Disappearing Act Turned Horrific: The Gabby Petito Homicide Case

Gabby Petito Homicide Case

Gabby’ Petito disappearing case has shocked us all and sparked sleuth’s curiosity.

Find out how the curious case of an influencer Gabby Petito rattled the internet and why “Gabby Petito” is trending on social media.

Every year, the authorities in the United States receive hundreds of thousands of missing person complaints. A single instance seldom catches public attention and spurs people as much as Gabrielle Petito’s sudden disappearance did, yet that’s exactly what happened in this case.

Gabby Petito

Since she went missing, Petito’s case has become such a highlighted issue, leading digital investigators to pore into the couple’s online activity in an attempt to unravel the mystery.

The disappearance of a 22-year-old woman drew global attention, as a result of amateur detectives’ online probing.

Lovebirds Since Infancy

Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie met as children on Long Island in New York City. They went to high school together.

Afterward, his parents made the decision to move to North Port, Florida, which is a small town south of Sarasota. According to Petito’s and Laundrie’s Instagram profiles, they started dating in March 2019 and were engaged in July 2020.

The pair started a ‘Nomadic Static’ YouTube channel in November 2013, however, it only has one video, which was uploaded on August 19th, 2021.

Highlights of The Case

On September 11, influencer Gabby Petito went missing following a long road trip across the desert along with her boyfriend Laundrie, whereas he had already returned to their Florida home alone.

A preliminary investigation and autopsy have shown Petito’s death was a homicide, authorities have verified that the human remains found in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest on Sunday matching Ms. Petito’s description.

Special agent in charge Michael Schneider stated, “The FBI and our partners remain dedicated to ensuring that anyone responsible for or complicit in Ms Petito’s death is held accountable for their actions”.

According to reports, Petito’s parents pleaded with the Laundrie family to turn over any information they had about Gabby to the police. Whereas, Brian Laundrie, a 23 years old guy whose girlfriend Gabby is missing, has already refused to disclose where he had last seen a 22 years old influencer, Gabby Petito to the authorities.

Although, the FBI was unable to find Laundrie on Friday, September 17th and right now, no one knows where he is. Meanwhile, the FBI and Florida authorities are investigating Laundrie’s residence as a crime scene and carried out a search warrant on Monday, September 20.

What Happened After Gabby Petito Went Missing? Here’s a Timeline of Ms. Petito’s Disappearance

Summer of 2021: June-July

Petito and his fiancé Brian Laundrie departed New York in a white 2012 Ford Transit Connect Van. To begin their journey, the pair drives from Florida to New York, and then onto the West Coast, where they visit national parks along the way. Later, arrived to Monument Rocks in western Kansas on July 4 as their first significant stop.

It was planned to be a four-month cross-country journey with stops at national parks and camping in national forests for the couple, according to Ms. Petito’s stepfather, Jim Schmidt.

In July, the pair updates their Instagram profiles with frequent pictures and videos from their trip.

The 12th of August

After she shared the photo in Moab, the police of Utah, responded to a report of a “domestic disturbance” when Mr. Laundrie and Ms. Petito got into “some sort of argument,” as per a police report. Outside of Arches National Park in Moab, Utah, police were called to a dispute between Petito and Laundrie.

Petito, captured on a bodycam video, was in tears, explaining that she and her partner had been arguing. While being pursued by the police, Laundrie said she struck him with her phone and seized the steering wheel of the van to force him to pull over.

According to the 911 call audio provided by authorities, a caller reported seeing Laundrie slapping and hitting Petito and informed emergency dispatchers so.

As a result of the investigation’s findings, no charges have been brought against Petito or Laundrie.

August 19th

The duo uploaded an eight-minute video to YouTube called “Van Life: Beginning Our Van Life Journey.”

August 25th

As per her Instagram account, Petito’s last post was uploaded from Utah. Her mother, Nicole Schmidt told her daughter contacted her from Grand Teton National Park and that it was her last call to her family before she left for Yellowstone.

August 30th

Her daughter texted, “No signal in Yosemite,” said she was at Yosemite National Park in northern California, Schmidt said.

