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Searchers: Petito news leads to man’s body in unrelated case

Published: in Australian News by .

News coverage of Ms Petito sometimes mentioned Robert Lowery’s disappearance, prompting at least two people to call authorities.

Widespread news coverage of the Gabby Petito case, who was found dead in western Wyoming, helped searchers in an unrelated case find a man's body not far away, officials have said.

A team with a search dog looked for four hours on Tuesday before finding the body of a man matching the description of Robert 'Bob' Lowery, according to a Teton County Search & Rescue statement.

Mr Lowery, 46, of Houston, went missing August 20. The man's body was found on a steep, wooded slope in the area of Teton Pass in western Wyoming.

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Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito.

How the man died wasn't immediately clear. Authorities notified Mr Lowery's family while awaiting confirmation the body was his.

News coverage of Ms Petito, 22, who went missing on a cross-country road trip and whose body was found near Grand Teton National Park on September 19, sometimes mentioned Mr Lowery's disappearance. That prompted at least two people to call authorities with information about Mr Lowery, searchers said on Tuesday.

Mr Lowery was wearing a black baseball cap with a gold letter "P" and spotted in hotel camera images carrying a black duffel bag with the Nike logo. Searchers in the area of a popular canyon trail said they found a bag matching that description with the body, far off the trail.

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The bag contained a tent and sleeping bag, Mr Lowery's sister, Leigh Lowery, told the Jackson Hole News & Guide.

"He was just a sweet, sweet kid," his sister said.

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The Teton Pass-area canyon where the man's body was found is about 72 kilometres from where Ms Petito was found. Ms Petito's parents reported her missing on September 11 after she didn't respond to calls and texts while she and boyfriend Brian Laundrie visited national parks in the West.

Ms Petito's death has been classified as homicide, meaning she was killed by another person, but medical examiners in Wyoming haven't disclosed how she died.

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Mr Laundrie faces federal charges in Wyoming of unauthorised use of a debit card. He used a Capital One Bank card and someone's personal identification number to make more than $1,000 in unauthorised withdrawals or charges while Ms Petito was missing, authorities alleged.

Authorities have not said whose card Mr Laundrie allegedly misused.

Mr Laundrie is being sought by authorities as a person of interest in Ms Petito's case.

Source: 9News

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