GABBY Petito’s fiancé Brian Laundrie was named a person of interest in the case of her disappearance.
Petito, 22, went missing after going on a cross-country road trip with 23-year-old Laundrie and her body was later discovered in Wyoming after he returned home without her.
Where is Brian Laundrie now?
On Friday, September 17, Laundrie’s attorney confirmed his client was missing and the FBI is now trying to locate him.
Police confirmed they are investigating reported sightings of Laundrie in Tillman’s Corner on September 21.
As the search for him continues, many believe he is on the run and even escaped the US on a jet while authorities searched his home.
North Port police were also scouring the Mabry Carlton Reserve for Laundrie, but he was nowhere to be found.
Speaking to the New York Post on Sunday, September 19, North Port Police spokesman Josh Taylor said Laundrie, told his family he was going for a hike.
Cops feared he may have hurt himself while in the reserve, characterizing it as “a possibility, certainly”.
Police also said there is a “possibility” Laundrie may have “shot himself in the head” as the search continues.
On September 21, 2021, cops were investigating a possible sighting of Brian Laundrie after a trail camera captured footage of a man resembling to the 23-year-old.
Read our Gabby Petito live blog for the very latest news and updates…
The man in the image carries bags that appear to match those seen in the couple’s social media posts and in cop body cam footage.
Meanwhile, a camper says she tipped off FBI detectives to the location of Gabby Petito’s body after she claimed she spotted the white van and a “man acting weird” at a campsite.
Authorities have urged anyone with information about Laundrie’s whereabouts to come forward.
However, Laundrie returned home without her, and it is still unclear when he made the trip back.
What was Gabby’s cause of death?
On September 21, 2021, the Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue confirmed that Petitio died as a result of a homicide but the cause is still pending final autopsy results.
Special Agent Michael Schneider issued a statement after, asking for anyone with information on where her fiancé Laundrie to contact them immediately.
“The FBI’s commitment to justice is the forefron of each and every investigation,” Schneider said. “The FBI and our partners remain dedicated to ensuring anyone responsible for or complicit in Mr. Petito’s death is held accountable for their actions.”
“Mr. Brian Laundrie has been named a person of interest. Anyone with information concerning Mr. Laundrie’s role in this matter or his current whereabout should contact the FBI.”
Petitio’s body was found just days before in Wyoming.
On the same day, an attorney for Petito’s family released a brief statement to the media while we await autopsy results.
“I want to personally thank the press and news media for giving the Petito and Schmidt family time to grieve,” lawyer Richard Stafford said. “We will be making a statement when Gabby is home. I will contact you to arrange a time and location.”
What was the bodycam footage released by police?
Just weeks before Petito vanished, the pair were stopped by police and questioned about an apparent domestic dispute that had been reported.
The more than hour-long clip began with officers pulling over the couple’s white 2012 Ford Transit van and approaching the passenger-side window.
With tears streaming down her face, Petito tells the officer: “We’ve just been fighting this morning. Some personal issues.”
Brian adds: “It’s been a long day. We were camping yesterday, and camping got [inaudible] and stuff.”
Petito was then ordered out of the vehicle and separated from Laundrie.
“I’m so sorry, officer,” he called out as Petito opens the door.
Petito is visibly emotional as she attempts to explain what she and Laundrie were arguing about to the officer.
“I have OCD, and I was just cleaning and straightening…,” she says, sobbing. “And I was apologizing to him and saying I’m sorry that I am so mean as sometimes I am so mean because I have OCD and get really frustrated.
“Not like mean towards him, I guess my vibe is like in a bad mood and I said I’m sorry I’m in a bad mood I am stressed I had so much work.”
Portenier speculated, based on her demeanor: “This doesn’t seem to be an abuse situation of Brian abusing her, at least with strikes that could leave physical evidence.
“And she doesn’t show some of those hiding characteristics that might come up in an incident where she wants to be discovered or helped, but she’s afraid to because it might be a risk to her.”
He observed that Petito, who called herself “mean” and said she had been in a bad mood while she was talking to cops, admitted her own faults, which also hints at the genuine nature of the conversation.
Portenier pointed out that some of her body language, such as pacing and wringing her hands, makes sense after being pulled over by several police officers.
When it came to Laundrie, Portenier pointed out that he was stuttering a bit, speaking in a high-pitched voice and wringing his hands, which all indicate that he was nervous as well.
Laundrie was “clearly agitated,” but it’s not exactly clear why he is agitated, Portenier alleged.
When talking about the altercation the couple got into, Laundrie said that he ended up with some scratches on his body because Petito was holding her phone when she reached for him.
Portenier said: “He’s still really going out of his way to try to not have any light shed against him.
“This could be because he’s worried in a situation like this. It could just be that he’s worried he’ll get pegged for something that he wasn’t doing.”
Portenier pointed out that Laundrie could have been nervous for many reasons, but his body language indicates that he was working hard to deflect blame.
Portenier concluded his video by offering some speculation about how the couple’s trip ended with Laundrie back home in Florida and Petito still missing.
Gabby Petito timeline
Gabby Petito, 22, was last seen on August 24, leaving a hotel in Utah. Here is a timeline of Gabby Petito’s disappearance:
- June 2021 – Gabby Petito and her fiancé Brian Laundrie set off on a cross-country trip across the US.
- July 4 – Gabby posts photos of herself barefoot in Gove County, Kansas.
- July 8 – Gabby posts photos of herself at the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado.
- July 18 – Gabby and Brian post photos of themselves at Utah’s Zion National Park.
- August 12 – Body camera footage was released in September showing an encounter Brian and Gabby had with police in Utah. Police confirmed that no significant injuries were reported.
- August 19 – Gabby and Brian post a video on their YouTube channel chronicling their trip. The video receives more than 200,000 views.
- August 24 – Gabby is last spotted leaving a hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah.
- September 1 – Brian returns home to Florida without Gabby.
- September 11 – Gabby’s parents report her missing to Suffolk County police.
- September 15 – Florida’s North Port police announce Brian is a person of interest in the case. He is not charged with any crime.
- September 16 – Utah police release body camera footage of the police encounter with Brian and Gabby.
- September 17 – Brian’s parents say they have not seen their son in a couple of days.
- September 18 – Police announce they were searching Carlton Reserve in Florida for Brian. Police announce they have not found anything.
- September 19 – Authorities in Wyoming say they found a body in Grand Teton National Park. The FBI announces the body was believed to be Gabby’s but a full forensic identification needs to be completed first to confirm.
- September 20 – Police execute a search warrant on Laundrie’s home, seizing his silver Mustang and a hard drive that may contain “evidence relevant to proving that a felony has been committed.”
- September 21 – Officials announce they will be conducting an autopsy on the remains found in Wyoming to confirm whether or not they belong to Gabby. Police also resumed their search for Laundrie, this time on the Venice side of Carlton Reserve.
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