The Case of Gabby Petito


Image of Gabby Petito from her Instagram account.

Isabella Eyre, Author

Gabby Petito was a 22-year-old girl from Long Island, New York, who went on a cross-country van trip with her fiancé Brian Laundrie. They were set on going on a four-month trip to visit many national parks. Petito documented her travels through Instagram and YouTube. This trip took a turn for the worse on August 12, 2021, when a police report was filed in Moab, Utah where a man witnessed the couple in a physical argument. The man reported that Laundrie was slapping Petito.

When the police went to investigate, Petito was very shaken up and crying according to the police. Petito reported that she was the one hitting and slapping instead. This caused them to be separated for the night

Petito and Laundrie’s next stop was in Salt Lake, which was where the couple was last seen. While they were there, Petito’s father bought them food and sent it to their hotel room. Gabby told her family they were then going to the Grand Tetons National Park. Petito’s mother reports receiving odd texts from her while the couple was in the Grand Tetons. Petito’s family reports that she regularly Facetimed them throughout the trip, but then fell silent.

On August 29, a woman named Miranda Baker picked up Laundrie who was hitchhiking in the Grand Tetons. She said he got very nervous and wanted out of the car immediately after driving for a little bit. She claims to believe that Laundrie got anxious that someone was going to find Petitos’s body and the van, so he left.

The next event is what led Petito’s family to be concerned about their daughter. She sent a text saying, “no service in Yosemite.” Petito and Laundries’ trip plans did not include traveling to Yosemite.

On September 1st, Laundrie returned home to Florida with Petito’s van but no Petito. He didn’t say anything to the Petito family, and he promptly hired an attorney after returning home.

On September 11, Petito’s mom reported her as a missing person. She had not been in contact with her daughter since late August and was very concerned. The media got pulled into this case and extended the search for Petito. The Petito family was very upset that Laundrie and his family wouldn’t tell them anything about Petito.

On September 15, Laundrie was reported as a person of interest and two days later, Laundrie’s parents told police that he had been missing for 3 days. Many people speculate this was a cover-up for their son. They believe his parents know his whereabouts and are keeping information from the police.

Some YouTube vloggers got Petito’s van on video while traveling through the Grand Tetons. This helped tremendously with the case and led to the discovery of her body on September 19 in Grand Tetons. The body was officially identified as hers on September 21.

Petito’s death was ruled a homicide, the FBI has just released that the cause of her death was due to strangulation.

This is an ongoing case and Laundrie is still a missing suspect. He was issued an arrest warrant for an unauthorized debit card transaction for 1,000 dollars on Petito’s card after she went missing.

Dog The Bounty Hunter has joined the hunt for Laundrie and has headed out to a park in Florida to search for Laundrie because many people believe that he is hiding out there.

The Petito family is begging for the Laundrie family to come out and speak. There are still many unanswered questions about this case. For example, when the bodycam footage was released of the police investigation in Utah, authorities noticed the toxicity of the relationship. There are many signs of domestic abuse just from the video. Gabby was very on edge and was crying. Laundrie appeared very calm and collected like nothing happened. Psychologists and other philosophers have studied this case and some claim he shows sociopathic traits and say he is showing characteristics of being a sociopath.

The FBI is investigating every detail in every picture or video to find out Brian’s motive for doing this to Gabby.

Many people are saddened by her death and angry because they feel there were many missed signs that, had people noticed, could have saved her from being killed.

Petito was known to be a very sweet and hardworking young woman. She loved art. She was very artistic and loved to draw and paint. She would post her different drawings on Instagram. Her family got tattoos of some of the art she did in memory of her, and the family encourages people to remember her as kind, and treat others the way she did. The Petito family wants people to be inspired by Petito’s kindness and continue to share it with others. The Petito family has created The Gabby Petito Foundation to preserve her memory and help her case. The foundation’s website is still under construction.

“Gabby Petito Case: A Timeline of Her Disappearance and Homicide.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 12 Oct. 2021,
“A Timeline of Gabby Petito’s Case, from Embarking on ‘Van Life’ with Fiancé Brian Laundrie to Her Funeral.”,