After a five-week-long manhunt for Laundrie, the discovery was made. His parents told police they had not seen him since mid-September, when he reportedly went for a hike in the reserve but never came back. 

Laundrie was the former fiancé of Gabby Petito. The couple went on a cross country road trip over the summer. They documented it on social media. Laundrie was able to return to Florida with his family on Sept. 1. 

Petito’s family reported Petito missing on Sept. 11, and a search started. On Sept. 19, the FBI announced on the FBI’s website that Petito’s human remains had been found at Spread Creek Dispersed Camp Area in Bridger-Teton National Forest. Teton County Sheriff Dr. Brent BlueLater, the coroner confirmed that Petito’s remains were hers and ruled that her death was homicide. The coroner identified her cause of death at strangulation on Oct. 12 and estimated that her death occurred three to four weeks before the body was found. He also confirmed Petito was not pregnant at the time of her death. 

In the case of Petito’s disappearance, Laundrie was deemed a person of interest and not a suspect. He was also charged with unauthorized use of a debit card, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.