The Gabby Petito Case


Gabby Petito’s body found in Bridger Tenton Nation Park, Wyoming

Casey Cavanaugh, Staff Writer

Gabby Petito’s remains were positively identified September 21. The autopsy, which was performed by Wyoming coroner Dr. Brent Blue, confirmed the cause of death was homicide. Petito’s boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, is a person of interest in her case. 

Petito and Laundrie planned to travel in Petito’s white Ford van to several national parks in the western United States. Petito was active consistently on social media throughout the trip, however, around August, communication suddenly ended.

In Moab Utah, August 12, a call was made to 911 saying there was a “gentleman slapping the girl.”

Police arrived at the scene to find Laundrie and Petito, describing them as having “engaged in some sort of altercation.”

Body camera footage shows Petito talking to the officers in a “confused and emotional state,” unable to “stop crying, breathing heavily, or compose a sentence without having to wipe away tears, wipe her nose, or rub her knees with her hands,” one of the police officers said.

“I do not believe the situation escalated to a level of domestic assault as much as that of a mental health crisis,” an officer said.

The police separated the couple, placing Laundrie in a hotel and allowing Petito to keep the van for the night. Neither Laundrie nor Petito wished to press charges. 

“No one reported that the male struck the female- both the male and the female reported they are in love and engaged to be married and don’t wish to see anyone charged with a crime,” police said.

 On August 17, Laundrie flew to his home in Tampa, Florida, from Salt Lake City, according to Steven Bertolino, the Laundrie family attorney.

Laundrie “flew home to obtain some items and empty and close the storage unit to save money as they contemplated extending the trip,” Bertolino told CNN.

Little detail has been released on the happenings of August 27, however a couple leaving The Merry Piglets Tex-Mex restaurant in Jackson, Wyoming, said they saw a “commotion” between Petito and Laundrie. The manager of the restaurant also said she witnessed an “incident” at the restaurant with Petito and Laundrie.

There is no footage of the incident, however the restaurant says the couple was there on Aug. 27. 

“Yes, we can confirm Gabby and Brian were in Merry Piglets… We have already notified the FBI and they are aware,” the restaurant said in an Instagram post.

“Petito was last in contact with her family the last week of August,” North Port Police department said via Facebook.

 On August 24, Petito Facetimed with her mother to tell her she is leaving Utah and heading to the Teton range in Wyoming. On August 25, there were multiple texts between Petito and her mother. At this point Petito’s family believes she was in the Tetons. Additional text messages were exchanged between Petito and her mother, which her family believes were also sent while in the Tetons. The last text from Petito’s phone to anyone in her family was sent on August 30. The message read “No service in Yosemite,” which her family doubts was written by Petito.

On September 1, Laundrie returned to the home of Petito and Laundrie. Laundrie’s parents also live in this house. According to a license plate reader, the vehicle left Interstate 75 into North Port at 10:26 a.m. ET.

“There was some material in there,” North Port Police say about the van after being recovered and processed. 

The Laundrie family went to a campground about 75 miles away from their home from September 6 to September 7 and left together. 

Petito was reported missing September 11 after having no contact with her since late August.

Currently, there is a bounty hunter on the case most commonly known as Dog the Bounty Hunter. Nobody has been charged for the murder of Gabby Petito at this time. 

“We had a very good lead come up today that he was down here in this park not very far away,” Dog said. “We checked our lead out and it was confirmed. Three people came in on the sixth and two people left on the eighth. I think he’s been here for sure.”

There have been no significant updates as of recent to finding Laundrie, or who exactly murdered Gabby Petito as of recent.