New details have emerged in the case of Gabby Petito, the 22-year-old vlogger whose disappearance in the summer of 2021 captivated the nation, CrimeSpace has learned. Authorities investigating her death have revealed that her body was found in a position that appeared staged.
Additionally, the autopsy conducted by the Teton County Coroner’s Office concluded that Gabby’s death was a result of blunt-force injuries to the head and neck, combined with manual strangulation.
Gabby Petito went missing in August while on a road trip with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie. She informed her family that they were traveling from Utah to Wyoming to visit national parks. However, Laundrie returned to his parents’ home in North Port, Florida, without Gabby, prompting her parents to report her missing days later. Laundrie was named a person of interest in her disappearance.
A television special titled “The Murder of Gabby Petito: What Really Happened” aims to shed light on the lingering mysteries surrounding Gabby’s death. The program features exclusive footage and interviews with authorities involved, offering fresh insights into the case. Detective Sgt Phillip Smith from the Jackson Police Department shared that they received fragmented information from various agencies nationwide, contributing to the ongoing investigation, The Sun reported.
The nationwide search for Gabby intensified, with law enforcement agencies receiving tips from concerned individuals across the country. Authorities uncovered potential leads using an app called The Dyrt, which provides user-generated information on campgrounds in the United States. The app’s GPS tracking feature helped locate Gabby’s last-known location.
Efforts to find Gabby before winter set in involved horse-mounted search teams patrolling the area where she was last seen. Deputy Andrew Roundy of the Teton County Sheriff’s Department recounted the moment they discovered Gabby’s body along the south side of the riverbed at the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping area. Roundy described her positioning as if she had laid down peacefully, with her hands under her head, but with her head lying downhill—a departure from what would be expected due to gravity.
Sgt. Clayton Platt of the Teton County Sheriff’s Department noted that the unnatural position of Gabby’s body suggested staging, further supporting Roundy’s observation. An autopsy conducted later confirmed the homicide, revealing the cause of death as blunt-force injuries to the head and neck, coupled with manual strangulation.
In a separate development, two days before Gabby’s remains were discovered, Brian Laundrie’s parents reported him missing after he failed to return from a hike in the nearby Carlton Reserve. Internet sleuths speculated about Laundrie’s whereabouts, and several alleged sightings of him were reported across different parts of the country.
On October 20, 2021, nearly a month after the discovery of Gabby’s body, authorities located Brian Laundrie’s skeletal remains in the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park.
It was determined that Laundrie had taken his own life, and a letter found near his remains included a confession to Gabby’s murder. Laundrie expressed remorse, claiming he believed ending Gabby’s life would be merciful due to her alleged suffering from an injury.
In response to the case’s developments, Gabby’s parents filed a lawsuit against the Laundrie family, asserting that they knew Gabby was deceased when their attorney made a statement to the media in September 2021.
In August 2021, Gabrielle Venora Petito, an American woman aged 22, tragically lost her life while on a van life journey across the United States with her fiancé Brian Laundrie. The couple had embarked on their four-month-long trip on July 2, 2021, but Petito went missing towards the end of August.
Following Petito’s disappearance, suspicion surrounded Laundrie when he returned to his parents’ home in Florida without providing any information about her whereabouts. He became a person of interest in the case, and an arrest warrant was issued after evidence surfaced of him making unauthorized withdrawals using Petito’s debit card. On September 13, Laundrie left his home, and he was reported missing four days later.
On September 19, Petito’s remains were discovered in Wyoming’s Bridger–Teton National Forest, Your Content previously reported. A subsequent autopsy determined that she had been tragically killed by manual strangulation.
Speculation regarding Laundrie’s location persisted for a month, and extensive searches were conducted in the vicinity of his home. Eventually, on October 20, Laundrie’s skeletal remains were found in Florida’s Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park.
An autopsy on November 23 confirmed that Laundrie had died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, The Herald-Tribune reported. The FBI later revealed that Laundrie had confessed to killing Petito in a notebook found near his remains.
The case garnered significant attention due to the couple’s social media documentation of their travels, leaked police body camera footage, recordings of emergency dispatch calls, eyewitness testimonies, the actions of Laundrie’s parents, and extensive media coverage.