If you pay attention to the news and current events even casually, you’ve no doubt heard about the tragic story of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie that has been playing out in the media for the past few months.
The young couple from Florida seemed to have a fairytale relationship and 22-year-old Petito shared the ins and outs of her life and her relationship with 23-year-old Laundrie on social media.
The pair were on a cross-country summer road trip when Laundrie returned alone to their North Port, Florida home that the couple shared with Laundrie’s parents on September 1.
Gabby Petito’s disappearance became a national news story and the case took many twists and turns from there.
Where was Gabby Petito? And the case became even more sensational when Brian Laundrie disappeared on September 13 after telling his family he was going for a hike.
Petito’s body was discovered in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming on September 19 and Brian Laundrie’s remains were found in a nature reserve not far from the Laundrie family home on October 20.
Two young people are now gone and their families are left to deal with the fallout from this horrific story. But there are still many questions and loose ends about the case that have yet to be answered.
The Petito/Laundrie story continues to evolve almost daily and here are 20 things about the case that still has people puzzled.
1. The final text.
Gabby Petito kept in touch with her family during her travels and her final text was sent out on August 30. After that, there was no more contact from her.
It read “No service in Yosemite.” But Petito’s mother does not believe her daughter sent the text message.
2. Laundrie returned alone.
Part of the reason that Gabby Petito’s mother doesn’t believe that her daughter sent the text on August 30 was that Brian Laundrie returned home to North Port, Florida on September 1.
As mentioned earlier, Laundrie returned in the van the couple had been traveling in by himself.
The timeline that Laundrie drove from Yosemite to Florida so quickly doesn’t add up.
3. Strange timing.
After Brian Laundrie returned to Florida alone in his van on September 1, he went camping with his parents and his sister on September 6-7 at Fort De Soto Park.
Why would they take a family trip just after Brian returned home from a cross-country trip without his girlfriend?
4. Never came up.
On October 4, Brian’s sister Cassie Laundrie told protesters that Gabby’s name never came up during the family camping trip on September 6-7.
Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense…
Why did the Laundrie family not make any kind of statement or get in touch with law enforcement officials after Brian returned alone on September 1?
6. The trip home.
Brian Laundrie flew from Salt Lake City, Utah back to Florida and spent August 17-23 there. He then flew back out west to rejoin Gabby Petito on the road.
What was he doing in Florida during those days?
7. Social media vs. reality.
When judged by their social media presence, Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie seemed to have a loving relationship filled with adventure and excitement.
So what went wrong? And what ultimately led to both of these young people dying?
8. Another strange text.
Petito’s mother thought another text she received from her daughter’s phone a few days before her final message was also odd.
On August 27, Petito’s mother received a message from Gabby’s phone that read, “Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls.”
Gabby’s grandfather’s name is Stan, but she never referred to him by his first name.
Gabby Petito’s mother also said that she could tell the tension between her daughter and Brian Laundrie was intensifying as their summer trip continued on based on her phone calls with Gabby.
Why did Gabby stay on the trip if things were so bad? Why did she not leave a potentially dangerous situation?
10. Shut out.
Gabby Petito’s family became alarmed and eventually desperate when they could not get in touch with her. They reported her missing on September 11 after not hearing anything from her since August 30.
On September 16, the Petito family made a statement and begged Laundrie’s family for help in locating their daughter.
It also came to light that the Petitos had reached out to the Laundries earlier in September but they would not answer.
Why did the Laundrie family refuse to cooperate?
11. Was it him?
A woman claimed that she gave a hitchhiker who she believes to be Brian Laundrie a ride on August 29 in Colter Bay, Wyoming.
The hitchhiker said he had been camping by himself while his girlfriend worked on social media pages back at their van.
The hitchhiker became agitated when the woman mentioned the town of Jackson Hole and he asked to be let out of the car.
This was the day before Gabby Petito’s mother received the final text message from her daughter’s phone.
Was it Brian Laundrie? And why would he have been hitchhiking?
12. One more ride.
Another woman also claimed to have given Laundrie a ride on August 29 in Wyoming.
She dropped the hitchhiker off at the Spread Creek dispersed camping area. This is the area where Gabby Petito’s body was discovered on September 19.
Again…could this mystery hitchhiker have been Brian Laundrie?
13. Four days.
Brian Laundrie left the family home on September 13 and said he was going for a hike.
