Boyfriend’s written confessions in notebook show responsibility for Gabby Petito’s death

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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.”

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.

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.”

Some weren’t ready to accept the FBI’s statement as fact and suggested that Laundrie might still be alive.

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.

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Ashley Hill

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