September 1st

According to police, Laundrie drove back to North Port, Fla., where he and his girlfriend had been staying with his parents. He reached there all alone in the white Ford van the pair had been travelling in, which was registered to Ms. Petito.

A license plate reader reveals the car left Interstate 75 in North Port at 10:26 a.m. ET, according to the affidavit.

September 11th

Petito’s mother, Nicole Schmidt in New York, unable to contact her, finally calls the Suffolk County Police Department to report her missing at 6:55 p.m. approx.

September 13th

An emotional press conference by Petito’s mother and stepfather begs for support in finding the 22-year-old.

“At least three times a week, we would FaceTime, call, text — frequently. She kept me updated on this whole trip.” That’s what crying mother Schmidt told the media.

September 15th

North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison sent a tweet to Mr. Laundrie’s lawyer, Steven Bertolino, requesting him to set up a meeting with Mr. Laundrie. Mr. Bertolino said that he had warned Mr. Laundrie not to talk to the authorities.

Mr. Laundrie was characterised as a “person of interest” by the police since he was the last person seen around Ms. Petito before she went missing.

One Odd Text Raised Concerns

According to the affidavit, Petito’s mother got one final text message from her daughter on August 27.

“Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls,” the message read. According to the warrant, Petito’s mother became concerned when she received a text message that addressed her grandfather as Stan.

Petito’s phone stopped working after that text message, according to the warrant, and she ceased sharing anything about their vacation to social media.

Gabby’s Father Made a Public Plea

Ms. Petito’s father, Joseph Petito made a public appearance in North Port to beg the locals to keep searching for his daughter. During the press conference, Ms. Petito’s parents made a public appeal to Laundrie’s parents on the evening of September 16.

The protesters carried placards reading “Bring Gabby home,” “Truth always comes out #JusticeForGabby,” and “Would she bring you home?” outside the Laundrie home.

Human Remains Were Found

A body matching the description of Ms. Petito was found in Teton County, Wyoming national park, approximately four miles from US Route 191, on Sunday, Sep 19th according to investigators. FBI officials held a press conference and they stated that the remains found in Wyoming, are “consistent with the description of” Petito.

The FBI’s Denver office tweeted, “Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue confirmed the remains are those of Gabrielle Venora Petito… Coroner Blue’s initial determination for the manner of death is homicide.”

According to FBI Denver supervisory senior resident agent Charles Jones, “full forensic identification has not been completed to confirm 100 percent that we found Gabby, but her family has been notified of this discovery.”

“The cause of death remains pending final autopsy results,” the FBI said.

Forensic Investigation of the Laundrie’s House

The FBI conducted a forensic investigation of the Laundrie house on September 20th in search of leads. On Monday 20th, FBI officers took a number of evidences from the residence, and a Ford Mustang convertible was taken away as well.

Authorities searched the home and brought Laundrie’s parents out, according to reporters. They then placed them in an unmarked vehicle in the driveway, the witnesses claimed.

Police dogs and drones scoured a 24,000-acre natural area in North Port for Mr. Laundrie after his parents reported that he had gone there. North Port police spokesperson Josh Taylor stated that “Law enforcement agencies continue to search for Brian Laundrie.”

After being put on hold for a short period of time on Monday, the hunt was restarted this week. However, following discussions with the FBI, Mr. Bertolino postponed his scheduled press conference on Tuesday.

Gabby’s Mental State Looked to be Worsening

Despite the fact that the narrative and accompanying video shot in Moab, Utah depict probable mental health issues and a tense relationship between the couple. On August 12th, the police bodycam video shows Petito upset and sobbing as he speaks to cops. Gabby’s mental health appeared to be deteriorating, according to police.

“After evaluating the totality of the circumstances, I do not believe the situation escalated to the level of domestic assault as much of that as a mental health crisis,” Officer Daniel Scott Robbins says.

Final Thought

According to the Associated Press, the hashtag #GabbyPetito has over 650 million views as of Tuesday evening on TikTok alone. However, some netizens rightly pointed out that stories about missing Black, Latina, or Indigenous women seldom get the same kind of attention. There has also been conjecture that Mr. Laundrie was involved, but we are not sure. Law enforcement has identified Laundrie as their top suspect, but prosecuting someone with murder is still a long way off. Let’s hope justice will prevail!

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