Sunday, June 26, 2022

Gabby Petito Case Timeline

The disappearance and murder of Gabrielle 'Gabby' Petito has captured worldwide attention. The 22-year-old young woman vanished during a cross-country road trip with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie. Suspicions about Brian's involvement in Gabby's disappearance began to arise after Brian returned to his family's home in Florida without her. Once Gabby was reporting missing, it was revealed that Brian and Gabby faced struggles both before and during their trip. Once Gabby's body was found, many began to suspect that Brian had murdered her. However, authorities were unable to question him--as Brian himself also vanished days before Gabby's remains were found. In late October 2021, Brian's remains were found in Florida. His death was ruled a suicide by a gunshot wound to the head.

Below is a timeline detailing the events of Gabby and Brian's relationship and their eventual disappearances and deaths. More information will be added as it becomes available.

2014-2015: Gabrielle 'Gabby' Petito and Brian Laundrie begin dating while both are attending Bayport-Blue Point High School in Long Island, New York. At the time, Gabby is a sophomore and Brian is a junior.

Gabby & Brian's yearbook photos from Bayport Blue Point High School

2016: Brian graduates from high school. According to friends, Gabby and Brian break up several months after Brian's graduation.

2017: Gabby graduates from high school.

September 2017-January 2019: Gabby moves to Carolina Beach, North Carolina and works in a restaurant in Wilmington.

Gabby with friends in North Carolina

March 2019: Gabby and Brian get back together.

A picture that Gabby describes as from their "first date" upon getting back together in 2019.

2019 cont: Gabby and Brian move to North Point, Florida, where Brian's parents also live.

Late 2019-Early 2020: Gabby and Brian take their first cross-country road trip, visiting several places including Texas, Colorado, Nevada, and California.

Early 2020: Upon their return to Florida, both Gabby and Brian work at a Publix store in North Port. Gabby worked as a pharmacy technician, while Brian worked in the grocery department. 

March 2020: Both quit their jobs at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

July 2nd-3rd 2020: Both Gabby and Brian announce on their respective Instagram accounts that they are engaged.

Post from Brian's Instagram announcing his engagement to Gabby. The caption reads, "My biggest fear is that one day I’ll wake up and it will have all been a dream, because that is what every second has felt like since the moment we found each other. Till death do us part or until I wake up, I’m so happy the answer was yes, Love you hunny."

December 2020: Gabby purchases a 2012 Ford Transit Connect van with the plan to convert it into a camper for their next cross-country road trip.

A picture of Gabby with the van shortly after it was purchased. Posted on Brian's Instagram.

Late 2020-June 2021: Gabby works as a nutritionist at Taco Bell while Brian works at a local juice bar. Both are saving up money in preparation for their road trip.

June 17th, 2021: Gabby and Brian visit Gabby's family in Blue Point, New York, to attend Gabby's brother's graduation ceremony. 

June 24th, 2021: Gabby's brother TJ Schmidt posts a picture of him and Gabby in Shohola Falls, Pennsylvania. The caption reads, "Thank you guys so much for one of the best trips ever😁😁 can’t wait for the next one." Both Gabby and Brian are tagged in the photo.

July 2nd, 2021: Gabby and Brian depart from Blue Point, New York to begin their cross-country journey in the van.

July 4th, 2021: Gabby and Brian visit Monument Rocks in Kansas. 

July 8th-11th 2021: Gabby posts pictures of herself in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Both Brian and Gabby post pictures of themselves at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in south-central Colorado.

July 16th-21st2021-: Both Gabby and Brian post pictures of themselves at Zion National Park in Utah.

Brian and Gabby at Zion National Park

July 21st-26th 2021: Gabby and Brian posts pictures from Bryce Canyon Park in Utah.

July 29th-31st, 2021: Gabby and Brian posts pictures from Canyonlands National Park in Utah.

July 31st-August 12th, 2021: Gabby and Brian remain in Utah, but neither share any posts to Instagram during this time. 

