Looking for Closure

Looking for Closure

Brynn Reilly, Staff Writer

Former Long Islander Gabby Petito went missing in late August, after going on a cross-country road trip with her fiancé Brian Laundrie and only he returned. 

On September 21st, a body was identified as Gabby and it was determined the final manner of her death was homicide by strangulation. Strangling someone takes close to five minutes to conclude, meaning that the murderer Brian knew what he was doing, this wasn’t an accident. 

This horrific adventure began when the couple decided to go on a cross-country adventure in their white van in July 2021, in Scott City, Kansas, Colorado Springs, Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado, Zion National Park, Utah and Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah. 

The couple was recorded on police body cam on August 12th when a 911 call was made claiming that the couple was in an altercation hitting each other. Petito was crying at the scene. The police decided that Petito would get the keys to the van and Laundrie was to stay at a hotel. 

Gabby’s mother said that a couple weeks later, Gabby was talking to her over text but that her “texts” did not sound like her. On August 27th, Gabby Petito texted her mom, “Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls.” This was an unusual text because Gabby never referred to her grandfather by “Stan.” 

On September 1st, Brian then returned from their trip alone and refused to talk to the police or the FBI. Brian disappeared two weeks later. But recently investigators found out that Brian and his parents went on a camping trip from September 6th to the 8th. Suspiciously though, Brian’s parents said that they never asked about Gabby to Brian which was odd because she was so close to their family. 

On September 17th, Brian went missing and was thought to be at Fort De Soto Park in the mangroves where he and his parents stayed before he disappeared. Dog the Bounty Hunter said that when the parents of Laundrie checked out on September 8th, that he was not with them. Dog also went with his K9 team to investigate the area around their campsite, and found a can of Monster Energy Drink that was spotted in Brian’s mom’s handbag.  

Another theory is that he might’ve fled to the Appalachian Trails that he and Gabby previously visited. Brian is an excellent hiker and since he went with Gabby already, he knows all the perfect places to campout. The last theory is that he might be staying at the Carleton Reserve where Brian’s parents said that he went on a hike and never came home. Investigators said that with the harsh conditions of the reserve, that if Brian is staying there he was either killed by animals or even killed himself. 

At press time, human remains that were found at a reserve in Florida that was previously underwater were identified as Laundrie’s.  After a month-long search for Laundrie,  hopefully this discovery will help bring closure to Gabby’s mourning family, although they may never know what exactly happened to her.