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Gabby Petito: Brian Laundrie's sister's family targeted with violent threats: LIVE UPDATES

Brian Laundrie's brother-in-law asked Manatee County deputies for increased patrols in his neighborhood in mid-September after he said his family received alarming threats amid an ongoing manhunt for the Florida fugitive, according to sheriff's records.


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Family to collect Gabby Petito ashes on Thursday, meet with law enforcement

The family of deceased Gabby Petito is expected to meet with law enforcement in Wyoming on Thursday after collecting their daughter's ashes following a Tuesday autopsy update from Teton County coroner Brent Blue, a source tells Fox News.

Petito's mother, father, stepmother and stepfather — as well as their family attorney, Richard Stafford — visited the site where her remains were recovered at the Spread Creek Dispersed Campground area in Moose on Thursday.

A meeting between the family and law enforcement officials is also expected to take place Thursday but has not happened yet, the source said. Stafford did not immediately respond to an inquiry from Fox News.

Posted by Fox News

Gabby Petito autopsy: Strangulation can be precursor to homicide, domestic violence, experts say

NORTH PORT, Fla. – Strangulation can "very well" be a precursor to homicide, as it was in the case of deceased 22-year-old Gabby Petito, experts say.

Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue on Tuesday announced that Petito died from manual strangulation, weeks after the FBI uncovered the 22-year-old's remains at Bridger-Teton National Forest, north of Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

"It is very important to understand that a non-fatal strangulation incident is an incident of an indicator that you are 750% more likely to die at the hands of that abuser," Andrea Wyant told Fox News Digital. Wyant is assistant director of Hope United Survivor Network, which helps victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

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Posted by Fox News

Brian Laundrie manhunt: North Carolina caller the latest to report potential fugitive sighting

A North Carolina caller was the latest to report a potential sighting of fugitive Brian Laundrie in Rocky Mount, N.C. early Wednesday evening. 

"White male subject wearing a light grey t-shirt… walking toward 301… advised that he looked like Brian Laundrie," the dispatcher said over the scanner around 5:45 p.m. ET. 

Police officers investigated the sighting and found that it was a false alarm. 

"There was a citizen passerby that spotted an individual that matched the description of Brian Laundrie," Cpl. Ricky Jackson told Fox News. "Officers went to the area, located the individual that they were referring to, and we can positively identify that individual was not Brian Laundrie."

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Posted by Fox News

Brian Laundrie attorney Bertolino slams John Walsh after ID special on Gabby Petito case

NORTH PORT, Fla. – Brian Laundrie’s attorney Steve Bertolino tore into "America’s Most Wanted" creator John Walsh Thursday, the morning after the longtime TV host aired an ID channel special on the unsolved homicide of the Florida man's former fiancée, Gabby Petito.

"Gabby Petito: ID Special Report" delved into the details surrounding the 22-year-old Petito’s slaying and Laundrie’s status as a fugitive on a federal bank fraud warrant.

For weeks, Walsh has suggested Laundrie, 23, may have taken advantage of the chaos at the southern border to cross in the opposite direction into Mexico.

Click here to read more on Fox News.

Posted by Fox News

Gabby Petito autopsy paints grim picture of last moments, experts say

The Gabby Petito autopsy finding that she died of homicide by strangulation indicates a likelihood of domestic violence and deadly intent at the Wyoming campsite where an FBI-led investigation uncovered her remains last month, experts tell Fox News.

Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue announced Tuesday that Petito died by "manual strangulation/throttling," meaning she’d been killed by hand and not with an item like a rope or chain.

Dr. Dan Field, a board-certified emergency physician and an expert witness in strangulation and homicide cases, said killing someone by strangulation is a long, deliberate process.

Click here to read more on Fox News.

Posted by Michael Ruiz

Police searching Carlton Reserve again for Brian Laundrie

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office, one of the few law enforcement agencies in Florida with K-9 units capable of seeking out human remains, sent one to the T. Mabry Carlton Jr. Reserve in North Port Thursday as a manhunt remains underway for the fugitive Brian Laundrie.

