Gabby Petito‘s family offered heartbreaking tributes after police found a body they believed to be that of the 22-year-old influencer.
On Sunday, Sept. 19, shortly after the announcement that humans remains had been discovered that were “consistent with the description of Gabrielle ‘Gabby’ Petito,” Gabby’s father, Joseph Petito, and younger brother, TJ Schmidt, took to Instagram to react to the devastating news.
“#gabbypetito she touched the world,” Joseph captioned his post. He included a photo of Gabby posing in front of a mural of angel wings.
TJ shared a shot of Gabby standing similar angel mural, also with a big smile on her face. “I don’t even know what to say,” TJ wrote. “I’m at a total loss. My heart is shattered #justiceforgabby.”
During a Sept. 19 press conference, the Denver branch of the FBI, the National Park Service and law enforcement announced finding the body in the vicinity of Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming. The person’s identity has not yet been confirmed.
“Earlier today, human remains were discovered, consistent with the description of Gabrielle ‘Gabby’ Petito,” an FBI official told the press. “Full forensic identification has not been completed to confirm 100 percent that we found Gabby, but her family has been notified of this discovery. The cause of death has not been determined at this time.”
On Sept. 11, Gabby, 22, was reported missing after heading out on a road trip with fiancé Brian Laundrie. Eighteen days ago, Brian, 23, got back to the North Port, Fla. residence the couple shared with his parents.
Brian has also been reported missing, with North Port police sharing on Friday, Sept. 17 that his parents claim they haven’t seen him since he went hiking in the nearby Carlton Reserve area three days prior.
“All of Gabby’s family want the world to know that Brian is not missing, he is hiding,” a lawyer for Gabby’s family said in a previous statement regarding Brian’s whereabouts. “Gabby is missing.”
An attorney for Brian and his family has not responded to the statement from Gabby’s family or remarked otherwise on his alleged disappearance. Prior to Brian being reported missing, the lawyer said in a statement that Brian would not address the case because “intimate partners are often the first person law enforcement focuses their attention on in cases like this and the warning that ‘any statement made will be used against you’ is true, regardless of whether my client had anything to do with Ms. Petito’s disappearance.”
No one has been arrested in connection with the case. “It is important to note that while Brian is a person of interest in Gabby’s disappearance, he is not wanted for a crime,” the police previously said. “We are not currently working a crime investigation. We are now working a multiple missing person investigations.”