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Sheriff says there is "no link" between Gabby Petito case and deaths of newlyweds

Family of Gabby Petito pleading for answers
"Two people went on a trip, one person returned," search for Gabby Petito ramps up 03:47

Officials have found no link between the case of a missing 22-year-old from New York and the unsolved murders of two women, the Grand County Sheriff's Office said Friday. Police were investigating a potential link between the two after Gabby Petito disappeared in Moab, Utah, near where Crystal Turner, 38, and Kylen Schulte, 28, were found dead in August. 

"It has been determined that the Gabby Petito missing person's case is not related to the double homicide case involving Crystal Turner and Kylen Schulte," the Grand County Sheriff's Office said in a press release.

The sheriff's office did not immediately respond to CBS News' request for comment on how investigators reached this conclusion.

Gabby Petito CBS News

Petito was reported missing by her family last Saturday and is now the subject of a nationwide search. Police video released Thursday shows Petito, who disappeared during a cross-country journey in a converted camper van, had an emotional fight with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, in Moab before she vanished.

On August 16, six days after police responded to the fight between Laundrie and Petito, Schulte and Turner were found shot to death at a campsite near Moab. Friends of the newlyweds told police the two were afraid of a "creepy man" they had noticed. The double homicide is still unsolved. 

Meanwhile, police in North Port, Florida, where Petito and Laundrie lived, say Laundrie is a "person of interest" in the case. He's not been charged, but he's also not cooperating. It is still being treated as a missing person case.

Gabby Petito
Gabby Petito speaks with police on August 12, 2021. The Moab Police Department

"We're still trying to nail down geographic areas," North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison said. "There's a lot of information we are going through. Our focus is to find Gabby."

The North Port police tweeted Friday evening that they were speaking with the Laundrie family "at their request," but they did not talk to Brian. Hours later, Garrison confirmed their conversation was "complete" and said "information will be forthcoming."

Petito and Laundrie started their drive across the U.S. in July from New York's Long Island, where they both grew up. They intended to reach Oregon by Halloween, according to their social media accounts, but Petito vanished after her last known contact with family in late August from Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, authorities said.

On September 1, Laundrie drove their Ford Transit van back to Florida alone, police said. Petito's family filed a missing persons report with police in Suffolk County, New York.

Petito's parents have pleaded for Laundrie and his family to cooperate with police. 

"What I want from everybody here is help," Joe Petito, Gabby's father, said. "Whatever you can do to make sure my daughter comes home, I'm asking you to help. Nothing else matters right now."

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