It’s painfully true what they say – hindsight is 20-20. Had investigators known what they’ve discovered now when they first encountered Brian Laundrie, it’s possible Gabby Petito’s case would have more answers and perhaps even some closure. Unfortunately, the FBI and participating police departments had to dig deep to find the necessary information they needed to bring the person of interest into custody.
Before investigators unveiled the complex and potentially violent relationship between Laundrie and Petito, the grieving fiancé was nothing more than a source of information for the previously labeled missing person’s case. However, Laundrie packed his bags and headed into the wilderness. It was then that authorities knew that he was the key to understanding what happened to Gabby Petito. As a result, investigators needed to charge Laundrie with a crime, whether it pertained to his deceased fianceé or not.
Yesterday, the FBI released a statement announcing the federal warrant for Brian Laundrie’s arrest. Compared to the allegations and suspicions revolving around Gabby Petito’s death, the charges are fairly minor. The U.S. District Court of Wyoming is charging the 23-year-old with one count of “Use of Unauthorized Access Devices” following Petito’s death. Laundrie used a Capital One Bank debit card and PINs to purchase various items amounting to over $1,000. In essence, he committed fraud.
Police Are Still Investigating Other Leads in Gabby Petito Case
For those unfamiliar with the workings of the justice system, the latest charge might seem futile. However, just because someone is charged with one crime doesn’t mean that police can’t question them for others. This is exactly the tactic that authorities use for persons of interest when there is no concrete evidence connecting these individuals to the more severe crime.
The recent charge may also provide investigators with another link between Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito’s death. Beyond alibis, Laundrie’s activities can also provide a digital path of his movements during and/or after her death.
Despite the link, there is a chance that the person responsible for Gabby Petito’s death isn’t Laundrie at all. To some, that might appear to mean that the FBI would have spent precious time hunting down the wrong person. However, along with the latest warrant for Brian Laundrie’s arrest, the Denver Division of the Bureau also reiterated its varied efforts in finding Petito’s killer.
“While this warrant allows law enforcement to arrest Mr. Laundrie, the FBI and our partners across the country continue to investigate the facts and circumstances of Ms. Petito’s homicide,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider said.