August 12th, 2021: A person calls 911 after witnessing Gabby and Brian fighting in front of the Moonflower Community Cooperative in Moab, Utah. The caller says that he saw a man (later identified as Brian) slap a woman (later identified as Gabby) twice before the two got into the van and drove off. Another witness reportedly saw Gabby punching Brian in the arm. The witness also explained that it looked like Brian was trying to drive off without Gabby, while taking her phone with him. Eventually, both got into the van and drove away.

Police found the couple driving in the van and pulled them over near the entrance to Arches National Park. 

Body cam footage of Gabby and Brian after they were pulled over.

The officers separated Gabby and Brian to ask each of them what happened. Gabby explained that she was stressed while trying to clean the van and while also working on her lifestyle blog. She said that Brian did not believe she was able to create a successful blog, and they argued while at Moonflower. She initially downplayed the physical altercation, but eventually admitted that Brian grabbed her face while they argued.

Brian told officers that he wanted to "take a breather" during their argument and told Gabby to take a walk while he would remain in the van. Brian explained that this upset Gabby, and she began to slap him. He said he then grabbed her face and pushed her back. Neither Gabby nor Brian wanted to press charges and the officers ultimately let them go without any citations. However, the officers did advise that the couple spend the night apart, which both agreed to do.

August 12th cont: Gabby posts several photos on Instagram of their time in Utah.

August 13th, 2021: Brian posts several photos of himself at Arches National Park in Utah. Unlike his previous posts, Gabby is not tagged or mentioned.

August 17th, 2021: Brian flies from Salt Lake City to Tampa, Florida while Gabby stays at Fairfield Inn and Suites in Salt Lake. Brian reportedly went to Florida to close a storage unit they had in effort to save their money and extend their road trip. 

August 19th, 2021: While staying at the hotel, Gabby posts a video documenting various parts of their road trip to her YouTube page. 

August 23rd, 2021: Brian flies back to Salt Lake City and reunites with Gabby.

August 24th, 2021: The couple checks out of the hotel.

August 25th, 2021: Gabby FaceTimes with her mother. She tells her mother that she and Brian were leaving Utah to head to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming and then to Yellowstone. That same day, Gabby posts her final Instagram post of her in front of a butterfly mural in Ogden, Utah. 

Gabby's final Instagram post.

August 27th, 2021: Gabby and Brian visit a Tex-Mex restaurant called Merry Piglets in Jackson Hole, Wyoming between 1:00 and 2:00 PM. Witnesses state that Brian argued with several employees in the restaurant--including the hostess, waitress, and manager. He was reportedly arguing about their bill, and the witness described his demeanor as aggressive. Very shortly after the couple left the restaurant, Gabby returned to apologize for Brian's behavior. 
***note: this information has now been reported as false. See the October 30th update below for more information about this incident. 

August 27th cont: Gabby's mother receives a text from Gabby's phone that states, "Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls." Stan is the name of Gabby's grandfather--however she had never referred to him by his first name in the past. Due to this, Gabby's mother does not believe that this text was sent by Gabby herself. 

August 29th, 2021: A woman and her boyfriend pick up a man (later identified as Brian) after they spot him hitchhiking alone in an area near Colter Bay Village. He offers the couple $200 dollars to drive him to Jackson, Wyoming. At some point during the drive, the couple tells Brian that they are actually headed to Jackson Hole instead of Jackson. At that point, Brian "freaks out" and demands to get out of the vehicle. The couple drops him off near Jackson Lake Dam at 6:09 PM. 

August 29th cont: Another woman picks up Brian after seeing him hitchhiking in the Jackson Dam area between 6:20-6:30 PM. The person drives Brian to the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping area and drops him off at the entrance. Brian tells her he does not want to be driven any further beyond the entrance. 

