As the search continues for Brian Laundrie weeks after the tragic death of Gabby Petito, police have now cordoned off an area of Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park…
As the search for Brian Laundrie continues…
Police have now cordoned off a specific area of a Florida reserve…
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.
Meanwhile, Brain’s own father has joined in on the hunt for his son.
It was reported that the police requested that Laundrie’s father help with the search. The family’s lawyer added that “Chris had not been able to look for Brian in the only place [his parents] believe he may be” as the preserve had been closed to the public.
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.
The latest news is that a cordon has been put in place.
In the past few hours, news has emerged that a police cordon has been set up in a Florida reserve where they have been looking for Laundrie.
It’s the first time police have blocked off the area.
WFLA reporter Allyson Henning tweeted:
“Police tape now up at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park (North Port side of Carlton Reserve) as the search for Brian Laundrie continues.”
In a follow up tweet, Henning wrote:
“This is the first time we’ve seen tape up since the search for Laundrie started last month.”
Earlier this week police requested a K9 unit.
According to reports, authorities requested a human remains K9 unit to join the search efforts in the heavily wooded nature reserve.
However it has been revealed that the K9 unit was not on the scene on Friday.
That being said, it appears that the search for Laundrie is coming closer to an end.