NEW YORK — Just hours after the FBI contacted the family of Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito about a body found in Wyoming during their search, an attorney for the missing woman’s mother thanked the FBI and police.
The body, found Sunday, is believed to be Petito; officials have not yet done a full forensic identification or determined cause of death.
“Your tireless work and determination helped bring Gabby home to her parents,” the statement from the law office of Richard B. Stafford said. “The family and I will be forever grateful.”
Stafford asked for privacy for Petito’s family.
Mom Nichole Schmidt described Petito as “the type of person that was free.”
“She went and did where the day took her,” Schmidt said.
Petito, originally from Long Island, left for a road trip with Brian Laundrie in July. They intended to reach Oregon by the end of October, according to their social media accounts, but Petito vanished after her last known contact with family in late August from Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, authorities said.
Laundrie has been identified as a person of interest in the case. He was last seen Tuesday by family members in Florida.
An attorney representing his family called Sunday’s news heartbreaking.
“The Laundrie family prays for Gabby and her family,” the attorney said.