Gabby Petito case: Autopsy to be completed Tuesday for human remains found in Wyoming
WYOMING - An autopsy of the remains authorities discovered in the Bridger-Teton National Forest should be complete by Tuesday, Dr. Brent Blue, the Teton County Coroner, confirmed with FOX News.
On Sunday, the FBI reported the remains matched the description of Gabby Petito. The autopsy will confirm the identity and possible cause of death. Meanwhile, authorities are continuing to search for the person of interest in the case, Brian Laundrie, who was reported missing by his parents on Friday. North Port police said his family allegedly haven’t heard from him since last Tuesday.
An apparent stone memorial has been discovered near where the likely remains of Gabby Petito were found by authorities, reports KSTU. A cross made of rocks was seen on the ground in the area of the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area in the Bridger-Teton National Forest, where the body was also found.
It was unclear who placed it there, according to the station.
Cyril Wecht, forensic pathologist, told Fox News that investigators may have concluded Sunday that the remains were likely to be Petito's first because of the location where they were discovered — where Petito's van was spotted by travelers in late August — and because authorities may have discovered personal items belonging to the young woman.
The condition of the remains at the time they were found is unknown, but Wecht said varying weather conditions like those in Moose in September, when temperatures can reach 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the daytime and 40 degrees or cooler by the evening in September, may hasten the decomposition process.
READ: Brian Laundrie search continues following FBI raid at Florida home
The FBI and other local law enforcement began the search for Gabby in the national forest Saturday. Gabby visited the area on Aug 27. Her family reported her missing on Sept. 11.
The FBI also said law enforcement agencies were searching the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area "located in the Bridger-Teton National Forest on the east boundary of Grand Teton National Park." The camping area had reopened after the body was discovered and investigators left the scene, the report added.
It’s the area where a Tampa-based family recorded GoPro video of a white camper van – specifically on August 27 -- that may have been the same vehicle Gabby and Brian were traveling in.
The Bethune family submitted the footage early Sunday morning. Later that day, Gabby's family confirmed the FBI was aware of the video.
On the same day, the FBI found remains nearby that matched Gabby's description.
"I think we still need to be focused on finding Brian," Jenn Bethune told FOX 13. "Anybody that still has clues or was in that area around that time or if they’ve seen him in Florida. No clue is too small. If you think you have video footage send it in. we’ve got to get the rest of the answers for this family."
On Monday, North Port police said ended their search for Brian in a swampy Sarasota County preserve – where his parents said they believed he was located. Instead, carloads of FBI agents arrived at their North Port home, filling police vehicles with evidence.
They also towed away a silver Ford Mustang that may belong to Brian.
Also on Monday, FOX News obtained the 911 call made by a witness reporting a "domestic dispute" between Gabby and Brian in Moah, Utah, on August 12. The caller was heard telling a dispatcher that "the gentleman was slapping the girl" and hitting her.
The 911 call apparently contradicted a prior report written by police in which a responding officer had written that "no one reported that the male struck the female."
Nearly a month after the incident, Gabby's family filed a missing person's report after being unable to get in touch with her. Soon, they learned that her fiancé, Brian, returned to Florida without her.
As the family and community wait for answers, a memorial continues to grow for Gabby outside North Port City Hall. Stuffed bears, flowers and ribbons cover one of the giant trees out front, surrounded by candles and signs. Hundreds have come out to show support and offer condolences to her family.
There is no exact time on when Tuesday's autopsy in Wyoming will be completed, but investigators are hopeful the results will shed light on what exactly happened to Gabby.
Anyone with information in Gabby's case or Brian's whereabouts is asked to call 1-800-Call-FBI.
FOX News contributed to this report.
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