The Gabby Petito Case from the Beginning to the Present

The Relative Timeline of Justice and Closure

Gracelyn Perrine, Opinions Editor

Gabby Petito, a 22 year old woman, decided to embark on a cross-country road trip with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, in early July. The couple left for what was supposed to be a four-month trip, allowing them to enjoy the nature and beauty of national parks across the country. While good intentions may have been set, this trip took a turn, as Laundrie came back early, and without Petito. Suspicion arose and this case took leaps. 

When taking the time to gather information and better understand the situation, a police chief stated that she “maintained regular contact with her family members during her travels; however, that communication abruptly stopped around the end of August.” While this was the last trace of Gabby, the whereabouts of Brian Laundrie sparked concern and confusion. Mr. Laundrie returned to his house on September 1st, in the same van that was used to travel and drive throughout the states. 

However, regardless of Mr. Laundrie’s presence at home, Gabby was not officially reported missing until September 11th, and this began the search and inspection of this case. The police came forward saying that Laundrie was a person of interest, yet he refused to speak to authorities and was exercising his right to not speak by pleading the fifth. Many argue that this move made him look guilty, and suspicion was only furthered when Laundrie fled, and was now also reported missing. Unfortunately, while the authorities were taking steps closer to finding Laundrie, Petito’s remains were found in a national park. To add, during the search of Petito in the different national parks and surrounding areas, many others were found dead, confirming that there could be so many other cases like Gabby’s. While this was a devastating shock to many, it confirmed and closed many missing person’s cases. This upbringing of Petito’s search made many rethink about what unfortunately becomes newsworthy, and how many go missing with no thought. 

After this, warrants were made on Laundrie to further the investigation and be able to rule out if he could be a confirmed suspect in accordance with her death, now being ruled as a homicide. The search for Mr. Laundrie continued. 

Recently, within the month of October, other warrants were put in place in regards to Laundrie, as he was found to have committed debit card fraud. Many became involved in the case and Duane Chapman, a TV star also known as “Dog the Bounty Hunter”, has begun using his skills to lead the search and investigation of Laundrie. As this search grew and most suspicion lead to Laundrie being charged with murder, remains of his were found in a heavily wooded Florida park along with a backpack and notepad. Later, these remains were confirmed to be Laundrie’s through dental records. Petito’s family, along with their lawyer, are urging Laundrie to surrender and speaking out on how the FBI is now involved. They claimed they just wanted something positive to come out of this situation and would like peace. 

So far, this is all the general public knows about this case, but this timeline and information is enough to spark conspiracy among many. Many have used this incident to spread awareness on relationship problems and when to walk away, while many are stating that it is inappropriate to discuss this case in such a nonchalant manner. However, to conclude, many just want justice for Gabby and for her family to find closure.