Boyfriend of slain Gabby Petito Charged with Fraud

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Gabby Petito, 22-year-old, body was found at a national park in Wyoming after a cross-country trip with her boyfriend. Her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, who is also missing, was charged with unauthorized use of a debit card as searchers continued looking for him in Florida.

In U.S. District Court in Wyoming, a federal grand jury indictment alleges that Brian Laundrie used a Capital One bank card and a fake identification to make withdrawals or charges worth more than US$1,000 during the period in which Petito went missing.

FBI declined to reveal the nature of the charges made to the debit card or did not say who the card belonged to.

FBI Special Agent stated an arrest warrant for the alleged fraudulent use of the bank card will allow law enforcement across the country to continue pursuing Laundrie while the investigation for Petito’s homicide continues.

Laundrie has been named a person of interest in Petito’s death.

The searcher for Laundrie continues in Florida. On Thursday, searchers spent a fifth unsuccessful day searching for Laundrie in the swampland near his parents’ home.

The search at the Carlton Reserve park was set to resume Friday. The search is primarily located there because Laundrie told his parents he was going there, several days after returning alone Sept. 1 from his trip with Petito.

Authorities say the unauthorized use of the debit card occurred from about Aug. 30 to Sept. 1.

Laundrie’s family attorney Steven Bertolino said that the arrest warrant was related to activities that occurred after the death of Petito, not the death itself.

On Sept. 11, Petito was reported missing by her parents after she did not respond to calls and texts for numerous days while on a trip with Laundrie. Her body was discovered Sunday in the vicinity of an undeveloped campground along the border of Grand Teton National Park in northwestern Wyoming.

After investigation, Petito’s death is classified as a homicide — meaning her death was caused by another person. As autopsy reports are not released to the public at this time, her cause of death is unknown.

Officials urged anyone with knowledge of Laundrie’s role in Petito’s death or have any information about his whereabouts to contact the FBI.

Petito and Laundrie grew up in Long Island, New York, but they moved to North Port to be closer to Laundries parents. Their home, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) south of Sarasota, was searched by investigators earlier this week. A Ford Mustang driven by Laundrie’s mother was towed from the driveway as authorities believe Laundrie drove that car to the Carlton Reserve before disappearing.

The couple documented online their trip in a white Ford Transit van converted into a camper. Witnesses say the couple got into a physical altercation Aug. 12 in Moab, Utah, that led to a police stop for a possible domestic violence case. The Police at this time decided to separate the couple for the night but no charges were filed, and no serious injuries were reported.

The city of Moab said it will conduct a formal investigation into the handling of the dispute.

Officials say they were not aware of any breach of department policies but will continue to evaluate based on the results of the investigation.

On Thursday, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland told reporters in Washington, D.C., that “the extensive news media coverage of the case should be a reminder of missing or murdered Native American girls and women.” This article was originally sourced by CTV News.