The FBI on Friday announced it is closing its investigation into the homicide of Gabrielle Petito and the suicide of her fiancé Brian Laundrie, who was designated as a person of interest in the young woman’s murder. FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider released a statement explaining that “all logical investigative steps have been concluded in this case.”
Brian Laundrie was the only person identified in the investigation as being directly responsible for Gabby’s death. The FBI’s primary focus throughout the investigation was to bring justice to Gabby and her family.
The Bureau stated agents had discovered “written statements by Mr. Laundrie claiming responsibility for Ms. Petito’s death.”
Steven Bertolino, the attorney representing the Laundrie family, said the ordeal “has caused enormous emotional pain and suffering to all who loved either or both” Laundrie and Petito.
“We can only hope that with today’s closure of the case each family can begin to heal and move forward and find peace in and with the memories of their children. May Gabby and Brian both rest in peace,” he concluded.
The story became national news shortly after Petito, a blogger and social media influencer, disappeared in late August 2021 while taking a cross-country road trip with her fiancé in her van. Laundrie returned to North Port in Florida without Petito. Elle was not responding to texts or telephone calls.
Petito’s parents reported their daughter missing in September. Laundrie went missing also on September 13, 2013. But, Laundrie was also reported missing on September 13. Later reports surfaced that the couple had been involved in a physical altercation. Utah Police officers received a call from a witness stating that he had witnessed the two engaged in a fight. Following a thorough investigation, both Petito and Laundrie were released by the police.
Laundrie was known to frequent the area and so authorities in Florida started searching the nearby Carlton Reserve. Petito was found by Wyoming authorities on September 19th. Later, her death was ruled to be a strangulation homicide.
Laundrie’s remains were later located in Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, along with a backpack and other personal belongings. A post-mortem revealed that he died from a gunshot to the head.
“The North Port Police Department has been briefed by the FBI on the soon to be closing of their investigation into the Gabby Petito/Brian Laundrie case,” the police department explained in a Friday statement. “We are thankful for the collaboration with the many agencies involved. North Port has been blessed with dedicated individuals who have done everything possible to provide the answers. All those affected by the tragic events will be able to find closure through our efforts. There will be no further comment at this time.”