Three ways Gabby Petito murder probe will move ahead as DNA match may be needed to prove if Brian Laundrie killed her

Three ways Gabby Petito murder probe will move ahead as DNA match may be needed to prove if Brian Laundrie killed her


THERE are a few different ways the investigation for Gabby Petito’s death will proceed and a DNA match may be crucial to determine if Brian Laundrie killed her.

Gabby’s body was found last month at Grand Tenton National Park in Wyoming, a destination the pair visited on their cross-country trip. 

Laundrie is the lone “person of interest” in this case and his skeletal remains were found last Wednesday in the Carlton Reserve near his family's North Port, Florida home. 


A DNA match may be needed to determine if Laundrie killed his fiancée because both of the remains have been exposed to different elements and various animals for multiple weeks, abc7 reported. 

The outlet said that the DNA investigation could be complicated as the two were romantically involved and lived in close proximity.  

"Reconstruction experts can do amazing things, so I would not be surprised if at some point we got a definitive, or near-definitive, conclusion that Laundrie was the killer," said Bob Jarvis, a law professor. 

Gabby’s body was found at the park 3-4 weeks after she was strangled to death, Dr Brent Blue, the coroner of Ten County, Wyoming said. 

Forensic anthropologists are investigating Laundrie’s remains to determine how he was killed. 

Officials have not revealed if there were any witnesses during or after the homicide.

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They had been found in an area that, until recently, had been submerged in floodwaters caused by hurricanes last month.

A key indicator to the case is that Laundrie used Gabby’s credit card after she was reported missing.

Read our Brian Laundrie live blog for the very latest news and updates…

A journal was found near his skull and bones that could also clue experts into what happened.


Dr Orna Guralnik, a clinical psychologist from New York, exclusively told The Sun that if there is a death note in Laundrie’s journal, it could reveal what his final intentions were.

She added: “What it has in it is an act of communication with the environment.

If he left a note, it would reveal whether he was feeling “sorrow and protectiveness towards loved ones in advance in thinking about the horrific impact of the suicide or rage at feeling abandoned or betrayed by the world,” Dr Guralnik added.


For Gabby's family, however, the event of Brian's death would do little to give them closure, Neama Rahmani, a former assistant US Attorney and the current president of West Coast Trial Lawyers, told The Sun.

“Unfortunately, if Brian Laundrie has died it would make it more difficult to get to the bottom of this case. But there’s no question that Gabby was killed and by far the most reasonable explanation is that Brian Laundrie did it," he said.

“All signs point to Brian Laundrie. I’m sure Gabby Petito's family wants some sort of closure, but if Brian Laundrie is dead, this is as good as it’s going to get.

"Law enforcement could hold a press conference to say they believe Brian Laundrie killed Gabby Petito and at that point, they should disclose all the information they withheld until now.

"That's really the extent of their obligation, law enforcement will have to move on to other cases."

Wednesday's discovery marked the first significant update in the hunt for Laundrie for several weeks, following a series of month-long, fruitless searches in Florida and beyond.

The condition of the remains and items found remains unclear.

Gabby Petito timeline

Gabby Petito, 22, was last seen on August 24, leaving a hotel in Utah. Here is a timeline of Gabby Petito’s disappearance:

  • June 2021 – Gabby Petito and her fiancé Brian Laundrie set off on a cross-country trip across the US.
  • July 4 – Gabby posts photos of herself barefoot in Gove County, Kansas.
  • July 8 – Gabby posts photos of herself at the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado.
  • July 18 – Gabby and Brian post photos of themselves at Utah's Zion National Park.
  • August 12 – Body camera footage was released in September showing an encounter Brian and Gabby had with police in Utah. Police confirmed that no significant injuries were reported.
  • August 19 – Gabby and Brian post a video on their YouTube channel chronicling their trip.
  • August 24 – Gabby is spotted leaving a hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • August 25 – Gabby Facetimes her mom, Nichole Schmidt, for the final time. In a later police report, Schmidt said her conversations with her daughter revealed "more and more tension" between her and Brian.
  • August 25 – Gabby also posts her last Instagram. No location is given.
  • August 27 – Gabby is seen for what's believed to be the final time. Witnesses claim they saw Brian in an explosive argument with staff at a restaurant in Jackson Hole, leaving Gabby in tears.
  • August 27 – Four hours later, travel bloggers driving through Grand Teton National Park drive past the couple's van "abandoned" on a dirt road.
  • September 1 – Brian returns home to Florida without Gabby.
  • September 11 – Gabby's parents report her missing to Suffolk County police.
  • September 14 – Brian's family issues a statement saying he has retained an attorney and will not be cooperating with investigators.
  • September 14 – Brian is allegedly last seen by his family. He reportedly told them he was going hiking in Cartlon Reserve but failed to return.
  • September 15 – Florida's North Port police announce Brian is a person of interest in the case. He is not charged with any crime.
  • September 16 – Utah police release body camera footage of the police encounter with Brian and Gabby.
  • September 17 – Brian's parents say they have not seen their son in a couple of days and report him missing.
  • September 18 – Police announce they were searching Carlton Reserve in Florida for Brian. Police announce they have not found anything.
  • September 19 – Authorities in Wyoming say they found a body in Grand Teton National Park. The FBI announces the body was believed to be Gabby's but a full forensic identification needs to be completed first to confirm.
  • September 20 – Police execute a search warrant on Laundrie's home, seizing his silver Mustang and a hard drive that may contain "evidence relevant to proving that a felony has been committed."
  • September 21 – Officials announce they will be conducting an autopsy on the remains found in Wyoming to confirm whether or not they belong to Gabby. Police also resumed their search for Laundrie, this time on the Venice side of Carlton Reserve.
  • September 21 – The FBI announced the body found in Wyoming was identified as Gabby's. The cause of death was not yet revealed.
  • September 21 – The Teton County Coroner's office said Gabby's official cause of death was still pending but the initial manner of death is homicide.
  • September 22 – Police continue to scour Carlton Reserve for a trace of Laundrie but yield no leads. A specialist dive team is called in to assist with the hunt.
  • September 23 – Officials announced a federal arrest warrant for Brian was issued.
  • September 26 – Gabby's funeral was held on Long Island, New York.
  • October 12: Gabby's autopsy results were made public. Teton County Coroner Dr Brent Blue confirmed Gabby died by strangulation.
  • October 20: Laundrie's personal items were found at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park. A medical examiner was called to the scene.
  • October 21: The FBI confirmed the remains found have been identified as Laundrie's.


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