Gabby Petito Case: Comparing the Conflicting Accounts of Brian Laundrie’s Cellphone

by Amy Myers

With Brian Laundrie still on the run, investigators are focusing part of their attention on the items that Laundrie would normally have on his person – namely, his cellphone. Typically, a 23-year-old in today’s technology-centered world wouldn’t leave the house without his smartphone.

As followers of the case know, Laundrie frequently used his Instagram to provide updates on his and Gabby Petito’s adventures, just as she did on her own page. According to Laundrie’s parents and an unnamed close friend, the fugitive left both his phone and his wallet at home before going on a hike on September 14. However, in the past, there has been conflicting information regarding the vital piece of digital evidence.

Brian Laundrie’s attorney, Steven Bertolino, confirmed that his client purchased a new cellphone and opened a new account with AT&T on September 4. He stated that this was the phone that Laundrie left at home before leaving on the 14th. This was also the device that the police had in their custody. However, this did not account for the location of Laundrie’s first phone – the one he had on the cross-country trip. Currently, police still do not know where this device is.

Domestic Dispute Between Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie Reveals Discrepancy with Cell Phone

Prior to Gabby Petito’s disappearance, Moab police officers paid the couple a visit on the road. While en route to Arches National Park, a bystander called in a domestic dispute. According to the witness, the couple was fighting over a phone and Laundrie refused to let Petito into their van. When officers asked Laundrie about the dispute involving the phone, the 23-year-old responded that he didn’t have his phone.

“I was holding onto the keys because I didn’t want to go anywhere, and my big fear is — I don’t have my phone. I don’t have a phone,” Laundrie told the responding officers. “So if she goes off without me (inaudible), I’m on my own.”

However, shortly after Brian Laundrie shared this information with the Moab police officers, they asked him for his number. Laundrie, seemingly forgetting his previous story, pulled his phone out of his pocket.

To help the couple cool off after their fight, officers advised the two to separate for the evening. Laundrie booked a room at a local hotel so that Gabby Petito could sleep in the van alone. They then asked the 22-year-old woman if she had anything to say to her fiancé before leaving.

“Make sure he doesn’t forget a phone charger,” she told the officers, indicating that Laundrie did, indeed, have his phone on him.

Since the release of this footage, Bertolino declined to comment on his client’s dishonesty with officers regarding the location of his cell phone.