The Case of Gabby Petito

The Case of Gabby Petito

Natalie Arbuthnot, Reporter

In June 2021, Gabby Petito and her fiance Brian Laundrie started their travels around the country together in Laundrie’s white Ford van. Gabby kept in contact with her family regularly, she would also film blogs to document her trip and share it with the world. In these blogs, she seemed happy, so nobody suspected anything was wrong. 

On August 12, 2021, Laundries van was pulled over to the side of the road. He seemed to be going about 30 miles over the speed limit. The speed limit was 15 miles per hour, and they were going about 45 miles per hour according to the police officer that pulled them over. This whole encounter was filmed on the officer’s body cam. When the police officer approached the passenger side window, Gabby Petito was crying. After a conversation inside the vehicle, the officer had both of them step out of the van, and they got separated to tell their part of the story. Gabby tells the officer that she and her fiance got into a fight. 

Petito says she was mad at Laundrie because of her OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). When Laundrie was talking to an officer he claims that Petito was the one slapping him and says “she’s crazy”. According to the article on CNN, the couple said they were in love and “engaged to be married and they didn’t want anyone to get charged with a crime.” The officer separates them for the night. He gives Petito the keys to the van, and they give Laundrie a ride to a hotel nearby. The officer said it didn’t seem like a physical or mental abuse crisis. It just seemed like two people fighting. Many believe this to be wrong. They refer back to the video of the traffic stop, and they say that Gabby showed clear signs of mental and physical abuse.

On September 1st, 202, Brian Laundrie came back to Florida without Gabby. Police tried to question him, but he would not talk to authorities. Gabby was presumed missing about a week before September 11th, 2021. This is also the date that they find her body. They found her at Grand-Teton National Forest in western Wyoming.  

Authorities start to suspect Laundrie is involved. His parents told the police on September 14th, 2021 that he packed his bag and left. He didn’t bring his cell phone or his wallet either. Although, Laundries next door neighbor’s story was different. She was interviewed, and she says that she saw Laundries parents helping him pack up a few bags and a moving trailer. She says she didn’t think anything of it because it didn’t seem suspicious then. 

On September 22nd, 2021 the autopsy report was released and it was confirmed the remains were Gabby Petito. Her death was declared a homicide after being reviewed by detectives. Her parents say they still don’t have her remains. As the FBI agents have refused to release it.

Many people all over the world grieve her death and protest. A video on social media shows a group of protesters outside of Laundries house and shouting “Where’s Gabby?!” FBI agents still search for him but they say they are super close to finding him. Petito’s parents also ask the public to help find Laundrie, as well as assisting to help find him. A video was posted online about another news article which told the story of Gabby and interviewed close family and friends.

One of the interviews was with one of Gabby’s best friends. When she heard about the traffic stop video she said that, “Gabby doesn’t normally cry like that, it takes a lot for her to get to that point; that night must’ve been really bad if she was crying. 

Gabby Petito touched the hearts of many and she will never be forgotten. She and her family will get their day in court when they find Petito’s killer. Until then they won’t stop looking.