Brian Laundrie sent texts from Gabby Petito's phone after her death to mislead police, FBI says

Agents said they found numerous text messages exchanged between Laundrie and Petito's phones even after the latter's demise


                            Brian Laundrie sent texts from Gabby Petito's phone after her death to mislead police, FBI says
Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie (pictured) were on a cross-country road trip that started in July last year (Instagram)

Authorities have revealed how Brian Laundrie was the only person of interest in the Gabby Petito investigation shortly after her parents met with agents at the FBI Tampa field office on Thursday, January 20.

FBI Denver Division Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider said the probe "did not identify any other individuals other than Brian Laundrie directly involved in the tragic death of Gabby Petito," adding that the FBI's "primary focus throughout the investigation was to bring justice to Gabby and her family. The public’s role in helping us in this endeavor was invaluable as the investigation was covered in the media around the world.” As MEAWW previously reported, authorities also revealed that they discovered “written statements by Mr Laundrie claiming responsibility for Ms Petito’s death” in the notebook agents found alongside his remains in the Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County, WFLA reported.

RELATED ARTICLES

Gabby Petito would have still been ALIVE if case was handled better, suggests new probe

Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie: A tragic love affair laid bare under social media spotlight

Agents said they found numerous text messages exchanged between Laundrie and Petito's phones even after the latter's demise. “The timing and content of these messages are indicative of Mr Laundrie attempting to deceive law enforcement by giving the impression that Mse Petito was still alive,” the FBI said.  The federal agency has been leading the Petito investigation for a number of months after she was found dead in Wyoming about a week after being reported missing by her mother Nichole Schmidt as family members hadn't heard from her since August. At the time, Petito and Laundrie were on a cross-country road trip that started in July.



 

 

Family members reported Petito missing on September 11, saying they lost all contact with her and weren't getting answers from the Laundrie family. The FBI investigation began the following day itself, and a search team found her remains at the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area one week later. That was three weeks after her last known communication. Petito's death was ruled a homicide and the cause of death was found to be “blunt-force injuries to the head and neck, with manual strangulation." Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue explained, “Unfortunately this is only one of many deaths around the country of people who are involved in domestic violence."

Police said Laundrie returned home to North Port, Florida without Petito on September 1. On his way, he reportedly used her debit card and a federal arrest warrant was later issued against Laundrie for the same. The warrant, dated September 22, charged Laundrie with the “use of Unauthorized Access Devices” following Petito’s demise. Laundrie's parents had already reported their son missing by then.

FBI agents begin to take away evidence from the family home of Brian Laundrie, who was a person of interest after his fiancé Gabby Petito went missing on September 20, 2021, in North Port, Florida. (Photo by Octavio Jones/Getty Images)

 

About a month-long manhunt, the FBI announced they located what appeared to be Laundrie's remains and personal belongings including the aforementioned notebook and the written confession inside it. The remains were later confirmed by the Sarasota County Medical examiner as Laundrie's, who they said died by a self-inflicted gunshot. Agents revealed how they also found a revolver near his remains. “We truly appreciate the FBI’s diligent and painstaking efforts in this extremely complicated case,” Petito family attorney Richard Stafford said in a statement as the agency concluded the probe. “The quality and quantity of the facts and information collected by the FBI leave no doubt Brian Laundrie murdered Gabby.”

If you have a news scoop or an interesting story for us, please reach out at (323) 421-7514