been camping by himself for several days while Pettito posted on social media. Was back in his working van. .
Baker said he picked up the laundry when he was hitchhiking in Colter Bay, Wyoming, not far from where Petito’s remains were found. He offered to pay $200 for the ride before he got in the car, she said.
In his TikTok video, Baker said that when Laundry learned that she and her boyfriend were going to Jackson Hole instead of Jackson, he got agitated, asked the vehicle to stop, and drove to the Jackson Dam. She said they gave up on her less than 30 minutes after taking her.
Baker said he has spoken to law enforcement about interactions with the laundry. North Port Police confirmed to CNN that Baker had spoken to the department before posting the video on TikTok.
“Her account is plausible, it appears,” said North Port Police spokesman Josh Taylor.
CNN has not been able to independently verify Baker’s claims. The FBI has not returned a CNN request for comment.
Apart from this, there has also been evidence that suggests that there was increasing tension between the couple.
“They were talking aggressively at each other, and something seemed wrong,” said a person who witnessed the domestic dispute between Petito and Laundry in Utah last month.
In a handwritten sworn statement, a witness named Chris — whose last name was redacted in a document provided to CNN by Moab City Police — said it appeared the two were arguing over control of Petito’s phone. . “At one point she was punching him in the arm and/or face and trying to get into the van.”
The witness said she heard Pettito say, “Why do you have to be so mean?” Chris, however, said he was not sure whether the comment was to be taken seriously. Moab City Police responded to the incident and the couple agreed to spend the night separately.
there is also a 911 Recording The couple were confronted by police on August 12 about the incident in Moab. In recordings from the Grand County Sheriff’s Office, a caller reported what he called a “domestic dispute” between a couple.
“We left and the gentleman was slapping the girl,” said the caller. “Then we stopped. They ran up and down the sidewalk. He proceeded to hit her, jumped in the car, and off they went.”