October 12 was a sad day for Americans as the FBI finally announced the cause of death of Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito in a press conference led by Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue.
Gabby was young ambitious 22 years old girl who wanted to touch the world with her traveling blogs. Gabby Petito and her fiancé Brian Laundrie shared the same interests and knew each other since high school.
The couple left their jobs and embarked on a journey to explore the hidden gems of the American landscape.
But one day, Brian returned home without his fiancee, and after some days, he also went missing leaving behind some unanswered questions which are still waiting for an explanation.
Interested in knowing the reason? I suggest reading this most twisted and bizarre story until the end.
Start of Romantic Love Story
Gabby Patito’s parents got separated when she was a child, and she had a close bonding with both of her parent’s families.
The couple started their romantic journey in 2019 and Gabby moved to Brian’s house to live with him in his family home in North Port, Florida, USA.
Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito became high school friends and the couple that made many fellows jealous.
Both of their families knew each other, and they were satisfied with their children’s decision because, according to Gabby’s mother, Brian was a very polite and decent guy, which made him a true gentleman.
They attended Bayport-Blue Point High School in Bayport, Town of Islip, Suffolk County.
After spending one year together, Brian realized that she was the person he wanted to spend the rest of his life with.
So, in July 2020, Brian asked Gabby to be his wife, and she said “Yes”.
Gabby was overexcited, and she shared the news with her Instagram family with the caption,
“Brian asked me to marry him and I said yes! @bizarre_design_ you make life feel unreal, and every day is such a dream with you 🤍,”
Sadly, this post has been removed from the account.
Starting a New Journey Together
Both were busy in their career lives, but during the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in 2021. Gabby took a major decision that changed her life. She quit her job to become a full-time travel blogger.
Her fiance also liked this idea and quit his job too to become his fiance’s travel partner.
The couple arrived in Blue Point, New York, on June 17, 2021, and attended Gabby’s brother’s high school graduation. From there, on July 2, they started their four-month cross-country journey.
The couple also decided to call off their engagement before the journey as they both were too young for any commitment. According to the deceased Gabby’s mother Nichole Schmidt, they thought they were too young and said,
“I think they kind of put that on hold just because they felt it was a little fast. They were excited at first, but then they were like, let’s just wait, we’re very young. So they were really just boyfriend and girlfriend.”
For their journey, the couple chose a white 2012 Ford Transit van with having Florida license plate, which they converted to create space for cooking and sleeping.
They constantly informed their parents and friends about their beautiful journey through their Instagram posts.
So, according to the posts, they first stopped in Kansas to visit the famous Monument Rock on July 4. Then they visited Colorado Springs, Colorado, on July 8.
On July 10, they stopped at majestic Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Colorado, to enjoy the scenes nature has to offer.
After going camping in Colorado, they set their journey to their next stop Zion National Park, Utah, and from there, they went to Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, on July 21.
Then they visited different sites for tourists in Utah, including Mystic Hot Springs, Canyonlands National Park, and Arches National Park.
At this point, they had spent more than one month on wheels. Everything seems to be normal and romantic for friends and family.
She regularly updated her mother about her adventure during the entire trip, and her mother was satisfied because she knew that she was with Brian, who seemed fine to her.
Police Encounter in Moab City, Utah
On August 12, Police encountered Petito and Laundrie, who had engaged in “some sort of altercation,” according to a report by the Moab City Police Department.
According to the police report, a couple called the department to report domestic abuse and described the couple and their vehicle. This vehicle and description matched with Gabby and Brian.
Police followed the location and met with the couple sitting in their van. The couple had no idea about the police arrival. According to the Police, Gabby was crying, but she tried to hide the facts and details from the Police.
On the other hand, Brian was nervous but started to talk calmly with police officers. He also showed some marks on his body which were assumed to be caused by Gabby.
The Police started to guess that Brian was the victim and asked him if he wanted to report a complaint against his girlfriend, but he refused. Gabby also refused to file a report against Brian.
Laundrie was placed in a hotel by a domestic violence outreach group. Police recorded everything from their body camera.
After this whole incident, many criminologists studied the behavior of Brian and Gabby and concluded that Brian was actually controlling poor Gabby.
He was also good at manipulating other people and painted a fake picture that was the complete opposite of reality.
Brian Retuned Home
Now everything seemed back to normal. On August 17, Brian flew back to his home in Tampa from Salt Lake City to “obtain some items and empty and close the (couple’s) storage unit to save money as they contemplated extending the road trip” and return to Gabby on August 23 for their trip.
(statement given by Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino )
Brian Fight at Wyoming restaurant
When the details of this tragic incident took the internet by storm. A woman name Nina Celie came forward to report the incident of Brian’s behavior.
