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Arrest warrant issued for Brian Laundrie; search ongoing

A grand jury indicted Brian Laundrie (L) for allegedly using Gabby Petito's credit card and bank accounts after her death. Photo courtesy of North Port Police/Twitter
A grand jury indicted Brian Laundrie (L) for allegedly using Gabby Petito's credit card and bank accounts after her death. Photo courtesy of North Port Police/Twitter

Sept. 23 (UPI) -- A federal court has issued an arrest warrant for Brian Laundrie, whom police are seeking in the aftermath of his fiancée's death in a Wyoming national park, the FBI announced Thursday.

The U.S. District Court of Wyoming issued the arrest warrant Wednesday after a federal grand jury indicted Laundrie, 23, on a single count of unauthorized access to a debit card and two bank accounts.

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The North Port Police Department in Florida has named Laundrie a person of interest in the death of his fiancée, Gabrielle "Gabby" Petito, whose body was found in Grand Teton National Park on Sunday.

"While this warrant allows law enforcement to arrest Mr. Laundrie, the FBI and our partners across the country continue to investigate the facts and circumstances of Ms. Petito's homicide," the FBI's Denver field office said in a statement. "We urge individuals with knowledge of Mr. Laundrie's role in this matter or his current whereabouts to contact the FBI."

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Laundrie and Petito traveled from their shared home in Florida to New York before they were set to visit national parks out West in July. Laundrie returned to the home in North Port -- where his parents also live -- on Sept. 1 without her.

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Petito's parents reported her missing Sept. 11, saying they last heard from her Aug. 25, when she was believed to have been in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Searchers found human remains in the park Sunday and an autopsy confirmed the body as hers Tuesday.

Authorities have been searching for Laundrie since his parents reported him missing Sept. 18. A dive team with the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office joined the search Wednesday at the Carlton Reserve in Venice, Fla.

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Police had previously searched the 25,000-acre preserve after Laundrie's parents told them he left to go for a hike there Sept. 14, the last day they saw him.

It's unclear why investigators returned to the preserve after their initial search.

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