August 30th, 2021: Gabby's mother receives another text from Gabby's phone which reads, "No service in Yosemite." Gabby's mother also does not believe this was sent from Gabby herself. 

September 1st, 2021: Brian returns to his family's home North Point, Florida. He returns with Gabby's van, but without Gabby herself.

September 6th-8th 2021: Brian goes on a camping trip with his parents, sister, brother-in-law and nephews at Fort De Soto Park in Pinellas County, Florida.

Brian at Fort De Soto with his nephews.

September 11th, 2021: Gabby's mother reports her missing. At this point, Gabby's family members are aware that Brian returned to Florida without Gabby. However, they made several attempts to contact both Brian and his family members, and they did not receive any responses. 

September 13th, 2021: Brian leaves his family's home to go for a hike in Carlton Reserve in Venice. According to the Laundrie's family lawyer, Steve Bertolino, Brian was "very upset" at the time he left their home. He never returns.

September 14th, 2021: A Ford Mustang is spotted parked at Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park. An abandoned vehicle notice is placed on the car, stating that the car will be towed if it is not moved. It is later revealed that the Mustang belongs to the Laundrie Family.

September 15th, 2021: Brian's parents retrieve the Mustang and return it to their home.

Brian's mother, Roberta Laundrie, exiting the Mustang after returning it to their home.

September 15th, 2021: Authorities announce that Brian is a "person of interest" in Gabby's disappearance. 

September 16th, 2021: The North Point police hold a press conference regarding Gabby's disappearance. During the conference, they announce that Brian is not cooperating with the investigation. The same day, a separate press conference is held, and the lawyer for the Petito family reads a letter to Brian's parents urging them to come forward with information. 

Gabby's father, Joe Petito, at the Sept. 16 press conference

September 17th, 2021: Brian Laundrie's parents report him missing. They tell police that they last saw him before he left to go hiking at the Carlton Reserve--despite the fact that his car was found parked at Myakkahatchee Creek.

September 18th, 2021: Authorities in Florida begin searching for Brian at Carlton Reserve. Meanwhile, authorities in Wyoming continue to search for Gabby. 

September 19th, 2021: It is revealed that a woman named Jenn Bethune was also documenting a cross-country trip with her family and happened to be in Spread Creek Dispersed Camping area around the same time that Brian Laundrie was spotted hitchhiking between August 27th-30th. While later looking over her footage, Jenn noticed that she drove past Gabby's van on August 27th and captured it on camera. She then submitted the footage to the FBI.

A still image from Jenn Bethune's video, capturing Gabby's van in Grand Teton.

September 19th, 2021, cont: Authorities find a body in Spread Creek, not far from where Jenn Bethune spotted the van. 

Location where the remains were found

September 20th, 2021: The FBI executes a search warrant at the Laundrie home and removes several items, including the Mustang. 

The FBI at the Laundrie home

September 21st, 2021: Authorities confirm that the body found in Spread Creek is that of Gabby Petito. Her death is classified as a homicide, though an exact cause of death is not yet revealed.

September 23rd, 2021: A warrant is issued for Brian Laundrie's arrest. He is charged with unauthorized use of Gabby's Capital One debit card and bank accounts between August 30th-September 1st. It's believed he was traveling back to Florida during this time period.

September 24th, 2021: Gabby's friend Rose Davis speaks to People and reveals that Brian had jealousy issues when it came to Gabby, and that Gabby would often stay with her when she and Brian argued. Rose explains that she feels that Brian was controlling of Gabby.

Rose with Gabby

September 24th-October 20th, 2021: The search for Brian continues. Authorities continue to search Carlton Reserve. Dog the Bounty Hunter joins the search as well. Both authorities and Dog respond to several reported sightings of Brian in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Florida. However, none of these sightings pan out.

October 5th, 2021: After weeks of silence, Brian's sister Cassie Laundrie and her husband speak to protestors outside of their Florida home. Cassie explains that she does not know where Brian is, or whether or not he killed Gabby. She also states that both her parents and their lawyer have stopped communicating with her.