But his family didn’t report him missing until September 17. Why did they wait four days?
14. Left behind.
When Laundrie left his house on September 13, he didn’t take his cell phone or his wallet with him. Why didn’t this alarm his parents?
15. The wrong person.
North Port, Florida police recently admitted that they mistook Brian Laundrie’s mother Robin for him when the Laundrie home was under surveillance.
Officers saw a car pull up to the house on September 15 and believed it was Brian when it was actually his mother wearing a baseball hat.
Police did not yet know that Brian Laundrie had been missing since September 13 because his family didn’t report it until September 17.
View this post on Instagram
16. The man in the Appalachian Mountains.
A hiker near the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina reported that a man he was certain was Brian Laundrie asked him how he could drive to California using only back roads.
The man said that the person he believed to be Laundrie seemed dazed and lost and he talked about having had a fight with his girlfriend.
Who was this mystery man? Could Laundrie have driven to North Carolina and gone back to Florida where his body was found eventually?
17. The car in the nature reserve.
Brian Laundrie left home on September 13. His parents went to look for him in the nature reserve where he said he was going hiking, found his car there on September 15, and drove it back to the family home.
Why did they still wait another two days until September 17 to tell the authorities their son was missing?
18. What’s in the notebook?
A notebook found near Brian Laundrie’s body may hold some clues about what happened and what Laundrie’s state of mind was like before he died.
The area where the item was found, along with Laundrie’s backpack, had previously been underwater so authorities will have to see if the notebook is salvageable.
19. The discovery.
Brian Laundrie was missing for five weeks before his remains were discovered on October 20. Up until that point, authorities had no luck finding him.
But it wasn’t until Laundrie’s parents assisted in the search and pointed out an area they believed their son might be that the man’s remains were quickly found.
Some people find this to be very puzzling.
20. How did Brian Laundrie die?
The first autopsy on Laundrie’s remains came back as inconclusive and it is still not known what caused his death.
What do you think about this case that has captured the public’s attention? Do you have any theories or insights.
Read on for our entire recap of everything we know so far about the case:
The most recent example involves Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie, a couple whose tragic story continues to evolve with new information and a seemingly never-ending list of unanswered questions.
The couple, Petito, 22, and Laundrie, 23, lived with Laundrie’s parents in North Port, Florida. On July 2, Petito and Laundrie left Florida and embarked on a cross-country road trip to visit national and state parks.
Petito documented her and Laundrie’s travels on social media and said that the two were “traveling the world in our tiny van.”
But underneath all the romanticism of life on the road and their supposed love for each other was an apparent dark side to Petito and Laundrie’s relationship.
On August 12, police in Moab, Utah had an encounter with Petito and Laundrie after the couple apparently had a fight with each other. Bodycam footage from an officer showed a crying Petito describing the altercation. Petito and Laundrie both declined to press charges but it’s clear from the footage that things were not going well between the couple.
A few weeks later, on August 27, a couple in Jackson, Wyoming said they saw Petito and Laundrie fighting when they were leaving a restaurant. One of the witnesses said that Petito was crying and that an obviously angry Laundrie went in and out of the restaurant several times and appeared to be angry at the staff.
Gabby Petito kept in contact with her family during her cross-country trip, but they reported that all contact with her suddenly ceased at the end of August. On August 30, Petito’s family received a text from her that read, “No service in Yosemite.” Her family does not believe that she sent the text message.
Curiously, Brian Laundrie came back to his home in Florida on September 1 by himself. On September 11, Gabby Petito’s family in New York reported her missing as they had been unable to get in touch with her. Law enforcement officials went to the Laundrie home in North Port, Florida that evening to talk to the family about Petito’s whereabouts but they were only given information about how to speak to the family’s attorney.
The case took another strange turn when Brian Laundrie disappeared on September 13 after he said he was going for a hike in a nature reserve. Suspicion was now focused on the young man.
#FBIDenver appreciates the collaboration of all agencies and personnel who assisted in the search, recovery, and identification efforts. @NatlParkService @forestservice @GrandTetonNPS @BridgerTetonNF pic.twitter.com/2CWXNBMUn2
— FBI Denver (@FBIDenver) September 21, 2021
Another month passed and Brian Laundrie was nowhere to be found. Was he hiding out in a swamp in his home state? Was he on the run?
