FBI Has Closed the Gabrielle Petito Murder Investigation

The Moab Police Department via AP

The FBI on Friday announced it is closing its investigation into the homicide of Gabrielle Petito and the suicide of her fiancé Brian Laundrie, who was designated as a person of interest in the young woman’s murder. FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider released a statement explaining that “all logical investigative steps have been concluded in this case.”

He continued:

The investigation did not identify any other individuals other than Brian Laundrie directly involved in the tragic death of Gabby Petito. The FBI’s primary focus throughout the investigation was to bring justice to Gabby and her family.

The Bureau stated agents had discovered “written statements by Mr. Laundrie claiming responsibility for Ms. Petito’s death.”

Steven Bertolino, the attorney representing the Laundrie family, said the ordeal “has caused enormous emotional pain and suffering to all who loved either or both” Laundrie and Petito.

“We can only hope that with today’s closure of the case each family can begin to heal and move forward and find peace in and with the memories of their children. May Gabby and Brian both rest in peace,” he concluded.

The story became national news shortly after Petito, a blogger and social media influencer, disappeared in late August 2021 while taking a cross-country road trip with her fiancé in her van. Laundrie later returned to North Port, Florida, without her. She was no longer responding to text messages or phone calls.

Petito’s parents reported their daughter missing in September. Laundrie also went missing later on September 13. However, his parents did not report his disappearance until September 17. Reports of a physical altercation between the two later surfaced. Utah Police officers responded to a phone call stating a witness had seen the couple engaged in a fight. The officers later released both Laundrie and Petito after taking a report.

Authorities in Florida began searching in the nearby Carlton Reserve for Laundrie, as he was known to frequently hike in the area. In Wyoming, authorities searched for Petito and eventually found her remains on September 19. Her death was later ruled a homicide by strangulation.

Laundrie’s remains were later located in Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, along with a backpack and other personal belongings. An autopsy revealed he had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

“The North Port Police Department has been briefed by the FBI on the soon to be closing of their investigation into the Gabby Petito/Brian Laundrie case,” the police department explained in a Friday statement. “We are thankful for the collaboration with the many agencies involved. The dedicated men and women who serve the North Port community have worked tirelessly to help provide answers in this case. We hope that all the efforts will provide some closure for all of those impacted by this tragic event. There will be no further comment at this time.”