North Port reacts to homicide ruling in Gabby Petito case

Reporter: Taylor Wirtz Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:

The Teton County coroner has ruled Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito’s death a homicide, but we won’t learn how she died until the final autopsy report is released. Even though the initial report brought some answers, people around the country and in North Port want to know exactly what happened.

The FBI released a statement on Petito’s death after the autopsy announcement: “The FBI and our partners remain dedicated to ensuring anyone responsible for or complicit in Ms. Petito’s death is held accountable.” The Bureau goes on to say Brian Laundrie is a person of interest.

Neighbors in North Port want Laundrie found as soon as possible.

“He should have come forward,” said Charlene Guthrie. “They should have not drawn this out like this, they put a lot of people in a lot of pain, and a lot of heartache for a long time. It’s just not right.”

22-year-old Petito went missing last month, after she and her fiancé Brian Laundrie went on a cross-country trip. On Sunday, the FBI said they found remains in the Bridger-Teton National Forest consistent with Petito’s description, but were unable to offer a positive identification until Tuesday. Those in her North Port community are hoping there can now be justice for Petito and her family.

“I don’t want people to forget that justice is important, and Gabby was important,” said Ashton Randazzo.

“We want to remember this,” said Gretchen Finewood. “We want to remember Gabby and what happened.”

Laundrie’s attorney sent WINK News a statement after the FBI called Gabby’s death a homicide: “May Gabby rest in peace.”

TIPS: If you have any information on the disappearance of Gabby Petito or Brian Laundrie, call 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324) or you can submit a tip online at

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.