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On Saturday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced it will soon close the book on the missing person case involving Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito who was found dead last September in a remote Wyoming campground, and her former fiance Brian Laundrie wrote the final chapter incriminating himself as her killer.
“A review of the notebook revealed written statements by Mr. Laundrie claiming responsibility for Ms. Petito’s death,” read a public release by FBI Denver on Friday which acknowledged Petito died of “blunt-force injuries to the head and neck, with manual strangulation.”
Although many suspected Laundrie’s parents played a role in the ordeal after his father, Chris Laundrie, happened upon some of his son’s belongings during a search in Florida’s Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park last October, the FBI cleared the parents of any wrongdoing.
“The investigation did not identify any other individuals other than Brian Laundrie directly involved in the tragic death of Gabby Petito,” FBI Denver Division Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider said. “The FBI’s primary focus throughout the investigation was to bring justice to Gabby and her family.”
— FBI Denver (@FBIDenver) January 21, 2022
Many people on social media were surprised that Laundrie’s parents were not implicated in any way after the highly coincidental discovery of their son’s belongings.
Who still thinks that the parents knew & were helping with the cover up? 😳
— TazMama ✌️🧷 (@Tazmama12) January 21, 2022
Notebook? Gun? Parents of Brian? Charges?
— Bertica (@Bertica520) January 21, 2022
What are the parents being charged with?
— ❄️🧶 InukHook 🧶❄️ (@knitinukAlt) January 21, 2022
I think they are going to investigate Brian’s family further before closing the case. Based on the info that came out, they have been displaying some big red flags. I’m on the fence about if they aided him at the end or not, but I would not be surprised if they did tbh.
— KyokuVirin (@KyokuVirin) October 22, 2021
During the widescale hunt for Laundrie, Petito’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, took to social media and demanded he turn himself in, in her first-ever tweet, “Mama bear is getting angry! Turn yourself in!” she wrote accompanied by an angry emoji. But this time as they are surrounded in grief over the FBI’s final investigative update on the case, the parents declined to comment.
“Gabby’s family is not doing interviews or making a statement at this time,” family attorney Rick Stafford said, according to Fox 4 News. “They are grieving the loss of their beautiful daughter. Gabby’s family will make a statement at the appropriate time and when they are emotionally ready.”
“Gabby’s family is not doing interviews or making a statement at this time,” family attorney Rick Stafford said “They are grieving the loss of their beautiful daughter. Gabby’s family will make a statement at the appropriate time and when they are emotionally ready.” #gabbypetito pic.twitter.com/JbP9w73njU
— Fox 4 News (@Fox4Now) October 21, 2021
Some weren’t ready to accept the FBI’s statement as fact and suggested that Laundrie might still be alive.
I am not convinced about the remains found are in fact Brian’s. Something doesn’t add up to me. I think he’s still out there & he needs to be found. Someone is not telling the truth.
— Mike (@Mike34054380) October 22, 2021
Before the pair disappeared, they had been on a cross-country road trip that was tainted by likely domestic violence that was reported to the Moab Police Department in Utah last fall.
“Well he like, grabbed me with his nail, and I guess that’s why it looks, I definitely have a cut right here,” a police officer’s bodycam caught 22-year -old Petito saying on camera as she rubbed her cheek. “I can feel it, when I touch it, it burns.”
Petito’s body was later discovered on September 19 in the Grand Teton National Park thanks to a YouTube vlogger who happened to recognize the couple’s truck as she was editing footage she took on August 27, days after the last contact Petito had with her mother.
By September, Laundrie had also gone missing and a TikTok user reported his “weird” behavior after spotting him hiking alone in Grand Teton National Park on Aug. 29 and giving him a ride to a nearby town. The search ultimately ended in Florida when his remains and belongings were discovered.
Many expressed sympathy on social media for the tragic loss of Petito and the emotion and pain the families must be experiencing as the ordeal comes to a close.
I can’t imagine what both families are going through, very tragic and disturbing only at the young age of 22 and 23 years old just starting their lives. I’m praying for the families and hope the protesters will stop now.They just lost their son too. Brian has to answer to God.
— Asela Elizabeth Santos (@aesantosja08) October 21, 2021
What a beautiful young woman. I would have loved to see how she created her website and blogs. From what I’ve seen, I would have loved to follow her adventures. He probably controlled her and convinced her she needed him with her. If she went by herself, she still might be alive.
— Leslie In LittleRock (@leslieinlr) October 22, 2021
#GabbyPetito living her life to the fullest with her best friend and personal photographer, Rose Davis. 🦋💛
We will never let you go. pic.twitter.com/t4DWs7Ii9y
— justice for gabrielle petito (@JUSTICE4PETITO) October 24, 2021
As this agonizing chapter in what feels like all of our lives draws to a formal close today, let us never forget #GabbyPetito. Her story is one of many, but she paved a path for victims of DV. I am honored to see so many people carrying on her legacy.
She touched the world. 💜 pic.twitter.com/xp4wTlc4MO
— Justice For Gabby (@J4GProject) January 21, 2022
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