On the first anniversary of Gabby Petito’s body being found in a national park, several questions remain unanswered by her harrowing murder case.
Gabby’s disappearance and death gripped the nation as the hunt for her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, intensified after he was named a person of interest in the case.
However, remains were found during a search for Laundrie and later identified as his.
On November 3, 2021, coroners confirmed that Laundrie’s cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head.
An FBI investigation into Gabby’s death was launched earlier this year, however a statement was issued in late January revealing it would be closed in the near future.
“All logical investigative steps have been completed in this case,” said FBI Denver Division Special Agent Michael Schneider.
Schneider added that the inquest did not identify anyone other than Laundrie as being involved in Gabby’s death.
“The FBI’s primary focus during the investigation was getting justice done for Gabby and her family,” he said.
CIRCUMSTANCES OF BOTH DEATHS
While it is common knowledge that Laundrie’s remains and personal belongings were found at Carlton Reserve in Florida on October 20, the date of his suicide is unknown.
He was first reported missing on September 17 – days after he reportedly told his parents he was going hiking on the snake-infested Carlton Reservation.
Days later, Gabby was found strangled to death, but the exact circumstances of their deaths remain.
The pair were last seen together at a Wyoming restaurant, where staff said there had been a dispute over them paying the bill.
It came just days after they were pulled over by police officers in Moab, Utah, after a witness said Laundrie had punched Gabby in the street on August 12.
In bodycam footage, Laundrie is heard saying he didn’t have money to spend the night in a motel when police asked the couple to split.
HOW WERE THE LAUNDRY REMAINS MISSING?
Police searched the Carlton Reservation for over a month but did not find Laundrie’s remains until they enlisted the help of his parents, Roberta and Chris Laundrie.
Shortly after the Laundries began searching the reserve, her son’s remains were discovered.
Officials were then pictured with a bag showing what appeared to be a notebook among Laundrie’s belongings.
Chris and Roberta were seen moving in and out of areas of the brush before parting ways for about 12 minutes as Chris led two men into the brush on the left side of a trail.
Cops searched this country for 33 days before his remains were found.
WHAT DID LAUNDRIE TELL HIS PARENTS?
Brian’s parents initially gave police the wrong date of their son’s disappearance.
The family attorney revealed that the laundries had given investigators the wrong date for his alleged disappearance on the Carlton Reservation in September.
Brian “left to hike the reservation” on Monday, September 13, rather than Tuesday, September 14 as originally communicated, her attorney revealed, prompting a flurry of Reddit speculation.
Steven Bertolino, the Laundrie family attorney, wrote in a text reply to WFLA’s Josh Benson in Florida, “The laundries based the date Brian left on their memories of specific events.”
It’s also not known why the laundries “didn’t return” messages from Gabby’s mother when she was desperate to find her daughter.
Nichole Schmidt says she tried to communicate with Chris and Roberta Laundrie after losing contact with Gabby in late August.
Gabby last spoke to her family on August 25 as she and her fiancé reached Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
Parents accused of laundry?
Neama Rahmani, a former US Assistant Attorney and current President of West Coast Trial Lawyers, told The US Sun that the Laundrie family’s legal woes could only get worse.
According to Rahmani, should the Laundrie family choose to defend themselves against the material claims in the Petitos’ civil lawsuit, any evidence presented in that civil lawsuit could be used to pursue criminal proceedings against them.
“If it turns out that the laundries knew their son killed Gabby and they withheld that information to help him escape and give him a head start on prosecution, then in hindsight that would make them an accomplice in the crime.” murder,” Rahmani explained.
“And that’s a crime that carries up to 30 years in prison.
“There is certainly evidence leading to the conclusion that they knew their son killed Gabby and then gave them a head start – and that is the basis for the charges,” Rahmani added.
“So now they’re caught in a really bad situation.”
Bertolino has repeatedly called the Petitos’ allegations “unfounded”.
“A motion to dismiss Gabby Petito’s parents’ baseless and frivolous lawsuit has been filed in court,” Bertolino said.
“The laundries have exercised their constitutional right not to speak and have relied on counsel to speak for them. This is not only common practice in our civilized society, but embodies the exercise of fundamental rights under the United States and Florida Constitutions.”
He continued: “Laundries’ rights are inalienable and laundries can never be held liable for the legitimate exercise of their legal rights.
“I and my colleagues at Trombley & Hanes, who are representing Chris and Roberta Laundrie in this matter, remain confident that the constitutional rights of all citizens of this country will be protected by the dismissal of this lawsuit.”
WHAT IS GABBY GOING THROUGH?
Joe Petito and Nichole Schmidt hosted an audio chat on Twitter Spaces reflecting on Gabby’s life, which was tragically cut short by her fiancé Brian Laundrie when he strangled her to death.
The former couple often work together to honor Gabby’s life by raising awareness of domestic violence.
“Nobody had any idea what she was going through,” Nichole said on Twitter Sunday night.
Joe added that there are signs of domestic violence that are easy to spot, citing the police stop at Gabby and Brian’s domestic violence which was captured on a body cam.
Gabby’s family has since filed a $50 million lawsuit against the Moab City Police Department, accusing their officers of “failing to protect” the Van Life blogger weeks before her murder.
However, during the Twitter Spaces meeting, Joe encouraged viewers to use the bodycam footage as a domestic violence detection tool.
“Use this video as a study aid,” the father said online.
“So we can get better. There is a perfect example right there. We can do better and we should do it.
“Letting people know they’re not alone and that might help them get through it. That’s the most important.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6258326/unanswered-questions-gabby-petito-brian-laundrie-murder-case/ Five Unanswered Questions in Gabby Petito’s Murder Case on the First Anniversary of Her Body Found in Wyoming National Park