The mystery of Gabby Petito’s death got one step closer to resolution Tuesday with the release of autopsy results finding that her late fiancée, Brian Laundrie, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Laundrie had been a person of interest in Petito’s disappearance and death. But some law enforcement officers still consider the case open and active, Newsweek points out.
“We can surmise, we [can] make an assumption. But right now the responsible party for the homicide of Gabby Petito, arguably, is still unsolved,” former FBI special agent Stuart Kaplan told People last month.
Kaplan added that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) would likely be overseeing the local law enforcement investigation into Petito’s death.
FBI May Still Be Investigating Laundrie’s Notebook
Moreover, speaking to NewsNation Now, former FBI agent Jennifer Coffindaffer said the FBI will make an announcement on the conclusion of the case when they’re ready. In the meantime, they will likely be going over Laundrie’s notebook, which was found in a Florida nature preserve near his remains, very carefully.
“I believe the FBI is using all their chemical techniques and other techniques to get everything they can out of that notebook, depending on how much was written in there,” she said. “You can imagine it may be a long, tedious process. But they can do it.”
Meanwhile, the Laundries’ attorney, Steven Bertolino, said in a statement that Laundrie’s parents had learned the autopsy results. They are now mourning their son’s death.
“Chris and Roberta Laundrie have been informed that the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head and the manner of death was suicide. Chris and Roberta are still mourning the loss of their son and are hopeful that these findings bring closure to both families,” Bertolino said.
Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie Were Traveling Cross-Country Together
This summer, Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie embarked on a cross-country trip in a white Ford converted camper van. Petito blogged and posted to social media about their travels along the way. By the time they reached Moab, Utah, their relationship was in crisis. Police there stopped the couple after a 9-1-1 caller reported seeing Laundrie hit Petito.
But police concluded the couple was in the midst of a shared mental health crisis, not a domestic abuse situation. And so after separating them for a night, they sent them on their way. Petito’s final social media post went up on Aug. 25. Soon after that, diners at the Merry Piglets restaurant in Jackson Hole, Wyoming witnessed Laundrie getting into a verbal altercation with waitstaff.
Through unknown circumstances, Laundrie wound up driving the van back to Florida alone, arriving Sept. 1. He went camping with his family on Sept. 6. On Sept. 11, Petito’s parents reported her missing. Searchers found her body on Sept. 19 in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest. The cause of death was later revealed to be strangulation.
Shortly before Petito’s corpse turned up, Laundrie himself went missing. A weekslong manhunt ensued, with the FBI obtaining a warrant for his arrest on the grounds that he had fraudulently used Petito’s bank card at an ATM. On Oct. 22, skeletal remains found in Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park were confirmed to be Laundrie’s.
Authorities are still trying to unravel what happened between the couple in Wyoming. But pending that announcement from the FBI, the case remains unresolved.