According to Nina Celie Angelo’s Instagram post, she saw Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie getting into a heated argument inside Merry Piglet restaurant in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
She said Laundrie was screaming at the hostess, and Petito was in tears and apologizing.
She gave her interview to ABC News and said that Brian was fighting with the restaurant waitress, and Gabby, who was sitting next to him, was crying and apologizing to the waitress. She said,
“It looked as though they were like almost getting kicked out,” Angelo told ABC News. “It wasn’t necessarily between them, it was more so Gabby abruptly leaving the restaurant crying, and Brian was just evidently really upset, pissed off, I would say. I would say Gabby was upset, he was angry, and he was just being very temperamental towards the restaurant staff.”
(Source: ABC News)
She also mentioned that Brian’s behavior raised a kind of alarm in her mind.
Gabby’s Last Text to her Mother
As we told you before, Gabby kept her family, especially her mother, updated about her adventures.
But August 30 was the last time Gabby’s mother talked to her daughter without knowing the mental torture she was going through.
According to Petito’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, she received a text message from her daughter in which she asked her mother to talk to grandfather Stan because she was receiving calls and messages from him. The message reads,
“Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls.’
(Source: ABC News)
She never called her grandfather Stan which upset Petito’s mother.
Brian Return to His Home
On September 1, Laundrie unexpectedly returned to the North Port home he and Petito shared with his parents. But Gabby was not with him. Surprisingly he returned in the same van the couple used for their adventure.
His return further upset Gabby’s parents, who were not receiving any text or call from her daughter. The situation further got worse when Brian refused to tell Gabby’s parents about their daughter’s well-being.
Gabby’s parents also contacted Brian’s parents but got the same response. This persuaded Gabby’s parents to involve Police in this matter.
Gabby’s Parents filed a Missing Report
So, on September 11 at 6:55 p.m, Gabby’s parents reported her missing to the Suffolk County Police Department in New York.
The police then immediately went to Brian’s home to ask him about Gabby, but when they reached, instead of cooperating with the police, his parents and Brian refused to talk and handed them a lawyer’s phone number.
Brian was the only person who knew where Gabby was, and he refused to talk, but the van the couple share was taken for further investigation. The police officer gave an official statement about Gabby’s disappearance and said,
“We don’t know what Brian knows, that’s the bottom line. We are hopeful to talk to him. He needs to talk to us. We need to know exactly where he was, where she was, their last locations, and the fact he was back here for 10 days. Again, the family reported her missing 10 days later. “
(Source: ABC News)
After three days, the police finally named a person of interest in Petito’s disappearance, further claiming that he was not helping the police in finding Gabby.
Although he didn’t speak for himself, his attorney spoke on his behalf saying,
His attorney issued the following statement on behalf of his client, addressing Laundrie’s silence.
“Many people are wondering why Mr. Laundrie would not make a statement or speak with law enforcement in the face of Ms. Petito’s absence. In my experience, intimate partners are often the first person law enforcement focuses their attention on in cases like this, and the warning that ‘any statement made will be used against you is true, regardless of whether my client had anything to with Ms. Petito’s disappearance. As such, on the advice of counsel, Mr. Laundrie is not speaking on the matter. I have been informed that the North Port, Florida, police have named Brian Laundrie as a ‘person of interest’ in this matter. This formality has not really changed the circumstances of Mr. Laundrie being the focus and attention of law enforcement, and Mr. Laundrie will continue to remain silent on the advice of counsel.”
(Source: ABC News)
Now, this whole case became a high-profile case, and many activists gathered in front of Brian’s house chanting Gabby’s name and asking for answers.
On September 16, police arranged a press conference in which Gabby’s father openly begged Brian to come forward and speak about Gabby’s disappearance, but all these efforts were in vain, and Brian continued to remain silent about this whole situation.
During this whole situation, Brian’s sister Cassie Laundrie was out of the picture because she was married and lived separately. She was also dragged into this whole situation by the media.
After Gabby’s father pleading, she finally stepped forward and talked to “Good Morning America” and said,
“Obviously me and my family want Gabby to be found safe,” she said. “She’s like a sister and my children love her, and all I want is for her to come home safe and found and this to be just a big misunderstanding.”
(Source: ABC News)
Brian Went on Mission
Police and volunteers were constantly searching for Gabby in the area the couple visited.
Surprisingly on September 17, Brian’s parents and his lawyer contacted the police, not to give information about Gabby’s case but to file a report about Brian’s disappearance.
According to his attorney Steven Bertolino, the Laundrie family has been speaking with police about the case for the first time in detail, and police removed items from their house to assist them in the search.
Brian Laundrie, 23, was declared the person of interest in the disappearance case of his girlfriend, Gabrielle Petito.
The police searched a vast Florida wildlife reserve for Laundrie on Saturday, while the FBI searched a national park in Wyoming for clues about her disappearance.
