HomeNewsGabby Petito Case: Why Internet Sleuths Are Flocking to Her Past Halloween Post

Gabby Petito Case: Why Internet Sleuths Are Flocking to Her Past Halloween Post

by Josh Lanier
(Photo by Octavio Jones/Getty Images)

People have studied and dissected nearly all of the social media posts of Gabby Petito for the past two months. But there is one post that’s now drawing extra scrutiny from online sleuths.

One of the most famous images of Gabby Petito is the last one uploaded to her Instagram account. The photo features the 22-year-old in front of a butterfly mural in Ogden, Utah. Someone uploaded it to the account on Aug. 25 with the caption “Happy Halloween.”

Now, some people are questioning why she used that line so many months before Halloween. While others wonder if Gabby Petito uploaded the image or if her fiancee, Brian Laundrie, did after she died, The Sun reported. Several people posted theories such as “This was not Gabby” in the comments of the photo.

Petito and Laundrie were on a four-month, cross-country trip of national parks in a converted Ford van. Petito stopped calling her parents on Aug. 25, and Laundrie returned home without her on Sept. 1. FBI agents found her body buried in a shallow grave on Sept. 19 in a Wyoming national park. An autopsy report said someone strangled her to death.

Laundrie was named as a person of interest in the case, though never a suspect. He vanished in mid-September, and search crews found his body in a Florida nature preserve earlier this month.

Brian Laundrie Cause of Death Unclear, Journal May be ‘Salvagable’

Investigators found Brian Laundrie‘s body on Oct. 20 at Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County, Florida. It ended a month-long nationwide manhunt for the 23-year-old. His remains were likely there for days or possibly weeks, police said. Though, investigators aren’t sure when or how he died.

They identified him through his dental records and sent his bones to a forensic anthropologist for further analysis, Fox News noted. But results from that may take several weeks, the Laundrie family attorney Steve Bertolino said.

Police also found several personal items near his body, including his journal. Heavy rains and bad weather damaged most of those items, but police hope the journal is “salvageable,” and can provide details on what happened in this case.

Josh Taylor, the public information officer with the North Port Police Department told Fox News that the FBI is trying to repair the journal.

Brian Laundrie left his parents’ house on Sept. 13. Bertolino said he was “grieving” and “upset” but said he didn’t tell his parents why he felt this way. He never returned from the hike, and his parents didn’t report him missing until 4 days later.

Police spokesperson Taylor said police didn’t know Laundrie was missing, admitting police mistakenly believed he was at home that week.

“When the family reported him [missing] on Friday, that was certainly news to us that they had not seen him,” Taylor said. “We thought that we saw Brian initially come back into that home on that Wednesday. But we now know that that wasn’t true.”