A hiker near the Appalachian Trail reported that he was certain he encountered the missing man in North Carolina and that the man he believed to be Laundrie asked him how he could drive to California only using back roads.
The lead seemed promising until finally, on October 20, Laundrie’s remains were found in a nature reserve not far from the Laundrie family home in Florida. Next to his remains were a backpack with a journal.
As of now, the cause of Laundrie’s death is inconclusive. Authorities continue to try to piece together how this terrible chain of events unfolded.
We will continue to update our readers when developments arise in this story.
What are your thoughts about this case?
Do you have any theories or ideas? If so, please talk to us in the comments.
By the way, if you love true crime, check out these 32 mysteries that people are dying to solve!
1. Mistakes were made.
The Springfield Three.
I lived in Springfield when it happened. Can’t help but think if their friends hadn’t cleaned up the house the next morning, it would have been solved in a week.
2. He has to be somewhere.
7 year old disappeared after a science fair in 2010. No body found or anything. Last year was the 10 year mark which is crazy cause I remember watching the news story when it first happened.
From what I remember there was some blaming between the step parents and the bio parents since the step mom was last to see him, but no charges against either were made.
3. Poor Lizzie. Probably.
I have two.
Why did Agatha Christie disappear for 11 days?
Whether or not Lizzie Borden killed her parents.
4. It’s just so weird.
The Tamám Shud case/Somerton Man case. It’s just so weird, I want to know what the hell happened.
For the unaware: December 1, 1948 (had to check date) an unknown man shows up dead in a public park bench in southern Australia. He had American made products on him, a plane ticket with a false name, an unused ticket out of town, and a ticket into town. They also found a piece of paper on him with “Tamam Shud” was found rolled up in his pants.
This is the extent of what is actually known about the man. Tamam Shud is from a book (a special edition of “Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.” It’s the last words of the edition and translates to “finished”) they found that the man had thrown into the backseat of a random car (at least as far as anyone knows it was random, no one in the house knew who the man was).
Police think he looked “britishier” than his effects showed, but that’s also just speculation. No camera footage was found, the used tickets had no information that lead to the man’s identification, and what few marks WERE on the man’s clothing provided no leads.
They didn’t seem to be the man’s name, nor the name of any dry cleaners in the entire country. What dry cleaners there were, the man was wearing a suit, didn’t recognize the man, nor had any record of servicing the man’s clothing.
5. I also really want to know.
The Keddie cabin murders have always been really intriguing to me.
6. Insane for sure.
The Dresden Green Vault robbery from a couple years ago, not a serial killer thing like most others in this comment section but this one is insane to me, not every day a couple people get away with a 1 billion euro heist.
My favorite part is that the alarms go off after the cameras kick back on, there is an audi reported to be associated with the robbery, and 5 minutes later an audi is found on fire.
7. It’s certainly intriguing.
Honestly, the Jack the Ripper stuff.
There’s speculation that he skipped town and came to the US and became known as a different serial killer.
I’d like to know if that’s true.
8. Sometimes it’s personal.
My grandfather’s murder.
He was robbed at gunpoint… the gun they used was his.
This happened when my mom was very young.
9. Both solid answers.
Sister Catherine Cesnik.
And the Dyatlov pass incident.
Look them up. They’re terrifying.
10. We all want answers.
The Delphi murders.
Two 14 year old little girls murdered. One of them got a video of a guy who approached them on the bridge near where their bodies were found.
The police are being very sketchy and releasing very few details.
The victims would be graduating high school this year and we are no closer to knowing what happened to them.
11. We’ll probably never know.
There is a lot of stuff we “know” based on what the government (any, not just the US) let’s us know/let’s “slip.”
I want to know what the things are that we DON’T know about.
What are the real secrets hidden away behind so many layers of tape, security and reactions that when someone DOES come out and report are either “disappeared,” “completed suicide,” or denounced and placed in advance psychiatric care.
12. They just can’t close it.
My grandmother’s murder.
Police botched the case and made all evidence regarding the two main suspects inadmissible in court.
So they were pretty sure they knew who was responsible but they couldn’t use the evidence so the case has been open for 30 years now.
13. A sad state of affairs.
It would be tough to choose because of the sheer amount of women and children who have gone missing.
I’d feel guilty no matter which I chose.
14. I think she’s still alive.
The Disappearance Of Amy Bradley.
