Who is Brian Laundrie? Suspect in murder of Gabby Petito Explained


Who is Brian Laundrie? Suspect in murder of Gabby Petito Explained

An American woman named Gabby Petito was slain by her fiance, Brian Laundrie, in August 2021 as they were embarking on a cross-country van trip. The journey started on July 2, 2021, and Petito was supposed to be gone for four months; however, he vanished in late August. Due to the Petito couple’s social media activity, police body camera footage, 9-1-1 emergency dispatch call recordings, and eyewitness testimony, the story received widespread media attention.

The reason for the death of Gabby Petito has now been made public as this case enters a serious investigation. Here is a detailed look at this case’s full history. Let’s examine Who is Brian Laundrie and this case’s full history in more detail.

Who is Brian Laundrie?

Final report on the Gabby Petito case

TAMPA, Fla. – According to the FBI’s final report on the Gabby Petito case, Brian Laundrie admitted to killing her in a notebook that was discovered close to her remains.

According to the statement made Friday afternoon, the Petito family met with FBI agents in Tampa since the investigation would be finished “shortly.”

According to the agency’s timeline of the investigation, in addition to Brian Laundrie’s remains being located in the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, a bag, pistol, and notepad were also uncovered by detectives.

According to the FBI, “a study of the notebook showed written remarks by Mr. Laundrie claiming culpability for Ms. Petito’s death.”

According to FBI Denver Division Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider, “all reasonable investigation processes have been completed in this matter.” “The FBI’s major emphasis throughout the investigation was to bring justice to Gabby and her family. The investigation did not find any other individuals other than Brian Laundrie who were directly involved in the unfortunate death of Gabby Petito.”

The statement was made four months after Petito’s daughter was killed, one day after the family had traveled back to Florida to speak with the FBI.

On Thursday, an attorney representing Brian Laundrie’s parents told Fox News Digital that the Laundries and the Petitos have reached an agreement about how the couple’s property will be split once released by law enforcement.

Gabby Petito’s cause of death – Strangulation

On October 12, 2021, a medical examiner declared at a press conference that Petito had been strangled. More than three weeks after her death was discovered in Grand Teton National Park, the complete autopsy results were released.

According to Wyoming state law, Teton County Coroner Brent Blue was unable to release many details of the autopsy and refuses to say whether Petito was personally strangled or whether an object was used. He did, however, confirm that she had been dead for three to four weeks. Additionally, he stated that Petito was not carrying a baby at the time of her death.

After it was revealed that Petito had been strangled to death, the young woman’s friends shared their thoughts with PEOPLE.

“It makes me sick to my stomach,” Alyssa Chen said. “I wonder what was going through her mind, knowing she was probably about to die. She must have been so scared.”

Chen added: “Whoever did this, whether it’s Brian or someone else, needs to pay for what they did. She didn’t deserve to die that way.”

“If Brian strangled her, I hope he burns in hell,” said Ben Matula, who was friends with the couple. “That’s all I have to say.”

Also after the coroner’s announcement, Laundrie’s lawyer, Steven Bertolino, referred to Petito’s death “at such a young age” as a “tragedy.”

Petito’s mom, Nicole Schmidt, responded to Bertolino’s statement in a text to WFLA, saying, “His words are garbage. Keep talking.”

Family Petito issues a statement

The family of Gabby Petito expressed their gratitude to law authorities for their work in looking into their daughter’s disappearance and murder shortly after the FBI made its announcement.

Through Richard B. Stafford, the family’s lawyer, the family wrote:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, particularly Wyoming, Denver, New York, and Tampa offices, as well as all of the task force members and supporting organizations, are gratefully acknowledged by Gabby’s family.

The FBI’s Victim Services Division has helped Gabby’s family tremendously, and they would want to express their gratitude.

Victim Services has been there for support throughout this inquiry, guiding the family through some of the most trying times.

We really appreciate the FBI’s meticulous and careful work on this incredibly challenging case. There is no question that Brian Laundrie murdered Gabby based on the calibre and volume of facts and information gathered by the FBI.




The disappearance of Gabby Petito: Timeline

After first traveling from Florida by car to New York, Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie began their adventure in July to be in Oregon by Halloween. They said this on their social media sites. The West Coast and western national parks were to be visited as part of their itinerary.

In a later YouTube video, the couple explained that they had “both decided we wanted to reduce our lives and travel full time” during another cross-country journey.

2021 – June to July

The couple starts their cross-country journey by traveling by car, first from Florida to New York and then to the West Coast and national parks in the west.

They were driving in Petito’s modified camper van, a white 2012 Ford Transit with a Florida license plate, and they were on YouTube- and other social media documenting their adventure.

July 2021

The couple updated their Instagram accounts frequently with information on their travels. On July 10, Petito posted a picture of herself in southern Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.

She posted another collection of images from Zion National Park in southwest Utah on July 16. She wrote, in part, “The past two nights camping in Zion have been incredibly cool, literally.” On July 26, Petito posted a different image of herself relaxing in an outdoor bathtub at Utah’s Mystic Hot Springs.

12th August

The two got into some sort of conflict close to Moab, Utah. Local police were summoned after a witness reported that there might have been domestic violence between the two.

Responding officers pulled over the van and interacted with the pair for more than an hour, according to the police report and body camera video that was eventually made public.

Laundrie remained in front of their camper van while Petito, who was visibly upset, sat in the back of a patrol car parked at the side of the road. Officers finally concluded that there were no offenses that could be charged even though the report and video appear to suggest possible mental health issues and tension between the two. To stop an escalation, they also took action to separate the two for the evening.

On Instagram the same day, Petito shares images of the nearby Arches National Park in Moab, Utah. She partially stated in the caption, “We chose to take the way less frequented on the opposite side of the arch.

19th- August

The couple’s travels in their modified camper van are shown in a video named “VAN LIFE | Beginning Our Van Life Journey” that was posted on YouTube on August 19.

The 8-minute film, which can be found on their “Nomadic Statik” YouTube page, features the duo at various locales along the California coast, traveling through Utah’s salt flats, tent camping, and dinner preparation in their camper van.

24th- August

Petito ceased speaking with her family regularly toward the end of August. According to reports, Petito was last seen when she checked out of the Fairfield Inn and Suites in Salt Lake City on August 24.

Around the time that Petito and Laundrie were thought to have departed Utah for Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park, her mother claimed to have last spoken to her daughter on Facetime.

25th- August

Petito’s mother, Nicole Schmidt, gives her daughter one final phone call. Before traveling to Yellowstone, according to Petito, they made a stop in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park.

Schmidt later admitted to FOX News, “I don’t know whether she left Grand Teton or not. I didn’t speak to her verbally, but I did receive texts from her on the 27th and the 30th, so I’m not sure if they were from her or not.

On August 25, Petito also posts her final Instagram message, which includes multiple images of her in front of a mural wall.

27th- August

According to a later filed and made public search request, Schmidt receives a text message from Petito’s phone that reads: “Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls.” This is described as a “strange text” later on.

According to the state search warrant, “the mother was concerned that something was amiss with her daughter. The reference to ‘Stan’ was about her grandfather, but per the mother, she never calls him ‘Stan.’ The mother had discussed developing tension between the two on the trip.”

Sept. 1

With the van, Laundrie travels by herself to North Port, Florida. He goes back to the house he shared with Petito’s parents and his parents.

Sept. 14

Through their lawyer, the Laundrie family releases the following statement: Understandably, both the Petito family and the Laundrie family are going through a very trying moment right now. As far as we know, Miss Petito is being searched for in or around Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park. The Laundrie family is wishing for Miss Petito’s safe return to her family as well as the success of the hunt for her.

