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Gabby Petito’s white van has ‘key evidence,’ expert says

Pat Diaz, a retired homicide detective, said that Gabby Petito’s white van could have key evidence in her death

A photo of the van that Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie used in their #vanlife trip.
Pat Diaz, a retired homicide detective, said that Gabby Petito’s white van could have key evidence in her death.
North Port Police Department

Gabby Petito’s white van might contain key evidence in trying to find a conviction in her death, a retired homicide detective recently said.

Pat Diaz, who worked for 35 years with the Miami-Dade homicide unit, told Fox News this week that Gabby Petito’s 2012 white Ford Transit van — which was remodeled for her cross-country road trip with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, might contain key evidence in the case.

  • “That’s their evidence, that’s their key evidence there, the van,” he told Fox News. “Everything that they’re gonna be able to prove … it’s gonna come out of that truck.”

Diaz said the only evidence police officials have right now is the cause of death.

According to Diaz, it might be difficult for officials to link a killer to the crime because the body had been in the wilderness and it has gone through examination since it has been found.

  • “I would have totally been against releasing the cause of death,” Diaz told Fox News. “I would have said the body was a terrible state of condition, we’re still processing the body, and buy more time — then given the cause of death.”

Laundrie is a person of interest in the Petito case. The problem? Police don’t know where he is right now. Laundrie left his home on Monday, Sept. 13, and hasn’t been seen since. His family reported him missing on Friday, Sept. 17.

  • Authorities have been searching for Laundrie in the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve, a large campground where Laundrie would often go on hikes. Some tipsters said they saw Laundrie on the Appalachian Trail. Police are investigating those tips.