From what was supposed to be a 4-month-long cross-country vacation in a camper with two high school lovers, later took a turn for the worst, eventually turning up the remains of both people.
The initial victim of the search, Gabrielle (Gabby) Petito, was a 22-year-old pharmacy technician and nutritionist out of North Port, Florida. Gabby was the eldest of 6 total siblings, she had a knack for documenting her travels and adventures as a social media presence. A portion of her cross-country vacation is documented on YouTube under a video called “VAN LIFE: Beginning Our Van Life Journey.” on the channel “Nomadic Statik” (Hauser, Cramer, Levenson).
The boyfriend of Gabby, Brian Laundrie, was a 23-year-old nature enthusiast, who enjoyed the outdoors and traveling. The FBI later indicted him for the murder, due to his actions afterward. Laundrie was labeled as the prime suspect in the murder (James).
In June of this year, Gabby and Brian set out to go on a country-wide vacation to visit some of the greatest national parks in the United States. In the progress of their full trip, the couple had stopped in a small city in Utah called Moab.
While in Moab, the local police department had received an anonymous tip that a male was chasing a female and hitting her on the sidewalk “We drove by and the gentleman was slapping the girl, And then we stopped. They ran up and down the sidewalk. He proceeded to hit her, hopped in the car, and drove off.” (Yamada).
After being located by Moab police, the couple was pulled over and questioned about the incident. The police asked the two if they were arguing and had a physical altercation, the couple admitted to arguing and Brian getting physical with her, but the couple was later released from questioning for insufficient evidence on the incident (Yamada).
On August 25th, Gabby’s mother, Nicole, spoke to her daughter for what was believed to be the last time, but Gabby was later spotted in a restaurant parking lot, once again viciously arguing with her boyfriend (Yamada).
On September 1st, police reported that Brian Laundrie had returned to his parent’s home in Florida in Petito’s white vehicle, but without Gabby. Ten days later, Gabby was reported missing by some of her family in Long Island, they stated the last time they were in contact with her, she was around Grand Teton National Park area (Yamada).
After being reported, the widespread search for Gabby Petito began immediately. With Brian and his family refusing to search for Gabby and comply with details of Gabby’s whereabouts, plenty of policemen, FBI, and volunteers went out and looked for her. With deep regret, Teton County’s Coroner Office confirmed they found the bodily remains of Gabby, and her cause of death was homicide by strangulation (Yamada).
After the remains were found, an arrest warrant was set out for Brian for events leading up to the murder of Gabby. Still, on the search for Brian’s arrest a month later, his remains were later found at the Carlton Reserve and identified by dental marks, still, no cause of death has been reported to the media (Yamada).