Brian Laundrie, the missing boyfriend of slain hiker Gabby Petito, showed signs of being a domestic abuser and may have moved from asocial to antisocial in the days leading up to Petito’s death, a veteran criminal profiler claims.
John Kelly, a criminal profiler and therapist who has worked on murder cases such as the Golden State Killer, the Long Island Serial Killer and the Green River Killer, told Fox News that Laundrie’s public behavior in the days and weeks leading up to Petito’s death suggests he was an abuser and a control freak.
“These guys cannot take criticism,” Kelly told Fox. “And usually if their issues are with the female, they cannot take criticism from a female.”
Gabby Petito May Have Been Victim of Domestic Abuse
Gabby Petito, 22, disappeared while on a cross-country road trip with Laundrie this summer. Her last social media posting was on Aug. 25. In early September, Laundrie returned alone to his parents’ house in Florida.
Searchers found Petito’s body at the Spread Creek dispersed camping area near Jackson Hole, Wyoming on Sept. 19. The Teton County coroner ruled her death a homicide.
Meanwhile, in the week preceding their find, Laundrie left his parents’ house, ostensibly to go for a hike. His parents reported him missing on Friday, three days after they said he left for the hike.
Kelly said Laundrie may have had help dodging authorities. At the very least, his parents appear to have bought him some lead time.
“I think he’s a coward on the run,” Kelly told Fox. “Knowing he’s a coward, where would we think he would go? Do we think he’s macho enough to go off to Mexico? I don’t know about that.”
Kelly said he believes Laundrie’s self-worth rested on his relationship with Petito, and as that began to collapse, he felt he had nothing. That may have triggered some sort of switch in Laundrie, who then went from asocial behavior, which doesn’t hurt anyone, to antisocial behavior, which often involves violent lashing out.
At least two public incidents in the lead-up to Gabby Petito’s death suggest that Laundrie was leaning toward or already engaging in abusive behavior.
Brian Laundrie Lost It in Public
There were two public incidents that suggested that Laundrie was on some sort of downward spiral as the couple made their way to Wyoming. One was a police stop in Moab, Utah after a 9-1-1 caller reported seeing Laundrie hit Petito. However, according to a subsequent police report, authorities later got the impression that Petito had been the aggressor, and they separated the couple for one night before sending them on their way.
The second incident happened at the Merry Piglets restaurant in Jackson Hole. A vacationing couple said they saw Laundrie arguing with the wait staff at the hostess stand. Petito reportedly apologized to the workers, which Laundrie may have seen as a betrayal and a trigger for another fight between the two of them later on.
Kelly also noted that Laundrie’s social media postings include artwork featuring images of demons, werewolves and other monsters. It suggests a darker side to Laundrie that police in Moab didn’t see but Petito may well have experienced.