Cassie Laundrie and her husband speaking with protestors.

October 12th, 2021: Wyoming coroner Brent Blue reveals that Gabby was strangled to death. 

October 20th, 2021: Brian Laundrie's parents join authorities in the search for Brian at Myakkahatchee Creek, close to where Brian's car was found parked on September 14th.

Brian Laundrie's parents at Myakkahatchee Creek.

Within minutes of arriving, Brian's parents find a dry bag containing a notebook that belongs to Brian. Shortly thereafter, authorities spotted human remains in a nearby spot.

October 21st, 2021: Dental records confirm that the remains belong to Brian Laundrie. 

October 22nd, 2021: It is announced that Brian's autopsy was inconclusive. The remains have since been sent to a forensic anthropologist for further investigation. 

October 30th, 2021: New reports about this case have revealed that the previously reported information about Brian and Gabby at the Merry Piglets in Jackson Hole, Wyoming was false. The manager at the restaurant spoke to reporter Brian Entin about the incident and stated specifically that "everything that's been on the news about what happened" there is "made up." 

According to the manager's recollection of the events, Gabby and Brian did eat at the restaurant that day, but there was not a serious altercation. Gabby and Brian were chased down by a server after they left the restaurant without paying. The two eventually paid their bill while outside, but just a few moments later, Gabby re-entered the restaurant to ask for her money back. The couple was not refunded, and they left shortly thereafter.

November 23rd, 2021: The Laundrie family attorney announced that Brian died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

January 22nd, 2022: The FBI confirmed that they are preparing to end their investigation into Gabby's murder. Throughout the investigation, the FBI learned that Brian sent text messages from both his phone and Gabby's phone after her death in an attempt to make it seem as if Gabby was still alive. It was also revealed that the notebook found near Brian's body containing writings in which Brian took responsibility for Gabby's murder.

Special Agent Michael Schneider released a statement, saying "All logical investigative steps have been concluded in this case. The investigation did not identify any other individuals other than Brian Laundrie directly involved in the tragic death of Gabby Petito."

March 10th, 2022: Gabby Petito's parents--Joe Petito and Nichole Schmidt--are suing the parents of Brian Laundrie. Petito and Schmidt are "seeking $30,000 exclusive of prejudgment interest, costs, and attorney fees." In their lawsuit, it is claimed that Christopher and Roberta Laundrie were aware that Brian murdered Gabby before Gabby was even reporting missing. 

 The documents state, "It is believed ... that on or about August 28, 2021, Brian Laundrie advised his parents, Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie, that he had murdered Gabrielle Petito." The documents also state that the Laundrie family lawyer, Steve Bertolino, was contacted very shortly after Brian allegedly told his parents that he had murdered Gabby. A retainer was sent to Bertolino on September 2nd, 2021.

Although Brian ultimately died from suicide, the lawsuit also states that the Laundrie family was making plans to help Brian leave the country. While Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt were desperately searching for information concerning their daughter, Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie were keeping the whereabouts of Brian Laundrie secret, and it is believed were making arrangements for him to leave the country."

As previously stated, Gabby's parents continuously attempted to reach out to Brian and his parents while Gabby was missing. Not only did they never respond to Joe or Nichole, but the Laundries also blocked them on social media and by phone number. Their lawyer Steve Bertolino denies the claims made in the Petito's lawsuit. The case is currently ongoing. 

June 26th, 2022: A letter written by Brian Laundrie has been released by the family's lawyer. The letter was found inside the notebook found by Brian's body. In the letter, Brian admits to killing Gabby. He claims he did so in an effort to "end her suffering" after she got injured during a hike.

Brian's letter - tap to enlarge / zoom-in.

Lawyers from the Petito family have stated that the Petito's do not believe Brian was completely honest about the circumstances surrounding Gabby's death. The lawsuit against the Brian Laundrie's parents is still ongoing. 


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