Gabby Petito: Search Warrant of Van Connected to Case Reveals What FBI is Seizing

by Matthew Memrick

Reporters learned about a search warrant on Monday and what FBI agents are seizing from the fiancé’s van in the Gabby Petito case. 

Investigators got permission to search a Ford Transit van reportedly in Petito’s name this week. In it, court documents listed an external hard drive among its contents.

Laundrie is still missing and is considered a “person of interest.” His family last saw him in Florida last Tuesday, and officials spent the weekend looking for him. 

More About the Van

In the initial filing, investigators said there was probable cause to obtain the hard drive as it had “evidence relevant to proving that a felony has been committed.”

The couple took a cross-country trip in the 2012 van they had converted into a mobile home. After leaving Blue Point, New York, on July 4, the duo hoped to reach Portland, Oregon by Oct. 31.

Before Gabby Petito disappeared and her body recovered Sunday, the couple had visited several places. They recorded their visits to Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Monument Rocks, and Colorado Springs on Instagram.

Gabby Petito Missing During Trip

After Brian Laundrie returned from the trip without Petito, the young woman’s family became distraught.

Ten days after Laundrie returned, Gabby Petito’s family contacted authorities. 

According to NBC New York, the van was at the Laundrie family address on Sept. 11. Petito’s mother also reported her disappearance on that day.

Police have wanted to talk to Laundrie, but the family did not permit them to speak with their son at that time on Sept. 11.

Also, on Monday, investigators revealed the public details about Gabby Petito’s final text message to her mother. It read, “Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls.”

The Stan reference connects to Petito’s grandfather, but Petito’s mother told authorities she never calls him by that name. The connection caused alarm in the family and concern about their daughter.

The filing also said the phone turned off that day. 

On Sept. 16, police took the van as part of a search warrant. The digital forensics lab report compiled an entire inventory, but the public does not have complete details of the van’s contents.

Police Likely Found Gabby Petito on Sunday

FBI Supervisory Special Agent Charles Jones said on Monday that there’s lots of work to be done before he can give any answers about Petito.

While Petito was found Sunday at Grand Teton National Park, the cause of death, location of the body, and condition of the body details are still under wraps.

However, officials will conduct an autopsy on Tuesday.

“Full forensic identification has not been completed to confirm 100% that we found Gabby, but her family has been notified,” Jones said. “This is an incredibly difficult time for (Gabby Petito’s) family and friends.”