The FBI has issued an arrest warrant for Brian Laundrie following the death of Gabby Petito after he was found to have fraudulently used a Capitol One Bank debit card that didn't belong to him. The FBI said that Laundrie is now wanted not only in the homicide of Petito but also for "use of unauthorized access device" related to his activities between August 30 and September 1.
Laundrie is accused of fraudulently using the card to obtain goods worth $1,000 or more. And in all probability, that card belonged to Petito. That said, police is still struggling to find any trace of Laundrie more than a week after his parents told that he had vanished after he was named a person of interest in Petito's disappearance.
According to the indictment, Laundrie used a debit card and PIN number for accounts that did not belong to him following Petito's death to obtain items costing over $1,000. "On Wednesday, September 22, 2021, the US District Court of Wyoming issued a federal arrest warrant for Brian Christopher Laundrie," a statement from the FBI Denver Division read.
"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," it further read.
According to the warrant, the card was used by Laundrie around or on August 30 and September 1. Petito was last seen alive at a Wyoming restaurant on August 27.
Although the FBI didn't mention who the debit card belonged to, it likely belonged to Petito. According to the New York Post, the Long Island native had a Capital One debit card and checking account, which was mentioned in the missing person's report filed by Patito's parents with Suffolk County police on September 11.
Laundrie Family Defends
Authorities are continuing to search for Laundrie, 23, who was last seen by his parents and his attorney last week. The arrest warrant for debit card fraud now adds a new twist to the tale. However, the Laundrie family has defended their son.
"It is my understanding that the arrest warrant for Brian Laundrie is related to activities occurring after the death of Gabby Petito and not related to her actual demise," said Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino in a statement hours after the warrant was issued on Thursday.
"The FBI is focusing on locating Brian and when that occurs the specifics of the charges covered under the indictment will be addressed in the proper forum," he added.
The last time Petito was seen alive, she was in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where she trying to defuse a heated argument between fiance Brian Laundrie and a hostess at a Tex-Mex restaurant, according to a witness. She was reported missing on September 11, following a cross-country trip with Laundrie that they had been documenting on YouTube and social media.
Her body was found in the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area of Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming, last Sunday, with Laundrie still at large.