Gabby Petito’s boyfriend confessed to her murder before taking his own life, says FBI

US News

The boyfriend of Gabby Petito claimed responsibility for her death before taking his own life, according to the FBI.

Brian Laundrie had been on a cross-country trip in the US with Ms Petito when she disappeared.

Her body was found in Wyoming in September, sparking a manhunt for Laundrie, who officials believe returned to Florida without her.

Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito
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Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito were on a cross country trip across the US

However, his remains were found a month later and investigators confirmed that he had killed himself.

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The FBI found a notebook, revolver and backpack.

“A review of the notebook revealed written statements by Laundrie claiming responsibility for Ms Petito’s death,” the FBI’s Denver Field Office said in a statement released Friday.

The notebook was found in October, in the same area as Laundrie’s remains in Florida’s Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park.

More on Gabby Petito

In their statement, the FBI added that both families have reached an agreement on how the couple’s belongings will be distributed.

Trucks carrying excavating equipment into the Carlton Reserve. Pic: AP
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Trucks carrying excavating equipment into the Carlton Reserve, Florida, near where Laundrie’s body was found in October 2021. Pic: AP

What happened to Gabby Petito?

Laundrie, 23, was a person of interest in the killing of Ms Petito, who was reported missing on 11 September by her parents while the couple were on a road trip.

Ms Petito’s body was found on 19 September 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”.

The 22-year-old travel blogger's death was ruled a homicide by authorities in a case that has gripped America.
Image:
The 22-year-old travel blogger’s death was ruled a homicide by authorities

The FBI found Laundrie’s body a month later, along with the belongings and Ms Petito’s family suspected Laundrie was impersonating her in text messages after her death.

The FBI did not release specific details of what was written in the notebook but said that they had also found texts between the couple, sent after Ms Petito’s death.

“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.

Police footage shows Brian Laundrie talking to an officer after the van he was traveling in with his girlfriend, Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito was pulled over near Moab, Utah. Pic: AP
Image:
Police footage shows Brian Laundrie talking to an officer after the van he was travelling in with Gabby Petito was pulled over near Moab, Utah. Pic: AP

Grand Teton was the last place the couple visited during a cross-country van trip last summer.

Laundrie and Ms Petito grew up on Long Island, New York, but were living in Florida in recent years.

The couple documented their trip on Instagram. They crossed Colorado and on 12 August were stopped by police in Utah, after the two got into a scuffle.

Police video showed Ms Petito describing a fight that had escalated.

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