15. A good theory.
Why did the civilizations in the Bronze Age disappear?
What happened to them? What was the cause of their demise?
I think the prevailing theory is that it was a series of pretty badly timed disasters.
A series of earthquakes occurred during a severe drought that triggered a big refugee event.
16. A brush with fame.
Young nurse in Saskatoon, SK, Canada in 1962 who disappeared then two weeks later was found dead and partially buried near a river flowing through the city.
The year before she was in a beauty Queen contest and won. The grand prize was that she was serenaded on stage by none other than Johnny Cash. Cash vacationed in the area and had co-written a song called The Girl From Saskatoon. Upon hearing of her death, Cash swore he’d never play or record the song again.
The case remains unsolved.
Except her next door neighbour was a guy who in 1929 was the young unwilling accomplice in a series of murders in California.
His story was part of a 2008 Hollywood movie.
17. Not a satisfying answer.
An obscure one: the 1987 Arkansas murders of Don Henry and Kevin Ives, the “Boys on the Tracks.”
Unsolved mysteries covered this. Wrong place at the wrong time?
18. I think they drowned.
I’m surprised this isn’t mention it but what happen to the Anglin brothers or the escapees of the inescapable Alcatraz.
They made the most genius plan on escaping an inescapable prisonI am curious on what happen to them afterwards, little to no evidence was found and they just escape without a trace.
19. We all want answers.
My father’s murder.
I just want to know who the hell killed him, it’s been 21 years already I don’t even want vengeance just answers.
20. It’s definitely bizarre.
I desperately want to know what happened to Flight 370.
Sure there are a shit ton of theories, but the plane has still never been found, and as such it’s basically impossible to know what actually happened.
Hijacking? Suicide? Malfunction? Conspiracy?
We will probably never known.
But damn do I want to.
21. Into thin air.
I’m from SW Missouri.
Our big mystery is the case of “the 3 missing women”.
A mother, her daughter and the daughters best friend disappeared on graduation night.
Happened in the early 90s.
Lots of wild theories of who and what happened to them.
22. It changes everyone.
Kidnapping of Morgan Nick
I was 10 and lived not even 10 minutes from the ball field at the time even playing on it as a child. So that case has been extremely close to me growing up.
23. They must have!
What was Andrew Cunanan’s real reason for killing Giovanni Versace?
And did they really know each other.
I have so many questions!
24. We’d all like to know.
Oslo Plaza woman.
I want to know who she is!
What happened to her?
25. Alternate universe.
I have somehow lost a dozen pocket knives over time… Where do they go? Is someone pranking me for 30 years?
Have I stabbed people and blocked it out? I have to know!!!
26. The entire world is interested.
Why has no one said this yet?
Man I would LOVE to know where his body is.
27. A really old one.
What happened to Louis le Prince??
Thought to have captured the first film and mysteriously went missing.
Brilliant documentary called “the first film”
28. We’re never going to know.
Australian beach, random dead guy.
The Taman Shud case.
29. Missing pieces.
I thought her “friends” did it, but now I think a random predator killed her the same night she disappeared.
Asha Degree. Why did she leave her house in the middle of the night, what happened to her and where is she? I lean towards she was being groomed and “ran away” to meet the person grooming her.
Delphi. Who the HELL is bridge guy and what does LE know/not know? What is the missing piece?
Brian Shaffer, Danielle Imbo/Richard Petrone, Mark Himebaugh… I can go on.
30. Both cases should be solved.
Delphi Indiana murders
Burger Chef Murders Indianapolis.
The burger chef case is tragic. 4 teenagers murdered because one of their brothers owed someone money.
Imagine the guilt he must live with.
31. Where do they GO?
Odd number of socks coming out of the dryer.
I have a long held theory that we may be gaining EXTRA socks- all we really know is that the count is off, so we just assume we are losing.
An extension of this theory is that there is no net gain/loss worldwide, just transport. You lose a sock, it turns up with me, we are both odd, and both assume we lost one.
32. A rabbit hole indeed.
Everything Jeffrey Epstien. I want ALL THE ANSWERS.
A crazy rabbit hole that no one will ever find to tell about. Someone knows something.
Maybe not how he died, but no way all of his secrets stayed secrets.
That’s a lot of mystery, yeah? Anything really resonate with you?
Let us know in the comments!