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Brian Laundrie may face death sentence if charged with Gabby Petito's murder: Experts

Gabby Petito's death has been ruled as homicide after her remains were found in a national park in Wyoming
UPDATED SEP 22, 2021
Brian Laundrie may face death penalty in connection to Gabby Petito's death (Instagram/@bizarre_design_)
Brian Laundrie may face death penalty in connection to Gabby Petito's death (Instagram/@bizarre_design_)

Experts have said that if authorities catch Brian Laundrie and charge him with Gabby Petito’s death, he could face a death sentence. Gabby Petito’s remains were found on Sunday, September 19, inside the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming. However, her official identification was confirmed on September 21, while her death was ruled as a homicide.

The Denver office of the FBI said in a statement, “Teton County Coroner Dr Brent Blue confirmed the remains are those of Gabrielle Venora Petito, date of birth March 19, 1999. Coroner Blue’s initial determination for the manner of death is homicide. The cause of death remains pending final autopsy results.”


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Gabby’s family filed a missing person report for her on September 11 after not being able to contact her for a number of days. The 22-year-old was on a cross-country trip with her boyfriend Brian, who is also now a person of interest in the case. While 23-year-old Brian Laundrie returned to his North Port, Florida home on September 1, he did not inform anyone about Gabby’s whereabouts. Also, after the young woman was reported missing, he declined to speak to the investigators directly and instead, hired an attorney.


However, eventually, Brian also went missing. His parents told authorities that they last saw him on September 14 when he was leaving for a hike. Since then, police have been searching for him. Though they have not brought any charges against him, they said the case of Gabby Petito is now a criminal probe.

Now, Alfredo Garcia, a professor at St Thomas University College of Law and a former assistant state attorney in Florida, said if Brian was captured and investigators charged him in connection with Gabby’s death, he could “potentially face the death penalty”. The young man is from Florida and his girlfriend’s remains were found in Wyoming — both are among those few US states where death sentence is still legal. Garcia added: “If it [the crime] occurred in Wyoming, they would have jurisdiction” to process through the death penalty there.


Harvey Morse, a private detective with Locators International in Florida, believed that Brian either could face life imprisonment or the death sentence. He added: “I hope that this person is found, and if he is the perpetrator, he pleads guilty and doesn't draw this case out which would cause so much pain to so many people.”

Meanwhile, people on Twitter also expressed views over the death sentence speculation. A user tweeted, “Great news I found. Wyoming has the death penalty.   #BrianLaundrie #GabbyPetito.” The second one wrote, “Correct me if wrong.... both Wyoming and Florida have death penalty? If the coward is taken alive, he could face execution or life in jail if convicted. Life in jail may be worse being he abused a woman. #GabbyPetito #BrianLaundrie.” “#BrianLaundrie To the cop that finds him: Please restrain from all the evils! Choking the bastard, shooting him point blank or simply beating him to death. #Northpointpolice #fbi Let’s watch death penalty have it’s justice! #GabbyPepito #utaharches #vanlife @bizarre_design_,” the third user noted.