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Retired FBI special agent gives insight on disappearance of Gabby Petito

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IDAHO FALLS — A retired FBI special agent says the disappearance of Gabby Petito is a mystery that illustrates “just how strange human nature can be sometimes.”

Frank Montoya worked for the FBI over 25 years and served in a variety of high-profile positions, including the head of national counterintelligence and as the special agent in charge of the Honolulu and Seattle divisions. Montoya oversaw counterintelligence squads and led several national security investigations.

He has investigated missing people before and says law enforcement has to keep an open mind in their search for Petito.

“Did she walk away? Is she somewhere out there and just doesn’t want to be found or did something bad happen to her?” Montoya tells EastIdahoNews.com. “It seems like there’s a lot of information that they can sift through that may lead to the declaration that her boyfriend (Brian Laundrie) is a suspect or can be charged with a crime.”

Montoya believes police will go through Petito’s 2012 Ford Transit van “with a fine-toothed comb” and scour her social media accounts for any clues as to where she could be. They may also be looking for any connection to a double-homicide that occurred in Moab during the time Petito and Laundrie were in the area.

Kylen Schulte, 24, and Crystal Turner, 38, were last seen at a bar in Moab on Aug. 13. Their bodies were found five days later at a campsite in the South Mesa area of the La Sal Mountains.

Moab police were called to a violent argument between Petito and Laundrie the day before in the town.

“It would be a dereliction of duty if you did not look at that in terms of a possible connection. It’s not to say that anybody’s guilty of anything at this point of time but if it was a crime that led to her disappearance, could there be a connection and could it explain why she is missing at this point in time?” Montoya wonders.

Montoya is hopeful Petito is found but says patience is key in cases like these.

Watch our entire interview with Montoya in the video player above.

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