The Prolonged Searches for Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie Uncovered at Least 3 Other Bodies
Over the last two months, as they searched for signs of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie, authorities recovered the bodies of at least three other missing people, bringing closure to families otherwise left to wonder what happened to their loved ones.
Starting on Sept. 11, investigators began searching for Petito, 22, who had been reported missing by her mother. Then, just days before she'd be found dead in Wyoming from strangulation, Laundrie became the subject of a search after he, too, vanished.
A lawyer for Laundrie's family told CNN that authorities likely found Laundrie's remains Wednesday, while searching previously submerged parts of Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park. Police located human remains along with a backpack and notebook belonging to the 23-year-old fugitive.
As of Thursday afternoon, officials had yet to identify the remains as Laundrie's.
But on Sept. 18, after there had been a reported Laundrie sighting at a Wal-Mart in Tillman's Corner, Ala., police found the body of a homeless man during a search of the area.
That man's name still has not been released by the Mobile County Sheriff's Office.
The body was located next to a dumpster, and detectives continue to investigate the man's death.
On Sept. 28, while searching for Petito, authorities in Wyoming recovered the body of missing hiker Robert Lowery, a 46-year-old father of two from Texas.
The Houston man was first reported missing on Aug. 20. He was found dead at the base of the Teton Pass in Bridger-Teton National Forest.
The Teton County Coroner's Office has since revealed that Lowery died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
His remains were found 40 miles from where Petito's body was found. Local investigators said they received important clues while searching for Petito that led them to Lowery's body.
When several people reported seeing Laundrie in the Blue Ridge Mountains, search teams in North Carolina's Watauga County discovered the remains of Josue Calderon.
The 33-year-old Rhode Island man was murdered, according to the National Park Service. He had been stabbed to death.
Calderon's body had been dumped along the Blue Ridge Parkway, authorities said.
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Other outlets are reporting a fourth person — Sara Bayard — was found in Colorado as police searched the area for clues.
Petito and Laundrie had posted photographs from the same area on their Instagram, but in this case, police were not searching for them when they discovered Bayard's body along a highway in El Paso County on Oct. 14.
A cause and manner of death for Bayard have not yet been made public.
The mass media coverage of Petito's disappearance has been met with widespread criticism from groups outraged that missing persons cases involving people of color are not covered with the same kind of intensity.
Petito's case has, in part, been credited with highlighting the case of Lauren Cho, a New Jersey woman who was last seen in California in late June.
Cho's body was found on Oct. 9 in the open desert of California's Yucca Valley.