Brian Laundrie

Human remains were found Wednesday in a Florida wilderness area along with items believed to belong to Brian Laundrie, shown, whose girlfriend, Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito, was found slain after he returned home alone from their cross-country road trip, according to the FBI.

The U.S. District Court of Wyoming issued a federal arrest warrant Wednesday for Brian Christopher Laundrie, the boyfriend of Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito, whose body was found this past weekend near Grand Teton National Park, according to the FBI.

The warrant was issued pursuant to a federal grand jury indictment for “use of unauthorized access devices” related to Laundrie’s activities during the period in which the 22-year-old adventure blogger went missing.

“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,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider announced Thursday on social media. “We urge individuals with knowledge of Mr. Laundrie’s role in this matter or his current whereabouts to contact the FBI.”

The federal grand jury indictment indicates that Laundrie made unauthorized withdrawals of about $1,000 using a debit card and pin number that did not belong to him. The charges occurred from about Aug. 30 through about Sept. 1, according to the indictment.

Petito’s body was found Sunday, Sept. 19, near the Spread Creek dispersed camping area just outside of Grand Teton National Park following a multiday investigation by Denver FBI agents, the National Park Service, the Teton County Sheriff’s Office, Teton County Search and Rescue, and the Jackson Police Department.

Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue ruled the death a homicide on Tuesday.

Gabby Petito memorial

A stone cross shown Thursday marks the location near Spread Creek in the Bridger-Teton National Forest where the remains of Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito were discovered earlier in the week. Gary Rider, a friend of Petito’s stepfather, James Schmidt, told the U.K. news site The Independent they visited the site Sept. 22 and created the memorial. Rider also said that a larger cross about 50 yards away and closer to the river “was not done by anyone connected with the search or recovery of Gabby.”

Until now, Laundrie, 23, had only been named a person of interest in the case.

Laundrie and Petito, originally from Long Island, New York, were high school sweethearts. They had been living in Florida when they began a cross-country road trip in July, driving her 2012 white Ford Transit van, which they had converted into a camper. Laundrie returned to his Florida home in the van without her Sept. 1. Ten days later Petito’s parents reported her missing, according to law enforcement.

On Sept. 17, the attorney for Laundrie’s family contacted the FBI indicating they wanted to talk about their son’s disappearance. Laundrie’s parents told law enforcement they last saw their son Sept. 14.

Law enforcement officers have been searching the Carlton Reserve, a 25,000-acre area with hiking trails and swamps in Florida’s Sarasota County.

On the day the Spread Creek search concluded, Petito’s father shared a photo of his daughter posing in front of an angel mural, smiling and seemingly sprouting lifesize, rainbow-colored wings.

“She touched the world,” Joseph Petito wrote in the post on the family’s Facebook page titled Find Gabby.

Contact Managing Editor Rebecca Huntington at 732-7078 or rebecca@jhnewsandguide.com.

Managing Editor Rebecca Huntington has worked for newspapers across the West. She hosts a rescue podcast, The Fine Line. Her family minivan doubles as her not-so-high-tech recording studio.

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