GABBY Petito and her fiancé Brian Laundrie went on a cross-country road trip that turned into a missing person investigation when he returned home without her.
Gabby Petito was reported missing and her body was found in Wyoming in September, and Brian's remains were subsequently discovered in Florida in October.
Who is Gabby Petito's fiance Brian Laundrie?
Brian and his fiancé Gabby Petito went on a cross-country road trip onboard their white Ford Transit van that started in July.
Gabby, who told her family she was visiting a Wyoming national work on August 25, then went missing.
She was last seen on August 24 after leaving a Salt Lake City, Utah hotel.
Brian briefly returned home safely and hired an attorney but is not cooperating with the police.
The details of when he returned are unknown; the family says Brian is not speaking about what happened.
Detectives opened an investigation into the case of Gabby and police revealed he is now a "person of interest."
On Saturday, the North Port police department tweeted a photo of officers at Carlton Reserve, writing: "The North Port Police Department, FBI, and agency partners are currently conducting a search of the vast Carlton Reserve for Brian Laundrie.
"His family says they believe he entered the area earlier this week. More details when available."
While not much is known about Brian, he is known for being just as adventurous as his partner.
According to his Instagram bio, he is a "nature enthusiast," and his most recent pictures are from his cross-country travels.
His Instagram account also indicates that he is an artist as he has multiple pictures posted related to printmaking art.
On September 14, the Laundrie family issued a statement through their lawyer, saying: "This is an extremely difficult time for both the Petito family and the Laundrie family.
"I understand that a search has been organized for Miss Petito in or near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. On behalf of the Laundrie family it is our hope that the search for Miss Petito is successful and that Miss Petito is re-united with her family.
"On the advice of counsel the Laundrie family is remaining in the background at this juncture and will have no further comment."
On Thursday, September 23, the FBI issued a warrant for Brian's arrest, claiming he "used unauthorized debit cards after Gabby Petito’s death."
On October 12, 2021, Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue confirmed that Gabby's cause of death was due to strangulation.
She died as a result of homicide.
He added that Gabby's predicted death was three to four weeks before her body was found. The body was outside "in the wilderness" for this time.
On October 21, it was confirmed that the human remains found in the search for Brian Laundrie were bones.
Local media has claimed that "skeletal remains" were found near a backpack and notebook belonging to Laundrie in the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park.
The FBI confirmed on October 21 that the remains found on the trail are Laundrie's.
"On October 21, 2021, a comparison of dental records confirmed that the human remains found at the T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve and the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park are those of Brian Laundrie," the FBI said.
On November 23, 2021, it was confirmed that Brian Laundrie had died from a gunshot wound to the head. Police ruled his cause of death as a suicide.
Laundrie’s lawyer, Steven Bertolino released a statement that read:
"Chris and Roberta Laundrie have been informed that the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head and the manner of death was suicide.
"Chris and Roberta are still mourning the loss of their son and are hopeful that these findings bring closure to both families."
When did the family last hear from Gabby Petito?
Gabby, 22, last posted Instagram photos on August 25 and FaceTimed her mother a few days before.
Nicole Schmidt, Gabby's mother, revealed she received texts from her daughter’s phone until August 30, but she is unsure who actually sent the texts out.
'It was just a text. I did not verbally speak to her,' she said.
“I can't say much, but she's no longer with the van. I don't want to say anything more than that but for people looking for her, I want them to look for her now, not look for that van anymore.”
A GoFundMe page was created to “raise funds to aid the search” and has raised over $34,000.
The page indicated that Gabby was 5’5, has blonde hair, blue eyes, and a tattoo on her left arm with flowers and a "Let it be" tattoo.
Friends of Gabby were also vocal in her disappearance, begging Brian to cooperate in the investigation.
On September 19, 2021, it was announced that authorities in Wyoming have found a body in the area where the search for Gabby has been underway.
Shortly after news of the body was announced, the FBI and National Park Services announced they were set to make a statement regarding the search later that evening.
"BREAKING: Body found where Gabby Petito search is underway in Wyoming, no confirmation of identity – Fox News confirms," Fox News correspondent and anchor Jacqui Heinrich said in a tweet.
During a press conference at 6pm ET, authorities confirmed finding remains that match Gabby's identity.
Officials have informed Petito's family of their discovery and are still investigating the case.
Brian Laundrie timeline
Brian Laundrie has not been seen since the morning of September 13. Here is a timeline of Laundrie’s latest whereabouts:
- July 2021: Brian Laundrie and his fiancé Gabby Petito leave for a grip across the country. The couple visit numerous national parks across the way.
- August 12: Police in Utah respond to an incident involving the couple. The bodycam footage is not released for another month but it shows a visibly upset Gabby talking to police after reports of a domestic violence incident outside a grocery store.
- August 24: Gabby is seen leaving a hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah, with Laundrie.
- September 1: Laundrie returns to his home in North Port, Florida without Gabby.
- September 6: Laundrie joins his family on a camping trip about 75 miles from their home in North Port.
- September 11: Gabby's family reports her missing.
- September 13: Laundrie leaves home to go hiking in Carlton Reserve, Florida. His family had initially said he departed on September 14, but revised their timeline weeks later.
- September 15: Laundrie is named a person of interest in the case of Gabby.
- September 16: Bodycam footage is released regarding the incident between Gabby and Laundrie.
- September 19: The FBI announces a body found at a Wyoming national park is believed to be that of Gabby's.
- September 23: The FBI issued a warrant for Laundrie's arrest claiming he "used unauthorized debit cards after Gabby Petito's death."
- September 26: A funeral is held for Gabby in New York.
- September 27: Dog the Bounty Hunter announces he will lend a hand and help search for Laundrie.
- September 28: Gabby's family held an emotional press conference as the search for Laundrie continued.
- October 5: Laundrie's sister, Cassie, appeared on Good Morning America and urged her brother to come forward.
- October 7: Laundrie's father, Chris Laundrie, assisted law enforcement in the search to find his son.
- October 12: Gabby's autopsy results were made public. Teton County Coroner Dr Brent Blue confirmed Gabby died by strangulation.
- October 20: Laundrie's personal items were found near the Myakkahatchee Creek Park trail in Florida. The medical examiner was called to the scene to investigate.
- October 21: Reports stated the human remains found in the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park were bones.
- October 21: The FBI confirmed the remains found have been identified as Laundrie's.
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