Posted by Michael Ruiz

Brian Laundrie's sister's family targeted with violent threats, records show

Brian Laundrie's brother-in-law asked Manatee County deputies for increased patrols in his neighborhood in mid-September after he said his family received alarming threats amid an ongoing manhunt for the Florida fugitive, according to sheriff's records.

Laundrie's whereabouts have been unknown for more than a month following the slaying of his fiancée, Gabby Petito, who was strangled in Wyoming's Bridger-Teton National Forest, according to authorities. Laundrie is a person of interest in her death and is the subject of a federal warrant for alleged debit card fraud.

James Luycx, the husband of Cassie Laundrie, told Manatee deputies on Sept. 19 that strangers were sending threats to his family. He asked the responding officer for information about patrols in the area and for security advice.

Click here to read more on Fox News.

Posted by Fox News

Gabby Petito's father praises muralist's work

Joe Petito, Gabby's father, has posted on Instagram a picture of a mural in progress that will pay tribute to her in Blue Point, N.Y.

"A huge thank you to Tess Parker for what she has done so far with the mural in Blue Point," he wrote. "It looks amazing, and I’m sure when it’s complete, it will look beautiful."

Posted by Greg Norman

Gabby Petito memorial bench design is unveiled

The Gabby Petito memorial may be gone outside North Port, Florida’s city hall building, but a permanent tribute to the 22-year-old will be coming soon in its place.  

Aaron Betzner, a steel fabricator from Indiana, heard about Petito’s tragic death and decided to step up and help pay respects to the young woman. That’s why he is donating his time and craftsmanship to fabricate a steel bench in her honor.

City officials tell Fox News the bench will be placed in between trees and in the shade just feet away from where the makeshift memorial stood.

North Port Mayor Jill Luke says Betzner is working with the Petito family to make sure it is exactly what they want. One key piece will be steel, colorful butterflies coming from the back of the bench. When Betzner is done fabricating the new work of art, he plans to drive it to North Port himself.  

Posted by Claudia Kelly-Bazan

Gabby Petito: Grieving parents were traveling to Wyoming yesterday

The grieving parents of Gabby Petito were heading to Wyoming to recover her remains just one day after a Teton County coroner announced she died of manual strangulation. 

The Schmidt and Petito families were on their way to Wyoming on Wednesday morning to be reunited with their daughter’s remains, just over three weeks after her body was discovered near Grand Teton National Park, Fox News has learned.

The parents are planning to return this weekend with her ashes. 

During their trip, the parents will also meet with law enforcement investigating Petito’s death for an update on the case. 

Statements will not be provided to the media until Petito is brought home to New York, the family said

Posted by David Aaro

Elizabeth Smart reflects on Gabby Petito case: Knowing what she went through is 'heartbreaking'

Elizabeth Smart, who was kidnapped for nine months when she was 14-years-old by a street preacher and his wife, said Wednesday that it is "heartbreaking" knowing what Gabby Petito likely went through in the days and weeks leading up to her death. 

"In Gabby's case in particular, I mean, I was alive, and I came home, and hers tragically has not ended that way," Smart, who is now a victims' rights activist, said on the show "Red Table Talk." "But knowing what it's like being on the other side and potentially what may have happened and what may have led up to her final moments, and understanding probably a lot of what she was feeling, it's heartbreaking."

Smart was kidnapped from her Salt Lake City home by Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee in 2002. She was held in captivity and raped by Mitchell for nine months, before being rescued by police officers on a street in Sandy, Utah, about 20 miles from her home. 

One of her kidnappers, Barzee, was released from prison on parole in 2018 after serving 15 years in prison. Smart said Wednesday that she was disappointed in Barzee's release but thankful that she got some measure of justice.

"I was disappointed, but it also helped me have a greater appreciation for how many victims never even have a smidgen of justice. Their perpetrators walk every day free," she said. "Like, at least I got something. How many more haven’t?"

Click here to read more on Fox News.

Posted by Paul Best

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