Gabby Petito: Internet Sleuths Believe a Photo Is Key to the Investigation

by Leanne Stahulak
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Many people continue searching for answers to the mystery of Gabby Petito’s death. The 22-year-old van life blogger died by manual strangulation in late August.

The sole person of interest in the case, her boyfriend Brian Laundrie, has also died. Authorities found his body on Oct. 21, almost exactly a month after finding Petito’s body on Sept. 19. Petito died in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, one of the last stops on the couple’s cross-country road trip to various national parks. Laundrie died in the Carlton Reserve, a park near his parents’ home in Florida.

Police searched for Laundrie for over a month before discovering his remains. The initial autopsy report came back inconclusive, so we don’t know how he died. Many people suspect suicide, thinking he killed himself after murdering Gabby Petito.

We saw signs that their relationship was tumultuous and abusive earlier. Bodycam footage from Moab, Utah, shows the aftermath of one of their physical fights. But now, internet sleuths have unearthed further evidence that Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie were involved in a domestic violence situation.

On July 26, Petito uploaded a series of seven photos to her Instagram page from Mystic Hot Springs in Monroe, Utah. According to The Sun, if you look at the fourth photo in the slideshow, you see Laundrie and Petito kissing under a red rock arch, with water falling over them.

If you look closely at the image, Petito has her left hand on Laundrie’s shoulder. But he has both of his hands grasping her neck. He doesn’t look like he’s hurting her, necessarily. But several Instagram users commented on the photo that the gesture looked “obsessive and controlling.”

Intenret Slueths Comment on Gabby Petito’s Post About Brian Laundrie’s Hands on Her Neck

“The photo with his hand on her throat says it all folks,” one Instagram user commented. “This girl is sadly gone.”

Many other people wrote similar things under Gabby Petito’s July post, noticing how Laundrie’s gesture looked less cute than controlling.

“I get a very controlling and jealous vibe from him,” another person said. “He is very unhappy and angry at the world. You can see it in his words.”

“The way he’s kissing her and holding her neck so tight is a bit concerning considering she is now missing and this seems to be her last post,” someone else said before authorities found Petito’s body.

Many people believe this was Gabby Petito’s last post. At least, the last one she wrote herself. Many found indications that Brian Laundrie took over her Instagram after that, citing tone changes and more references to him in her posts.

“I think he took control of her IG after this. Maybe the post and/or attention she may have received made him jealous and he took over. The posts change in voice/tone/style and begin to center him. Very sus that his necklace is gone in his last post. Her last story highlights are reshares of his posts. No location tagging or similar emoji use in her last posts, either. I think this is where the story turned,” one person commented.

Outsider.com