Timeline of the Gabby Petito Case and Cause of Death
A tragic story.
I wrote out the Gabby Petito case timeline and cause of death for those who are interested. The Gabby Petito case has gained an intense social media attention. This article is not a trending legal topic, but I found it so interesting as almost a live criminal case file.
She and her fiance, Brian Laundrie, went on a cross-country trip. In short, Brian returned, but Gabby did not. Her remains were found 19 days after his return, and her cause of death was strangulation. He is now on the lam/missing. And under indictment for using Gabby's debit card after her death.
So this week, I am going to break down the chain of events in the Gabby Petito/Brian Laundrie case from the start of their #vanlife up to and including the Coroner's press release and finding Brian Laundrie's remains.
They made a movie about the Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie story: The Gabby Petito Story (affiliate link).
The Gabby Petito Case Timeline
Gabby Petito was on a road trip with boyfriend Brian Laundrie when she went missing. She was a travel influencer on Instagram, Youtube, and TikTok. The couple intended to take a four-month roadtrip #vanlife and post their adventures on various social media outlets.
N.B. Brian Laundrie's Instagram account seems to be taken down. But I left the links just in case.
Here is a timeline of events:
July 2, 2020
One year prior to their road trip, Gabby Petito announced on her Instagram page that she was engaged to Brian Laundrie.
December 11, 2020
Laundrie announced on his Instagram that the couple purchased their white van. "Garden on wheels! New Van means new adventures"
(This link no longer works: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIrs9AAFCrM/)
July 2, 2021
The couple departed from their Blue Point, NY home. They were there to celebrate her younger brother graduating from school. They left in a converted white van that Laundrie posted on his Instagram page. They traveled from Florida to Kansas, Colorado, and Utah.
(This link no longer works: https://www.instagram.com/p/CQ7SNHUFJAD/)
According to Gabby's Instagram timeline, the couple stopped in these locations:
July 4, 2021: Monument Rock, Kansas
July 8, 2021: Colorado Springs, Colorado
July 10, 2021: Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Colorado
July 16, 2021: Zion National Park, Utah
July 21, 2021: Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
July 26, 2021: Mystic Hot Springs, Utah
July 29, 2021: Canyonlands National Park, Utah
August 12, 2021: Arches National Park, Utah
August 12, 2021
The police in Moab, Utah, stopped Petito and Laundrie after a man named Christopher called 911 about a domestic problem that he witnessed outside of the Moonflower Community Cooperative (a natural food store). Christopher said that the couple was fighting over a phone, and he saw Petito slap Laundrie across the face. Petito then climbed through the van's window as if Laundrie had locked her out. The police report stated that Petito was “crying uncontrollably." The report went on to state, “At no point in my investigation did Gabrielle stop crying, breathing heavily, or compose a sentence without needing to wipe away tears, wipe her nose, or rub her knees with her hands.”
Apparently, Laundrie did not hit Petito, but he suffered from visible scratches on his arms, face, and neck. Neither wanted to press charges, and Laundrie was put up in a hotel by a domestic assault outreach group. See the body cam video of the incident.
August 17-23, 2021
Brian flew home to Florida, purportedly to "obtain some items and empty and close the (couple's) storage unit to save money as they contemplated extending the road trip," according to the Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino.
August 25, 2021
Gabby's last Instagram post was sent without a geotag location.
August 27, 2021
A woman named Nina Celie Angelo took to her Instagram saying she witnessed Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie get into an explosive argument at the Merry Piglet restaurant in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Blue-Collar Restaurant Group confirmed they believed Petito and Laundrie were at their Merry Piglet restaurant on that date.
August 30, 2021
Gabby's mother, Nichole Schmidt, said that the last text message received from Gabby was on August 30, 2021. Schmidt "received an 'odd text' from Gabby," according the the North Port Police department warrant filed weeks later. "'Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls.' The reference to 'Stan,' was regarding her grandfather, but per the mother, she never calls him 'Stan.' The mother was concerned that something was wrong with her daughter."
September 1, 2021
Laundrie returned to the North Port home that the couple shared with his parents. He drove the van but without Gabby.
September 11, 2021
Gabby's family reported her missing.
September 15, 2021
Brian Laundrie is named a person of interest. He refused to speak to anyone regarding the incident. Bertolino issued a statement on Laundrie's behalf:
Many people are wondering why Mr. Laundrie would not make a statement or speak with law enforcement in the face of Ms. Petito's absence. In my experience, intimate partners are often the first person law enforcement focuses their attention on in cases like this, and the warning that 'any statement made will be used against you' is true, regardless of whether my client had anything to with Ms. Petito's disappearance. As such, on the advice of counsel, Mr. Laundrie is not speaking on the matter. I have been informed that the North Port, Florida, police have named Brian Laundrie as a 'person of interest' in this matter. This formality has not really changed the circumstances of Mr. Laundrie being the focus and attention of law enforcement, and Mr. Laundrie will continue to remain silent on the advice of counsel.
September 16, 2021
Richard Stafford, the attorney for the Petito/Schmidt family, read aloud a letter to Laundrie's parents
September 17, 2021
Cassie Laundrie, Brian Laundrie's sister, gave an exclusive interview.
September 17, 2021
Laundrie's family announces that Brian is missing. The family claimed they had not seen Brian since Tuesday.
September 19, 2021
Gabby's remains were found in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.
September 20, 2021
Laundrie's family home was searched under warrant. The police were searching for Brian's computer.
September 21, 2021
An autopsy confirmed that Gabby's death was a homicide.
September 23, 2021
An arrest warrant was issued for Brian Laundrie, a person of interest in the disappearance and homicide of deceased Gabby Petito. The warrant was written "pursuant to a Federal Grand Jury indictment for violation of federal statute 18 U.S.C. § 1029(a)(1): ‘Use of Unauthorized Devices’ related to Mr. Laundrie's activities following the death of Gabrielle Petito." Read my explanation of the arrest warrant here.
September 27, 2021
Laundrie's parents issued a statement that they hope the FBI can find their son, and they do not know where he is. They were cooperating in the manhunt to find Brian.
September 28, 2021
Gabby Petito's family held a press conference.
September 30, 2021
The FBI return to the Laundrie house. Bertolino stated that the FBI were gathering "some personal items belonging to Brian that will assist the canines in their search for Brian."
October 5, 2021
Schmidt wrote on Twitter, "Mama bear is getting angry. Turn yourself in!"
Cassie also pleads for her brother to return home. "I would tell my brother to just come forward and get us out of this horrible mess."
October 7, 2021
Bertolino released a statement: "Chris Laundrie is assisting Law Enforcement today in the search for Brian. Chris was asked to point out any favorite trails or spots that Brian may have used in the preserve. Although Chris and Roberta Laundrie provided this information verbally 3weeks ago it is now thought that on-site assistance may be better. The preserve has been closed to the public and the Laundries as well but the parents have been cooperating since the search began."
October 12, 2021
Gabby's cause of death is strangulation.
October 20, 2021
Brian's parents, the FBI, and local authorities found some items belonging to Brian off a trail that he frequented. Investigators have recovered what appears to be human remains at a Florida preserve near a backpack and notebook belonging to Brian.
October 21, 2021
Dental record confirm that the remains found were indeed Brian Laundrie.
October 24, 2021
But how did he die? Autopsy was inconclusive.
What are your thoughts about the Gabby Petito case timeline and cause of death? Let me know in the comments! Or join the Twitter conversation: