Following the tragic slaying of Gabby Petito, Brian Laundrie is still missing, but, in recent days, attention has turned to a group of missing people whose bodies have been found during the manhunt.
Now, Gabby Petito’s homicide has really shocked the world.
After embarking on a “dream” road trip with her fiance, Brian Laundrie, who is now also a suspect in the case, Gabby was hoping to document her travels on her social media.
According to North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison, the couple planned to travel to the West Coast and visit national parks across that side of the United States.
“She maintained regular contact with her family members during her travels; however, that communication abruptly stopped around the end of August,” the police chief said in a news briefing after the twenty-two-year-old was declared missing.
And it was during that time, things took a turn for the worst.
Little did everyone else, including Gabby’s family know what was happening to her until her body was discovered in mid-September lying in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.
At first, authorities weren’t sure whether the “human remains” discovered in the area belonged to Gabby or not, but they did let the public know that they were “consistent with the description of Petito.”
The family was notified and forensic testing took place in order to confirm the worst possible news.
And within a few days, it was confirmed.
On September 21st, the Teton County coroner confirmed the human remains found on Sunday were those of Gabby and after some more investigating, the cause of death was ruled a homicide.
The Laundrie family was questioned, but by then, the main suspect in the case, Brain Laundrie, had fled and has been missing ever since.
The last time the twenty-three-year-old was seen was early September when he returned from the road trip by himself.
But what was truly shocking about all of this were all the signs in the weeks leading up to her death…
Firstly starting off with what Gabby’s mother believes to be “fake texts.”
The text sent on August 30th read: “No service in Yosemite,” which Nicole Schmidt felt was too blunt to be her daughter.
In a public warrant, there was also another text that concerned the grieving mother.
“The text message read, ‘Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls.'”
The warrant continues: “The reference to ‘Stan,’ was regarding her grandfather, but per the mother, she never calls him ‘Stan.’ The mother was concerned that something was wrong with her daughter.”
And the biggest sign of concern was a 911 call of a “possible domestic violence” incident between Gabby and Brian that happened just a month before her disappearance.
Police officers released bodycam footage of the pair after they followed up on a 911 call made by a witness in Utah. On August 12th, the man claims to have seen him hit her before getting into their van and driving off.
The hour-long bodycam footage shows a very distressed Gabby, talking to officers about what had transpired.
During her conversation with the officer, Petito can be heard saying: “I have really bad OCD. I was apologizing to him saying I’m sorry I’m so mean.
“We’ve been fighting all morning. He wouldn’t let me in the car before… He told me I needed to calm down.”
On the other side, Brain was also talking to officers.
He can be heard saying: “She just gets worked up sometimes, I try to distance myself from her. I locked the car.
“I said, ‘Let’s just take a breather.’ She had her phone. I was trying to push her away to say, ‘Let’s just take a step back,'” he said while adding that Gabby hit him with her phone.
As per ABC7, the incident was reportedly categorized by police as a “mental/emotional health break” rather than a domestic assault.
The couple reportedly agreed to spend the night separately instead of charges being filed with the police helping Brain to sort a hotel room while Gabby remained with the van.
But as per the original 911 call, the man who reported the incident said he saw Brain slapping Gabby, and not Gabby getting “worked up” as his story to the officers suggests.
And with the uncanny timing of his disappearance, people are questioning whether Brain was good at lying and manipulating situations to suit his best interest.
It was weeks after Gabby was first reported missing, the FBI finally announced that the US District Court of Wyoming had issued a federal arrest warrant for Brian in regards to fraudulent use of a bank card.
Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider said the following in a statement:
“While this warrant allows law enforcement to arrest Mr. Laundrie, the FBI and our partners across the country continue to investigate the facts and circumstances of Ms. Petito’s homicide.
“We urge individuals with knowledge of Mr. Laundrie’s role in this matter or his current whereabouts to contact the FBI.”
There was one particular area that was of interest to the authorities: Fort De Soto Park.
This was because the family admitted that they all took a camping trip there, just after Gabby was declared missing.
Of course, the first protocol was to get statements off of each member of the Laundrie family, but weeks after they had given their initial statement, they changed a few important details about the events that transpired during that period.
Cassie, Brian’s sister, now admitted she saw her brother twice in the 2 week period from when he arrived back in Florida without Petito and when he went missing, which means her previous statement about her contact with her brother must have been fabricated to some extent.
However, attorney, Steve Bertolino, has since stated that it was nothing sinister on Cassie’s part and that her words have been “misinterpreted,” adding: “any prior communication by Cassie that does not reflect these dates is simply a difference of relating an answer to a question misinterpreted by Cassie or poorly posed by the inquirer. Law enforcement agencies are well aware of these dates.”
And as the search for Laundrie continues, other prominent figures have joined the hunt, urging people to come forward with any information they may have.
One of the main men on the front line is none other than Dog the Bounty Hunter, who has dedicated weeks to aid the FBI in their search for Brian.
So far, he has proved that he is taking this manhunt very seriously and has even gone as far as putting his own body on the line to make sure every area that Brian could possibly be is being explored.
At one point, he even spent a hefty chunk of time wading through a swamp, making sure that there were no clues missed.
However, after weeks of continuous searching, Dog has taken a break following an injury sustained on the job…
According to a Twitter post by news anchor, Josh Benson, Dog is recovering from an injured ankle.
Now, it’s been just over a month since Brian went missing…
Every day people are growing more and more impatient for information regarding his whereabouts.
At least 5 bodies have been found during the manhunt for Brian Laundrie.
The first belonged to a man who has been now identified as thirty-three-year-old Josue Calderon. His body was found in Yadkin Valley Overlook in North Carolina after rumors began to spread that Brian was hiding out there. He had tragically been stabbed to death.
The second body belonged to a forty-six-year-old father named Robert Lowery, who was ruled to have committed suicide.
Authorities in Wyoming credited interest in the Gabby Petito case for tips that led to the discovery of Lowery’s body.
Fifty-five-year-old Sara Bayard was the third person to have been found dead.
Her body was found off a highway in El Paso County, Colorado, where Gabby and Brian visited on their road trip.
The bodies of a newlywed couple, Kylen Schulte and Crystal Turner, tragically killed in Utah was linked to the Petito case.
Kylen Schulte even worked in a store outside of which Brian was seen slapping Gabby.
Our thoughts are with the loved ones of Gabby, Josue, Robert, Sara, Kylen, and Crystal.