Gabby Petito case closed after confession from Brian Laundrie’s notebook revealed

FBI reveals the cause of Petito's death, months after remains of suspect Brian Laundrie were found, closing one of America's most horrific cases


                            Gabby Petito case closed after confession from Brian Laundrie’s notebook revealed
Gabby Petito with Brian Laundrie (YouTube)

On September 11, 2021, Nicole Schmidt reported her daughter Gabby Petito was missing, having last heard from her in late August. The report kicked off a month-long national hunt for the vlogger and soon turned into a murder mystery after her remains were found at the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming. All attention then turned to her boyfriend and the prime suspect in the case - Brian Laundrie.

While it was widely believed Laundrie killed Petito, we never knew for sure exactly what happened. Shortly after he returned home, Laundrie went missing, and his remains were found in late October at the Carlon Reserve in Florida. It closed one of the biggest missing person cases in the country in 2021, but questions still remained. With Laundrie dead, the Petito family was denied the opportunity to learn exactly what happened to their daughter. 

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Now, months later, we finally have an answer. On January 21, 2022, the FBI provided an update on the case and admitted it was closing it after learning just how Petito died. "All logical investigative steps have been concluded in this case," noted FBI Denver Division Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider. With the statement, it appears the Petito family now have the answers they so desperately needed, giving them some sense of closure.

Laundrie confesses to crime

When Laundrie's remains were found at the Florida reserve, the FBI also discovered a notebook, a backpack, and a revolver. They concluded Laundrie shot himself in the head and took possession of the notebook. As some were hoping, the book did indeed reveal what happened to Petito, but not why exactly. "The investigation did not identify any other individuals other than Brian Laundrie directly involved in the tragic death of Gabby Petito," Schnider said in a statement

He added, "A review of the notebook revealed written statements by Mr. Laundrie claiming responsibility for Ms. Petito's death." Schnider did not say what else the notebook revealed, or if Laundrie had written down why exactly he killed Petito. It was widely reported that the couple fought on several occasions during their nation-wide trip, and were even stopped once by the Moab Police Department over a fight. However, neither faced any consequences.

There were theories that Petito suffered from some mental health condition, but it's unclear if that contributed in any way to her death. All we know is that the bickering reached a fatal point, where Laundrie strangled Petito to death and possibly hit her with something as an autopsy revealed blunt force injuries to her head. What exactly happened remains a mystery, and will probably never be known. 

In a statement via their lawyer, the Petito family said, "We truly appreciate the FBI's diligent and painstaking efforts in this extremely complicated case. The quality and quantity of the facts and information collected by the FBI leave no doubt (that) Brian Laundrie murdered Gabby." The Laundrie family also weighed in, saying, "We can only hope that with today's closure of the case each family can begin to heal and move forward and find peace in and with the memories of their children. May Gabby and Brian both rest in peace."