Discovery of Gabby’s Body
Finally, police broke the news about finding Gabby’s dead body, which saddened the entire nation.
Police found the dead body of Gabby at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, with help from the National Park Service and local law enforcement agencies.
Her family was notified about this discovery, and Gabby’s body was sent for an autopsy report.
A search warrant indicated the police were looking for Laundrie’s computer when they raided Brian’s house.
They removed evidence boxes from the house as well. An arrest warrant was issued for Brian not for killing Gabby but for his illegal activities after the death of Gabby Petito.
The U.S. District Court of Wyoming issued the warrant, stating that Laundrie was involved in the use of a Capital One debit card and pin code belonging to Gabby between August 30 and September 1 in Wyoming and spent an amount of $1,000 or more.
Two separate rewards totaling $30,000 have been offered by law enforcement officials to anyone who can provide information about Brian Laundrie’s location.
Tribute to Gabby Petito
Thousands of people from all around the world took to Twitter and other social media accounts to pay homage to the free spirit and loving soul of Gabby Petito.
Americans from all walks of life send love and blessings to 22 years old departed soul and pray that her parents and loved ones finally get the peace they deserve.
In addition, firefighters lined up at the funeral home on either side of the building, each with their ladder extended. Posters bearing Petito’s image and messages such as, “She touched the world,” were adorning the chain link fence across the street.
Her parents and step-parents carved tattoos in Gabby’s memory, including “Let It Be” and “Believe“, which Gabby designed, and she had these tattoos on her body.
Laundrie’s Parents Joined the Search
The parents of Brian Laundrie said they did not know where their son is and hoped the FBI would be able to locate him.
The Laundrie’s family attorney stated that the FBI is collecting “some personal items belonging to Brian (Laundrie) that will assist the canines in their search for Brian.”
Brian Laundrie’s sister, Cassie, also gave an interview in which she requested her brother to come forward and surrender. She said,
“I really wish he had come to me first that day with the van, because I don’t think we’d be here,” she said. “I worry about him. I hope he’s OK, and then I’m angry and I don’t know what to think.” further saying, “I would tell my brother to just come forward and get us out of this horrible mess.”
(Source: ABC News)
Brian Laundrie’s dad also joined the search for his son in order to help the police by telling Brian’s favourite locations for hiking.
Brian’s Family refused to speak directly to the public, but their family lawyer released a statement regarding this situation and said,
“Chris Laundrie is assisting Law Enforcement today in the search for Brian. Chris was asked to point out any favorite trails or spots that Brian may have used in the preserve. Although Chris and Roberta Laundrie provided this information verbally 3weeks ago it is now thought that on-site assistance may be better. The preserve has been closed to the public and the Laundries as well but the parents have been cooperating since the search began.”
(Source: ABC News)
Autopsy Report Of Gabby
On October 12, Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue announced the autopsy report. He confirmed that the body belonged to Gabby Patito, further claiming that the poor girl died of strangulation but denied disclosing further information saying,
“In the state of Wyoming, the autopsy results are not public knowledge.”
(Source: ABC News)
Till the date of the autopsy, the main suspect of the case, Brian, was missing, and it was the 29th day of his disappearance, decreasing his chances of survival.
Brian Remains Found
On October 20, the FBI claimed that they found human remains at a Florida preserve. They also said that a backpack and notebook belonged to Brian were also found near the remains confirming that the body belonged to Brian.
Officials of the FBI informed the public and said,
“Earlier today, investigators found what appeared to be human remains as well as personal items, such as a backpack and notebook belonging to Brian Laundrie. These items were found in an area that up until recently had been under water.”
(Source: ABC News)
Medical examination of the dead body confirmed that the body belonged to Brian.
The following statement was released by Brian’s attorney Steven Bertolino:
Chris and Roberta Laundrie have been informed that the remains found yesterday in the reserve are indeed Brian’s. We have no further comment at this time, and we ask that you respect the Laundrie’s privacy at this time.
Sarasota, Florida, Medical Examiner’s autopsy report confirmed that Brian Laundrie died as a result of a gunshot wound to the head which clearly showed that he committed suicide.
Before committing suicide, Brian wrote a note in his diary in which he accepted the death of Gabby, saying that he was responsible for killing 22 years old Gabby, but he didn’t mention any reason for his actions.
With the death of Brian, this case was considered close by the FBI, but this case left many questions in the minds of Gabby’s family and the public which needed to be answered.
Like this, many women in America are victims of domestic abuse, but very few of them are heard by their society.
In this whole situation, the victim is the real wrongdoer because he let the abuser take advantage of his silence.
And if you are a victim of abuse, please let your friends and family help you out because you need their support to end this mental torture.