Slain Gabby Petito’s Boyfriend Charged With Credit Card Fraud | archive, united states, general news


BILLINGS, Mont. – Gabby Petito’s boyfriend, whose body was found in a Wyoming national park after traveling across the country with him, has been charged with unauthorized use of a debit card as researchers continued to look for him Thursday in the Florida swamps.

A federal indictment in Wyoming U.S. District Court alleges Brian Laundrie used a Capital One Bank card and someone’s personal identification number to make unauthorized withdrawals or charges valued at over $ 1,000 during the period that Petito disappeared. He does not say who owned the card.

FBI spokeswoman Courtney Bernal declined to disclose the nature of the fees charged to the debit card.

FBI Special Agent Michael Schneider said an arrest warrant issued Wednesday for the alleged fraudulent use of the bank card would allow law enforcement agencies across the country to continue the laundry while the Petito’s homicide investigation continues.

Laundrie has been named a person of interest in the death of the 22-year-old woman. The case has generated enormous public interest – but also raised uncomfortable questions about the uneven attention given to the hundreds of cases of Native American women and other minorities reported missing or murdered across the United States.

In Florida, researchers spent an unsuccessful fifth day on Thursday looking for Laundrie in the forbidden wildlife preserve near her parents’ home.

Research at the Carlton Preserve Park was scheduled to resume on Friday, said Joshua Tayler of the town of North Port, where the park is located. It started after Laundrie told his parents he was going there, days after he returned alone on September 1 from his trip west with Petito.

The indictment states that the unauthorized use of the debit card occurred from approximately August 30 to September 1.

Laundrie family lawyer Steven Bertolino said he understood the arrest warrant was related to activities that took place after Petito’s death, not his actual disappearance.

“The FBI is focused on locating Brian and when that happens the details of the charges covered by the indictment will be dealt with in the appropriate forum,” Bertolino said in a text message to The Associated Press.

A lawyer who represented the Petito family also did not immediately respond to the comments.

Petito was reported missing on September 11 by her parents after she did not answer calls and texts for several days as the couple toured Western Parks. His body was discovered on Sunday near a remote, undeveloped campground along the border of Grand Teton National Park in northwest Wyoming.

Teton County Coroner Brent Blue classified Petito’s death as homicide – meaning her death was caused by another person – but did not disclose how she was killed while awaiting the results of autopsy.

Officials urged anyone with knowledge of Laundrie’s role in Petito’s death or his whereabouts to contact the FBI. With detectives and online theories growing by the day, the FBI and police have been inundated with advice on Laundrie’s possible sightings.

“No information is too small or unimportant to support our efforts in this investigation,” Schneider said in a statement.

Petito and Laundrie grew up together in Long Island, New York, but in recent years they have moved to North Port where his parents live. Their home, about 55 miles south of Sarasota, was raided by investigators earlier this week, and a Ford Mustang driven by Laundrie’s mother was towed from the driveway. Authorities believe Laundrie drove this car to the Carlton reserve before disappearing.

The couple documented their trip online in a white Ford Transit van converted to an RV, but they had a physical altercation on August 12 in Moab, Utah, which led to a police stop for a possible cases of domestic violence. Eventually, the police decided to separate the couple who were arguing for the night. But no charges have been filed and no serious injuries have been reported.

The city of Moab has said it will conduct a formal investigation into how the dispute is handled. City officials said they were not aware of any breaches of department policies, but intended to conduct a “thorough and informed assessment” based on the results of the investigation.

Home Secretary Deb Haaland told reporters in Washington, DC on Thursday that extensive media coverage of the case should be a reminder of the missing or murdered Native American girls and women.

Haaland, the First Secretary to the Native American Cabinet, said her heart went out to Petito’s family, but she also mourned “so many native women” whose families have endured the same grief “over the past 500 years.”

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