ON the first anniversary after Gabby Petito’s body was found in a national park, several questions remain as a result of her harrowing murder case.
However, remains were found in the search for Laundrie and later identified as his.
On November 3, 2021, medical examiners confirmed that Laundrie’s cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head.
An FBI investigation into Gabby’s death was launched earlier this year, however, a statement was made in late January revealing that it would be closed in the near future.
“All logical investigative steps have been concluded in this case,” said FBI Denver Division Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider.
Schneider added that the investigation didn’t identify any other individuals other than Laundrie involved in Gabby’s death.
“The FBI’s primary focus throughout the investigation was to bring justice to Gabby and her family,” he said.
CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING BOTH DEATHS
While it’s widely known that Laundrie’s remains and personal items were found in Florida’s Carlton Reserve on October 20, the date of his suicide remains unknown.
He was first reported missing on September 17 – days after allegedly telling his parents that he was going for a hike in the snake-infested Carlton Reserve.
Days later, Gabby was found strangled to death, but for both, the exact circumstances surrounding their deaths remain.
The couple had last been seen together in a restaurant in Wyoming where staff said there had been an argument about them paying the bill.
It came only days after they were stopped by cops in Moab, Utah, after a witness said that Laundrie hit Gabby in the street on August 12.
In body cam footage, Laundrie is heard saying that he would not have money to stay in a motel for the night as cops asked the couple to separate.
HOW WERE LAUNDRIE’S REMAINS MISSED?
Police searched the Carlton Reserve for over a month but didn’t find Laundrie’s remains until they enlisted the help of his parents, Roberta and Chris Laundrie.
Shortly after the Laundries began searching the reserve, the remains of their son were discovered.
Officials were then pictured with a bag showing what looked like a notebook among Laundrie’s belongings.
Chris and Roberta were seen moving in and out of areas of the brush, before separating for roughly 12 minutes when Chris lead two men into the brush on the left side of a trail.
Cops has been searching that land for 33 days before his remains were found.
WHAT DID LAUNDRIE TELL HIS PARENTS?
Brian’s parents initially gave the police the wrong date of their son’s disappearance.
The family’s attorney revealed that the Laundries provided investigators with the incorrect date for his alleged disappearance into the Carlton Reserve in September.
Brian “left to hike in the preserve” on Monday, September 13, not Tuesday, September 14 as originally shared, their lawyer revealed, resulting in a barrage of Reddit speculation.
Steven Bertolino, the Laundrie family attorney, wrote in a text response to anchor Josh Benson from WFLA in Florida, “The Laundries were basing the date Brian left on their recollection of certain events.”
It is also unknown why the Laundries “didn’t return” Gabby’s mom’s texts as she desperately wanted to find her daughter.
Nichole Schmidt says she tried to communicate with Chris and Roberta Laundrie after she lost contact with Gabby in late August.
Gabby last spoke to her family on August 25 as she and her fiancé reached Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
LAUNDRIE’S PARENTS CHARGED?
Neama Rahmani, a former assistant U.S. Attorney and the current president of West Coast Trial Lawyers, claimed in an interview with The US Sun that the Laundrie family’s legal woes could worsen still.
According to Rahmani, should the Laundrie family opt to defend themselves against the substantive claims made in the Petitos’ civil lawsuit, then any evidence shared in that civil trial could be used to launch a criminal case against them.
“If it does turn out that the Laundries knew their son killed Gabby, and they withheld that information to help him flee, giving him a head-start on law enforcement, then that would make them accessories after the fact to murder,” Rahmani explained.
“And that’s a crime that can carry up to 30 years in prison.
“There’s certainly evidence that gives rise to the inference that they knew their son killed Gabby, and then gave them a head start – and that’s the basis for prosecution,” added Rahmani.
“So now they’re caught in this sort of really bad situation.”
Bertolino has repeatedly called the Petitos’ allegations “baseless.”
“A motion to dismiss the baseless and frivolous lawsuit commenced by Gabby Petito‘s parents was filed in court,” Bertolino said.
“The Laundries have exercised their constitutional right to refrain from speaking and have relied on counsel to speak for them. This is not only common practice in our civilized society but it embodies the exercise of fundamental rights under the United States and Florida Constitutions.”
He continued: “The Laundries’ rights are inalienable and the Laundries can never be liable for exercising their legal rights in a permissible way.
“Myself and my colleagues at Trombley & Hanes, who are representing Chris and Roberta Laundrie in this matter, are confident that the constitutional rights of all citizens of this country will be protected by the dismissal of this lawsuit.”
WHAT DID GABBY GO THROUGH?
Joe Petito and Nichole Schmidt hosted an audio chat on Twitter Spaces where they reflected on Gabby‘s life which was tragically cut short by her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, when he strangled her to death.
The former couple often works together to honor Gabby’s life by raising awareness of domestic abuse.
“Nobody had any idea what she was going through,” Nichole said on Twitter on Sunday night.
Gabby’s family has since launched a $50million lawsuit against the Moab City Police Department, blaming its officers for “failing to protect” the van-life blogger in the domestic violence call weeks before her murder.
However, during the Twitter Spaces meeting, Joe encouraged viewers to use the bodycam footage as a tool to recognize domestic violence.
“Use that video as a learning tool,” the father said online.
“So we can get better. There’s a perfect example right there. We can do better, and we should.
“Let people know that they’re not alone, and that might help get them through it. That’s the important thing.”