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Gabby Petito confirmed dead at 22 as autopsy determines her manner of death as homicide

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NORTH PORT, Fla. — Gabby Petito was killed by another person, a coroner concluded while also confirming that the human remains found recently at a Wyoming national park were those of the 22-year-old woman who disappeared months after she set out on a cross-country road trip with her boyfriend, the FBI said Tuesday.

Teton County Coroner Brent Blue determined Petito was a homicide victim, but did not disclose a cause of death pending final autopsy results, officials said. Her body was found Sunday near an undeveloped camping area in remote northern Wyoming along the border of Grand Teton National Park.

Meanwhile, authorities continued to search a swampy Florida preserve area near the home of Petito’s boyfriend. Police in North Port, Florida, said investigators returned Tuesday to the Carlton Reserve to look for Brian Laundrie, 23. Nothing of note was found, and the search was expected to continue Wednesday. Investigators began searching the 24,000-acre (9,700-hectare) Florida nature preserve over the weekend, focusing on the area after Laundrie’s parents told police he may have gone there.

Authorities are using helicopters, drones, dogs and officers in all-terrain vehicles in their search for Laundrie. About 75% of the search area is underwater.

On Monday, the FBI went to Laundrie’s parents’ home in North Port and removed several boxes and towed away a car neighbors said Laundrie’s mother typically used.

Laundrie and Petito had been living with his parents at the North Port home before the road trip on which she died.

The young couple had set out in July in a converted van to visit national parks in the West. They got into a fight along the way, and Laundrie was alone when he returned in the van to his parents’ home Sept. 1, police said.

Laundrie has been named a person of interest in the case, but his whereabouts in recent days were unknown.

Petito’s father, Joseph, posted on social media an image of a broken heart above a picture of his daughter, with the message: “She touched the world.”

In an interview broadcast Monday on TV’s “Dr. Phil” show, Joseph Petito said Laundrie and his daughter had dated for 2 1/2 years, and Laundrie was “always respectful.” During the interview, which was recorded before his daughter’s body was found, Petito said the couple had taken a previous road trip to California in her car and there were no problems.

Joseph Petito said the family began worrying after several days without hearing from their daughter.

“We called Brian, we called the mom, we called the dad, we called the sister, we called every number that we could find,” Joseph Petito said. “No phone calls were picked up, no text messages were returned.”

Joseph Petito said he wants Laundrie to be held accountable for whatever part he played in his daughter’s disappearance, along with his family for protecting him.

“I hope they get what’s coming, and that includes his folks,” Joseph Petito said. “Because I’ll tell you, right now, they are just as complicit, in my book.”

The FBI said investigators are seeking information from anyone who may have seen the couple around Grand Teton.

Gabby Petito and Laundrie were childhood sweethearts who met while growing up on New York’s Long Island. His parents later moved to North Port, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) south of Sarasota.

A man who saw Petito and Laundrie fighting in Moab, Utah, on Aug. 12 called 911 to report a domestic violence incident, according to a recording of the call obtained from the Grand County Sheriff’s Office. The man said he saw Laundrie slap Petito while walking through the town and proceeded to hit her before the two got in their van and drove off.

Video released by the Moab police showed that an officer pulled the couple’s van over on the same day after it was seen speeding and hitting a curb near Arches National Park. The body-camera footage showed an upset Petito.

Laundrie said on the video that the couple had gotten into a scuffle after he climbed into the van with dirty feet. He said he did not want to pursue a domestic violence charge against Petito, who officers decided was the aggressor.

Moab police separated the couple for the night, with Laundrie checking into a motel and Petito remaining with the van.

In the footage, Gabby Petito cried as she told the officer she and Laundrie had been arguing over her excessive cleaning of the van. She told the officer she has OCD — obsessive compulsive disorder.

On “Dr. Phil,” her father said that was not literally true. She just likes to keep her living area orderly and was using slang, he said.

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Empty Talk

Possible sighting of fugitive Brian Laundrie in Florida after father issued court summons for trashing protester sign

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Brian Laundrie might have been pedaling along a country road — purposely out of public view — on a rickety old bike … that is, if you buy what someone says they see in this video.

Check out this clip, obtained by TMZ, which one witness tells us was shot from a surveillance camera on the outskirts of his property on October 9 in Dunnellon, FL — a tiny town, about three hours north of Laundrie’s hometown of North Port, where his family resides.

Photo: TMZ.com

We’re told there are several acres of rural land behind this guy’s property, which is apparently where this footage was taken … along what we’re told is a rugged sugar sand path that hardly anyone ever ventures down … on foot or anything else.

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Donda Academy: Kanye West opening prep school in Simi Valley, California; will launch national basketball program backed by Adidas

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Kanye West is preparing to open up a prep school in Simi Valley named after his late mother Donda West.

Donda Academy will be a place to “find the intersection between faith and the innovation of the future,” it is also “focused on equipping students with an education that will last in the ever-changing world,” the official school website says.

According to KCAL/CBS LA the academy will also have particular interest in basketball, West is reportedly personally recruiting players.

A select number of top-rated high school basketball players have also reportedly committed to attending Donda Academy.

The school plans to create a basketball program to rival Sierra Canyon, the same school that NBA star Lebron James’ son, Bronny James, currently attends, Yahoo! Sports reports.

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Megan Thee Stallion announces new partnership with Popeyes with her own restaurant, ‘Hottie’ hot sauce, merchandise

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It’s time to get in line at your nearest Popeyes because Megan Thee Stallion has signed a deal with the global fast-food company. 

The “WAP” artist took to her Instagram on Thursday (Oct. 14) to announce that she will have her very own Popeyes restaurant, new hot sauce (Megan Thee Stallion Hottie Sauce), and co-branded merchandise.

Fans will not only be able to buy the critically-acclaimed chicken sandwich (as well as other menu items of course) but bikinis, shirts, hats, tumblers and Popeyes chicken tenders plush dog toys to match.

WATCH MEGAN’S AND POPEYES’ ADVERTISEMENT:

The partnership begins on Tuesday (Oct. 19) and you can purchase the first of three exclusive, limited edition merch drops at TheeHottieSauce.com starting at 12PM ET.

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