The Laundrie family will not make any additional comments at this time, per the counsel’s recommendation.” According to North Port police, the converted camper van is also processed by the FBI.

Sept. 15

The “person of interest” in the case is Brian Laundrie. According to North Port police, “Brian has not yet made himself accessible to be interviewed by investigators or has supplied any helpful details.” The family of Petito issues the following statement via their attorney: The Schmidt and Petito family’s quest for Gabby is ongoing, and they are growing more frantic by the day. While Brian remains in the luxury of his house, they are desperately looking for clues and details about his daughter’s disappearance.

While we look for Gabby in the wilds of the Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks, Brian says he wants to observe. While he relaxes in the security of his house, Brian abandoned Gabby to spend time in the wilderness among wolves and grizzly bears. Brian, how could you treat Gabby like this? You keep quiet out of self-interest while Gabby wanders the forest by herself.

Brian, you should not remain silent. Please help us bring Gabby home by doing what is right. Brian, whatever occurred in Wyoming occurred. You only have power over the present moment. Inform us of Gabby’s location. Your silence impugns your love for her. Jim Schmidt, Petito’s stepfather, also makes the trip to Jackson, Wyoming, from New York to assist with the search.


Sept. 16

Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks both post on social media about Petito’s disappearance at the same time that the body camera footage from the couple’s interaction with Utah police is made public. In an email to FOX 13 News, Laundrie’s attorney refused to comment on the video.

The inquiry is still being treated as a missing person case, not a murder probe, according to authorities, who also note that no extensive searches have started because it’s not apparent where they might look.

North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison stated that they were still attempting to define specific geographical locations. We are examining a lot of material, but our main goal is to locate Gabby.

A lawyer for Petito’s parents and stepparents reads a letter they wrote to the Laundrie family’s parents during a separate press conference. They want Christopher and Roberta Laundrie to inform the authorities of what they know of the final meeting between their son and Petito.

The message says, “We haven’t been able to sleep or eat, and our lives are falling apart. We are writing this letter to urge you to help find our lovely daughter. We understand you are having a hard time, and your instinct to protect your son is strong. We ask you to put yourselves in our shoes. “As a parent, how could you let us go through this misery and not help us? As a parent, how could you put Gabby’s younger brothers and sisters through this?” they said. “We believe you know the area where Brian left Gabby. We ask you to tell us.”

The father of Petito travels to North Port to appeal to the locals to continue seeking his daughter. On the evening of September 16, protesters stand outside the Laundrie residence with banners that read, “Bring Gabby home,” “Truth always comes out #JusticeForGabby,” and “Would she bring you home?” We’re a huge family in our community, North Port, and we’re standing up for someone who’s lost there. We’ll do whatever we can to help the family recover this missing daughter, one demonstrator tells FOX News. We’ll do whatever it takes because we all have kids, and if it were our kid, we’d want everyone to come together and help us find our kid too.

In the meantime, the Grand County Sheriff’s Office in Utah claims it is “actively looking into any connection” between Petito’s disappearance, which is subsequently found to be unrelated, and a double homicide of newlyweds at a campground outside Moab in August. The newlyweds, Crystal Turner, 38, and Kylen Schulte, 24, were discovered shot to death on August 18 at a campground southeast of Moab. Schulte was employed by the Moonflower Community Cooperative in Moab, where Petito and Laundrie had a dispute on August 12 that resulted in the bodycam-recorded police response.

Sept. 17

Police claim to be conducting their investigation around the clock and to have some fresh leads.

According to North Port police spokesperson Josh Taylor earlier in the day, “Of course, the frustration remains with one of the two people that went on this trip that we know is right back here in this community.” He also said that investigators would keep requesting Brian and the Laundrie family’s cooperation. That entire story is subject to alter at any time, according to Taylor.
“Brian may go right through these doors and we will ask him, ‘What the heck has happened here?’ in a thorough, professional manner.”

