22-year-old American influencer Gabby Petito went missing on September 11, 2021. Shortly thereafter, her remains were found confirming the worst. According to a coroner’s report, the avid TikTok user died from manual strangulation. Petito’s mother opens up about her daughter’s death in a documentary revealing the moment she “knew” her daughter wasn’t coming home.
The documentary film, Gabby Petito: The Murder That Gripped the World aired in the US last December. It gives an in-depth look at Petito’s murder case including exclusive interviews with Gabby’s grief-stricken parents and step-parents.
Gabby and her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, were traveling across the country when the influencer went missing. Shortly after their departure, Laundrie appeared back in their home state of Florida without Gabby. This led many of Gabby’s friends and followers to speculate that Laundrie knew the missing influencer’s whereabouts.
After confirming Gabby’s tragic death, Laundrie turns up missing on September 13. A month later, Brian Laundrie was found dead on October 21. His death was the result of a single gunshot to the head in what is believed to be a suicide. In a notebook found near Laundrie’s body, he confessed to killing Gabby Petito.
Gabby Petito’s Mom breaks down after her daughter’s death
Petito’s mother, Nicole Schmidt reveals all in the recent documentary, Gabby Petito: The Murder That Gripped the World. Schmidt says she “knew” her daughter was dead after Laundrie returned to Florida without Gabby.
“I knew the night the police came to my door to tell me that the van was in Florida, I knew,” she said in the film. “When I knew the van was in Florida, I knew my daughter was gone. I didn’t know how, but I just knew.”
She continued saying, “I didn’t tell anyone else that, ’cause I had to do what I had to do, I had to report her missing, and I had to get her pictures out there. We had to find her.”
Nichole Schmidt remembers the last hug she shared with her daughter just before Gabby took off on her trip with Briand Laundrie. “I’ve had so many good memories over the years,” said Schmidt fighting back tears. “But the one thing I hold dear to me is the hug that we had before she left for the trip in our driveway.”
“It was a long, long, hug I can’t describe it,” Schmidt continued. “I know we were saying goodbye for a long trip but it felt different and now that I look back it felt so different.”
“I squeezed her so tight, and I said, ‘I love you, please be careful, this is going to be great, you’re going to have so much fun.’ And she squeezed me back and that was just really great and now I’ll cherish it.”