KEY POINTS

  • A former detective said investigators could have obtained warrants despite Laundrie’s refusal to cooperate with authorities
  • Laundrie, who came home alone after a months-long trip with Petito, has also gone missing
  • Human remains consistent with Petito’s description were recovered by the FBI on Sunday

A former homicide detective pointed out some significant lapses in the investigation into Gabby Petito’s disappearance, noting that even if the woman’s fiancé, Brian Laundrie, refused to speak up, investigators should have secured warrants in the case.

Gabrielle "Gabby" Petito, 22, went missing after a months-long van trip across the country with Laundrie. She was reported missing by her parents on Sept. 11, after her fiancé returned home to Florida without her. On Sunday, federal authorities said that human remains believed to belong to Petito were found at a national park in Wyoming over the weekend.

Laundrie, who was labeled a "person of interest" in Petito's disappearance, has allegedly gone missing as well.

Former Miami-Dade homicide detective Pat Diaz said that said authorities didn’t necessarily need to suspect a crime in order to secure warrants for a missing person’s case.

“Why would you [try to] get consent from the guy, and not get a search warrant?” Diaz asked about the Petito investigation, Fox News reported. “You can get a search warrant for everything in that house, including his laptop,” he noted.

Diaz added that examining Laundrie’s electronics on the day Petito was reported missing by her family would have provided significant clues about the YouTube vlogger’s whereabouts in the days leading to her disappearance.

On Sunday, North Port Police Department spokesman Josh Taylor said the department “has no authority to execute a possible federal search warrant on our own.” Taylor went on to note that “there is no information that a crime took place here in North Port. That is our jurisdiction.”

North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison also said in a media briefing last week that Laundrie had a constitutional right in his refusal to speak with police.

Laundrie’s parents told authorities on Sept. 17 that they have not seen the 23-year-old since Sept. 14. He returned to his North Port home on Sept. 1 after going on the trip with Petito, but the woman wasn’t with him. After Petito’s parents reported her missing, a search was launched for the missing vlogger, the New York Times reported.

Petito’s mother said she spoke with her daughter on Aug. 25, with the young woman telling her mother that she was headed to Yellowstone National Park.

After it was revealed that Laundrie’s family have also reported their son as missing, the law office of Richard B. Stafford, the Petito’s family’s attorney, released a statement saying, “All of Gabby’s family want the world to know that Brian is not missing, he is hiding.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) revealed Sunday afternoon that it has recovered “human remains consistent with the description of Gabrielle ‘Gabby’ Petito” during a search around the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area in the Bridger-Teton National Forest. The FBI noted that “full forensic identification has not been completed” and the body’s cause of death has yet to be known. The Teton County Coroner’s Office said an autopsy for the body is scheduled for Tuesday.

The search for Laundrie continues. Hours after the FBI confirmed that it has recovered human remains in Wyoming, police cars were seen outside his house.

gabby petito Gabby Petito was last seen on Aug. 24. Photo: Suffolk County Police Department