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Gabby Petito case: 'Huge mistakes' made at start of investigation as cops hunt fiance Brian Laundrie

"HUGE mistakes" were made at the start of Gabby Petitio's missing person investigation as police continue looking for her fiance Brian Laundrie.

As the FBI announced a body believed to be that of Petito was found in a Wyoming national park on Sunday, cops are still searching for the 22-year-old's fiance Laundrie – who returned to Florida, hired an attorney, and then disappeared.


Now, the investigation into the missing case is being criticized by law enforcement experts.

Former Miami-Dade homicide detective Pat Diaz suggested a search warrant could've been secured for Petito's missing case without suspicion of a crime.

"Why would you [try to] get consent from the guy, and not get a search warrant?" Diaz asked on Sunday, according to Fox News.

“You can get a search warrant for everything in that house, including his laptop."

Diaz said that examining Laudrie's electronics on the day Petito was reported missing could've given some insight as to where she was located.

He said this type of probe could have been possible with Laundrie refusing to talk.

The former homicide detective also questioned why the local sheriff’s department or state investigators didn't get control over the case from the start.

Petitio last spoke with her family on August 25 and her parents reported her missing on September 11.

Read our Gabby Petito live blog for the very latest news and updates…

But Laundrie returned to Florida, hired an attorney, reportedly refused to cooperate with police before being named as a "person of interest," and hasn't been heard from in days.

Ed Gavin, former acting chief of the New York City Administration for Children’s Services. told the New York Post on Sunday: "They should’ve immediately placed him under surveillance.

"They should’ve been all over him. The fact that they let him out of their sight, that’s a no-no.

"Time is of the essence with these investigations."

Meanwhile, authorities revealed they have obtained cell phone tracking data for both Petito's and Laundrie's devices, but still need search warrants to gain "complete access" to the devices.

Former veteran FBI agent Oliver Farache offered some insight to The Post on what he would do during a missing case like Petito's.

He said: "I think what I would do if I was running the investigation is ask for permission to [look at Schmidt’s phone] because you don’t want to alienate the family, you want to do it in as cooperative a way as possible.

“You want to look at the phone, see if anything was deleted, see exactly what kind of conversation they were having and looking at the whole thing, not just the last few days," he explained.

"And the history of the texts that mom exchanged and dad as well will give you a clue into the missing person’s mental state as well."

In response to widespread commentary on law enforcement's actions, North Port Police Department spokesman Josh Taylor told Fox News Digital on Sunday that the police department "has no authority to execute a possible federal search warrant on our own."

"I don’t see how anyone without all the facts in this case can come up with a reasonable conclusion and opinion on the matter," he added.

As people across the country wondered about Petito's whereabouts, social media users noticed last week that the missing 22-year-old's Instagram account had disappeared for four hours.

On September 15, from approximately 6am to 10am ET, Petito's Instagram didn't seem to exist, according to Insider, but Instagram revealed it was just a glitch.

An Instagram spokesperson told Insider Petito's page was accidentally taken down during a probe of fraudulent accounts claiming to be Petito.

The spokesperson said: "The account was removed in error for impersonation and has now been reinstated."

When human remains were discovered in Grand Teton National Park, where Petito had been camping with her fiancé when she disappeared, the FBI held a press conference.

An FBI spokesperson said the bureau's staff will hold Gabby's family in their thoughts as they "mourn the loss" of their daughter.

"Today, the search revealed human remains consistent with the description of Gabrielle 'Gabby' Petito," the FBI statement said.

"Full forensic identification has not been completed and we do not yet know the cause of death. We appreciate your patience as we work through this process."

"The FBI and our partners extend our heartfelt condolences to Gabby's family and loved ones," the statement continued. "This is an incredibly difficult time for them, and our thoughts are with them as they mourn the loss of their daughter."




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