Police speak with the Laundrie family “at their request” that evening on September 17, but they still don’t talk with Brian. A group of demonstrators with placards and chants congregate outside the house in response to the police presence.

9 p.m. According to ET, the Laundrie family’s attorney, Brian Laundrie’s whereabouts are unknown, and his parents haven’t seen him since Tuesday. According to FOX 13 Tampa Bay reporter Evan Axelbank, FBI agents remove items from the house to find him.

Additionally, the double homicide of two honeymooners at a campground north of Moab last month and Petito’s abduction have been categorically ruled out by authorities in Utah.

Sept. 18

Police look for Laundrie in a sizable Florida wildlife reserve after hearing from his family that they think he entered the area earlier in the week. 

The 24,000-acre Carlton Reserve in the Sarasota, Florida area of the Gulf Coast is being searched with the assistance of more than 50 North Port police officers, FBI agents, and representatives of other law enforcement agencies.

In the reserve, which includes more than 100 miles of trails and campgrounds, law enforcement officers deploy drones, scent-sniffing dogs, and all-terrain vehicles. Later that evening, the search is suspended. North Port police posted on Twitter, “Our search of the Carlton is being discontinued this evening due to darkness. Nothing found. Efforts will begin again Sunday morning.”

The National Park Service and local law enforcement are assisting the FBI field office in Denver’s claim that investigators are doing ground surveys in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park to look for clues to Petito’s disappearance.

Sept. 19

On August 27, a video posted on YouTube purports to show Petito’s white van in the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area in Grand Teton National Park. 

Additionally, the FBI releases a request for anyone in that region between August 27 and August 30 to contact them if they think they may have come into touch with Petito or Laundrie. The FBI reports that a body has been discovered by police officers who were scouring camping areas around Spread Creek in the evening. It is not known exactly where or how the body was discovered.

According to FBI Supervisory Special Agent Charles Jones, the cause of the death has not yet been established. “Full forensic identification has not been finished to establish 100% that we recovered Gabby,” Jones told reporters. “But her family has been alerted.” For (Petito’s) family and friends, this is a trying moment.

After the announcement, Gabby’s family requests time to mourn. In a statement, their attorney thanks the agencies in Wyoming, Florida, and New York that worked on the case, saying, “The family and I are forever grateful for your persistent effort and commitment in helping restore Gabby home to her parents.”

Separately, throughout the day, more than 50 law enforcement personnel in Florida continue their hunt for Laundrie at the more than 24,000-acre Carlton Reserve. In a statement, North Port police say they are devastated to hear of the discovery of the body and that they will keep looking for answers.

Sept. 20

According to the FBI, officers spend hours at the Laundrie residence in North Port, Florida, carrying out a “court-authorized search warrant” associated with Petito’s disappearance.

Before removing Chris and Roberta Laundrie from their home and putting them in a vehicle on their lawn, agents twice announce a “search warrant,” news channel reports from the scene. A minute before the FBI arrives, police also close off the area and empty the street, warning people that they are at a crime scene.

According to online reports, the Laundrie family’s attorney had scheduled a news appearance for September 21 but then changed his mind after speaking with the FBI. The conversation’s specifics are kept private.

The North Port Police Department also declares that after “exhausting all avenues in scouring of the grounds there,” there will be no more “extensive search” at Carlton Reserve for Laundrie.

The news channel obtained the 911 call from a witness in Utah about a “domestic altercation” involving Petito and Laundrie, which finally led to the police response on August 12 that is depicted in the bodycam footage. The caller can be heard complaining that “the gentleman was slapping the girl” to the operator.

The dispatcher may be heard questioning, “He was slapping her?” The caller said, “Yes, and then we stopped. They rushed up and down the sidewalk. He then hit her and they drove off.
Sept. 2. According to the Denver Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the coroner has confirmed that the remains found in Wyoming belong to Petito and that his “first determination” of how she died is homicide.

