• Sarine Kaprielian

The Case of Gabby Petito & Brian Laundrie

Brian Laundrie, who was a person of interest in the murder of his fiancé Gabby Petito, had been missing since September 17th, and all of America wanted to see him found. Laundrie and Petito looked like a normal couple road-tripping across America. Red flags were raised when Brian returned to his home in Florida on September 1st without Gabby. On September 11th, Gabby was officially reported missing because her parents were unable to get in touch with her. Sadly, after a week of searching and hoping that Gabby was alive, on September 19th, Petito's remains were found in Wyoming's Bridger-Teton National Forest.

Recently, the coroner ruled her death a homicide and determined that she died by strangulation. The coroner also said that she was dead 3-4 weeks before she was found. Strangely, days after Brian came home without Gabby, he and his family went to Fort De Soto Campground from September 6th-8th. If he was innocent, it seems unlikely he would have been camping with his family; he would be calling the police for help. Laundrie’s parents said he went on a hike on the 13th, but did not report him missing until the 17th, which some say was intentional, giving Brian the chance to escape.

What happened to Gabby was truly tragic, especially considering her parents thought Brian was a nice guy who was going to protect their daughter and keep her safe. According to the coroner, there were signs of domestic abuse during the autopsy. After her disappearance, body cam footage of Gabby and Brian talking to police about her problems, and police arguably failing to consider Gabby’s well-being, went viral online. This happened on August 12th, after someone called the police claiming to have seen a man slap a woman during an argument. There were warning signs that weren’t considered until it was too late.

The search for Brian Laundire remained for nearly a month. The FBI were searching for him, the public, and even Dog the Bounty Hunter was searching for Brian, picking up on campsites where Brian could have been. There were also ex-military, ex-FBI, and an enormous amount of volunteers joining the search. Officials have checked the family camper, his parents’ house, his sister’s house, and the preserves where he was assumed to have gone camping. Brian is an outdoorsy guy; he is most comfortable when he is outdoors camping and in the wilderness. Considering this, the FBI were searching through all the wilderness around his area because that is where he is most likely to be.

Officials taped off the Carlton Reserve and searched for Laundrie. Although it seemed like it would take quite a long time to find Laundrie, considering the Carlton Reserve spans about 25,000 acres, it didn’t take long before something was uncovered. The day that Brian’s parents join the search, human remains and a dry bag of Brian’s containing a notebook were found. This seems, to most, very odd and convenient to have happened because for one month nothing of significance was found; suddenly, the moment the parents became involved, a bag with human remains was discovered. According to a CNN article, the remains were found "about 2 to 3 miles inside the Carlton Reserve, or about a 45-minute walk" from the entrance at Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park'' and were found by Chris Laundrie, Brian’s father. For the days following this finding, the public was eager to know whether the remains were Laundrie’s and according to an FBI office in Denver, dental records matched Brian Laundrie with the remains. However, the cause of death is still inconclusive.

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