On September 11 2021, Gabby Petito’s family reported her missing after not hearing from her for 11 days.
Gabby and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, had been on a cross-country road trip, which started in Blue Point, New York and was supposed to end in October in Oregon. The couple, originally from Blue Point, Long Island, New York, had been living in North Port, Florida for two years and had recently been engaged.
The last time the family has spoken with Gabby was on August 21, 2021, when the couple had experienced a power outage where they were staying. Her father stated he placed an Uber Eats order for them, “I know it was in Salt Lake City. It was the last time I spoke to her.” Gabby’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, last spoke to her daughter on August 24, 2021; they face timed each other, which they did about three times a week. Nichole stated she continued to receive text messages from Gabby’s phone but could not be sure they were really from her.
Laundire returned to Florida and hired an attorney. He is not cooperating with Gabby’s family or law enforcement. “Brian is refusing to tell Gabby’s family where he last saw her. Brian is also refusing to explain why he left Gabby all alone and drove her van to Florida,” attorney Richard Stafford stated, who is representing Gabby and her family.
Police have recovered the van in Florida and they are treating it as evidence.
Police are actively investigating and searching for Gabby; the FBI has been brought in to help. The North Port Police in Florida have announced that Laundrie is a person of interest but “has no information a crime took place”.
There is a document filed with the Moab Police Department on August 12, 2021, that describes an incident between the couple, and lists Gabby as the suspect and Laundrie as the Victim. The document states police were called for what seemed to be a domestic violence situation, where the witness thought they saw a male assault a female. The police located the van and identified the couple to be Gabby and Laundrie. The document states an argument occurred and Laundrie tried to “create a distance by telling Gabby to go take a walk to calm down, she didn’t want to be separated from the male, and began slapping him. He grabber her face and pushed her back as she pressed upon him and the van, and tried to lock her out, and succeeded, expect for his driver’s door, she open that and forced her way over him and into the vehicle before it drove off.” You can read the document in its entirety below.
Police have released the body footage of their encounter with Gabby prior to her disappearance.
On September 19, 2021 a body was found during a search, and has been confirmed to be Gabby, though not 100%. Her family has been notified.
The cause of death is homicide by manual strangulation.
On October 21, 2021 the FBI confirmed they have located the remains of Brian Laundrie.