FBI: Gabby Petito’s Boyfriend Admitted to Killing Her in Notebook

(FORT COLLINS, Colo.) — The boyfriend of slain cross-country traveler Gabby Petito admitted killing her in a notebook discovered near his body in a Florida swamp, the FBI announced Friday.

It was the first time authorities squarely pinned the blame for Petito’s death on Brian Laundrie, though he was the prime suspect all along.

In the meantime, authorities announced that Laundrie had, at 23 years of age, sent texts to insinuate people that Petito (22-year-old) was still alive, according to a Denver FBI statement.

“All logical investigative steps have been concluded in this case,” FBI Denver Division Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider said in the statement. “The investigation did not identify any other individuals other than Brian Laundrie directly involved in the tragic death of Gabby Petito.”
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Gabby Petito's Hometown Of Blue Point, Long Island Mourns Her Death
Stephanie Keith—Getty ImagesSign at roadside to honor Gabby’s passing on September 24, 2021, Blue Point, New York.

Petito’s body was found Sept. 19 at a campground near Grand Teton National Park in northwestern Wyoming. A coroner determined she’d died about three weeks earlier of “blunt-force injuries to the head and neck, with manual strangulation.”

Laundrie went missing shortly after he returned from Florida to Florida in the beginning of September. The item was found by his parents in a natural preserve close to their home. Further searching turned up Laundrie’s remains, a revolver, backpack and the notebook. Laundrie died from an accidental gunshot injury, according to medical experts.

The FBI did not specify what, exactly, Laundrie had written in the notebook and in the texts he’d sent to mislead. The texts were sent between Laundrie’s phone and Petito’s phone, according to the statement.

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“The timing and content of these messages are indicative of Mr. Laundrie attempting to deceive law enforcement by giving the impression that Ms. Petito was still alive,” the statement said.

Grand Teton was their last stop on a cross-country van ride last summer. Laundrie returned home in her vehicle alone after the trip. They documented the trip via Instagram. The couple crossed Colorado, and were stopped in Moab Utah on August 12th after a brawl. Petito described a heated fight on video. The police determined Petito was the aggressor. However, the officers decided not to file any charges and instead separated them.

Attorneys for the Petito and Laundrie families did not immediately respond Friday to emails and text messages seeking comment about the FBI’s conclusions.


APCurt Anderson, a reporter from St. Petersburg in Florida contributed to this article.


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