The remains have been identified as those of Gabrielle Venora Petito, who was born on March 19, 1999, according to Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue, according to a tweet from the FBI. The neighbor next door to the Laundrie family in North Port, Florida is upset by the preliminary autopsy results. Neighbor Charlene Guthrie tells FOX News Digital, “I’m pretty furious now because… [the Laundries] should have stepped forward now.” “I mean, I just… can’t believe they didn’t do something,” the speaker said. “I’m so angry now that they… let this go. And that everything was so natural and they remained so normal during the whole process, you know, while they were here, till he went on the run.”

After taking a brief break from the “massive search” the day before, North Port police report that the search for Laundrie in Carlton Reserve is starting up again, with a focus on the Venice side of the 25,000-acre park.

Sept. 26 – funeral for Petito

The funeral for Petito is held in Holbrook, New York, drawing mourners from all walks of life to the Maloney Funeral Home to pay their respects.

Along with Jim Schmidt, Petito’s stepfather, Joseph Petito addresses the crowd and implores them not to be “sad.” He claims, “Gabby did not live that way. Schmidt urges mourners to “enjoy every moment in this beautiful world” as he remembers Petito as someone who loved life and set an example for “all of us to live by.”

An empty urn is used for the service as Petito’s body had not yet been given to her family by the FBI. Authorities are still looking for Laundrie in Florida, thousands of miles to the south.

What happened to Brian Laundrie?

Chris and Roberta, Laundrie’s parents, visit the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in Florida. Some of Laundrie’s possessions are discovered following a quick search off of a route that he was known to frequent. Steven Bertolino, an attorney for the Laundrie family, subsequently affirms this.

The Laundries and a law enforcement officer can be seen discussing and huddling in a video FOX News Digital received. The officer appears to be showing the couple an unidentified discovery. I think we might have uncovered something, the officer seems to say to the parents.

Later, a coroner shows up in the park. The Sarasota County Medical Examiner’s Office was contacted, a spokeswoman for the office says, but she declines to elaborate.

After being briefly reopened to the public the day before, the park is now once more closed to visitors. Later, authorities confirmed they had discovered Laundrie’s bag and notebook at the park. According to them, the things had been submerged before they were discovered.

Authorities claim to have discovered human remains as well, however they haven’t yet identified them because processing the potential evidence might take days.


Confession to Killing Gabby Petito Found in Brian Laundrie’s Notebook: “I Ended Her Life”

Brian laundrie


A notebook found beside Brian Laundrie’s death that contained Laundrie’s admission to killing Petito was made public by the family’s counsel for Brian in June 2022.

Laundrie wrote, “I ended her life,” in the journal, which was discovered in October 2021, following his suicide.

According to Laundrie, “I felt it was merciful, that it was what she wanted, but I recognize now all the mistakes I did.” I was terrified and in shock, but I realized I couldn’t continue without her the instant I decided to end her suffering.

Laundrie refers to Petito’s passing as an “unexpected catastrophe” in the diary, which lawyer Steven Bertolino gave to PEOPLE.

Laundrie said Petito had a “little lump on her forehead that later got larger” and other injuries, and that she was “begging for an end to her misery.” He said Petito was hurt while the couple hurried back to their car before it got too dark to see.

Patrick Reilly, an attorney for the Petito family, told PEOPLE that Laundrie’s claim that the murder was merciful and the result of a “tragic accident” is “nonsense.”

The case is closed after Laundrie’s identification by the FBI.

On January 21, 2022, the FBI disclosed that a notebook discovered close to Laundrie’s remains had a written confession in which Laundrie admitted guilt for the murder of his fiancée.

According to FBI Denver Division Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider, “all rational investigation processes have been completed in this case.” Other than Brian Laundrie, who was personally involved in Gabby Petito’s unfortunate death, no other people were found to be implicated, according to the investigation.

Laundrie was identified by officials as the lone person associated with Petito’s killing, bringing an end to the months-long investigation that gripped the nation.



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