If you’re anything like me, you’ve been following the Gabby Petito case. To try and make it easier, I’ve compiled the information into a timeline below which I’ll continue updating until they catch and prosecute the criminal responsible.
Submit a tip
If you have any information on the case such as, potential sightings, photos, videos, or other details, do not hesitate to contact the FBI at tips.fbi.gov or by phone to 1-800-CALL-FBI or 303-629-7171. Videos and images may be submitted to fbi.gov/petito. You may also contact your local FBI office or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate.
The Last Road trip
Mid June 2021
Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie were seen leaving his parent’s home in North Port, Florida. They had been living there together prior to preparing for the road trip. They headed north to New York in the van before heading west on July 2nd. They planned to stop in various national parks along the way, ending their trip in Oregon.
Background: (Gabby’s father, Joseph Petito stated to authorities that the two had been friends in high school, and after graduation, kept in touch. Their relationship became romantic a few years later and they ended up living together at Laundrie’s family home, before getting engaged in July 2020.)
The couple arrived at Monument Rocks.
July 8th to August 11th
They stopped in multiple locations including Zion National Park and Mystic Hot Springs.
A concerned citizen called in a domestic disturbance outside the Moonflower Community Cooperative in Moab, Utah stating to the police: “We drove by and the gentleman was slapping the girl. Then we stopped. They ran up and down the sidewalk. He proceeded to hit her, hopped in the car, and they drove off.”
In the bodycam footage from Moab officers, Petito said she suffered from OCD and anxiety, with both her and Laundrie saying she was stressed because of the YouTube blog they were working on to document the doomed cross-country trip.
Laundrie is seen with scratches on his face and arm which he tells an officer were caused when Petito ‘was trying to get the keys from me’ and ‘hit me with her phone’.
He later said she was angry with him because of his dirty feet.
When an officer asks Petito if her boyfriend hit her, she replies ‘I guess’ and makes a grabbing motion on her chin.
Laundrie admits he ‘pushed her’ during the altercation.
The cops determine Petito was ‘the primary aggressor’ and say they are separating the couple for the night.
I have included a clip directly beneath but if you’re interested in the full video, scroll and click to watch the second one below.
Another source indicated the caller mentioned he saw Gabby hitting Laundrie on the arm. According to the police report, Laundrie said the weeks of traveling caused an emotional strain. He also said Petito thought he was going to leave her in Moab without a ride. The witness then said he watched as Petito climbed in the driver’s window as if Laundrie locked her out. No criminal charges were filed and the couple slept apart that night, according to the police report.
A National Park Service ranger who also responded to the call interacted with Petito for about 90 minutes, and warned her that her relationship with Laundrie had markings of a “toxic” one, the ranger told the Deseret News of Utah.
“I was imploring with her to reevaluate the relationship, asking her if she was happy in the relationship with him, and basically saying this was an opportunity for her to find another path, to make a change in her life,” ranger Melissa Hulls told the Deseret News.
August 17th – 23rd
Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino confirms Brian Laundrie flew home to Tampa from Salt Lake City on August 17 and flew back to Salt Lake City on August 23 to “rejoin Gabby.”
First and only Youtube video posted of the couple’s trip on the road.
The pair checked out of the Fairfield Inn and Suites in Salt Lake City where they had apparently spent a few nights. Gabby had been chatting and Facetiming her mom leading up to and during this period. Her mother, Nicole Schmidt, stated Gabby had mentioned a heightened ‘tension’ developing between the pair over the course of their trip, as mentioned in the police affidavit.
Strange fact: The hotel where the two stayed is located less than 700 feet from the FBI Salt Lake City field office.
Gabby’s last Instagram post.
August 25th or 26th
Idaho shop owner said he spoke with the couple, who both seemed happy and were talking of their travel plans. They mentioned they were thinking of going to Yellowstone National Park.
“They told me they were traveling from Florida. They had just been to Teton Park and they said they were interested in going to Yellowstone and I told them they could go to the west entrance,” the owner, who was not identified, told the outlet.
“They seemed happy and when they left, she hollered back from the door that they were engaged and then I said congratulations.”
August 26th (TIP surfaced September 23rd)
A witness, Jessica Schultz, saw Laundrie parked in a white van on August 26 at Grand Teton National Park, and no one appeared to be with him, she told the San Francisco Chronicle.
Nicole, Petito’s mom, received a strange text from Gabby’s phone that read, “Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls.” This stuck her as odd because Petito would never refer to her grandfather as ‘Stan’. Her cell phone was then turned off and non-operational.
While the family deem this as ‘odd’ behavior for Gabby, investigators do believe she sent the Aug. 27 text.
August 27th (TIP September 22nd)
Diners at Merry Piglets in Jackson Hole saw Laundrie and Petito causing a scene with the staff. The restaurant and a receipt from the couple’s meal corroborate that they were there between 1 and 2 PM on that day.
The witness continued: Brian was arguing with four female employees over his bill. His body language was “aggressive” and “violent,” and he seemed “angry” and “relentless” over the issue. Brian left “abruptly” and came back inside the restaurant about four times and that Gabby was “crying” the whole time. Gabby was described as looking “sad” and said she sat outside on the sidewalk before coming back inside to apologize for Brian’s behavior and urge him to “drop it” so that they could leave.
TIP September 23rd
Separately, a man who saw the domestic dispute between Petito and Laundrie in Utah last month said, “They were talking aggressively at each other, and something seemed off.”In a handwritten sworn statement, the witness said it appeared the two were arguing over control of Petito’s phone. “At one point she was punching him in the arm and/or face and trying to get into the van.”
The witness said he heard Petito say, “Why do you have to be so mean?” although Chris added that he couldn’t be sure if the comment was meant to be taken seriously.
**This could be one of the last time Gabby Petito was see alive.**
Petito/Schmidt family receive the last text from Gabby’s phone which reads, “No service in Yosemite” — nearly 900 miles away, in California. The family don’t think it was Gabby who wrote it.
Afterward, the phone was turned off and non operational.
Brian Laundrie crosses interstate 75 in Florida at 10:26AM driving Petito’s white van. He doesn’t speak to anyone. When Gabby’s family reach out and try to contact him, he doesn’t respond and neither do his parents. The family goes radio silent, hires a lawyer, and refuses to speak to law enforcement.
NOTE: It takes 35 hours driving the shortest route from Teton Park, Wyoming to North Port, Florida with zero breaks in between or traffic. In that scenario Brian Laundrie would have had to leave the park no later than 9:26 PM on Monday, August 30th. And we know he was last seen in the park on the Sunday, August 29th at 6:10 PM by a camper who gave him a lift towards Jackson.
UPDATE September 6th – 8th (received 9/29)
The Laundrie family camped at Fort De Soto Campground, 75 miles from their North Port home in Florida. Laundrie’s mother, Roberta, was checked in at the waterfront site on these dates, according to a Pinellas County Parks campground check-in report provided to CNN.
The family lawyer states they left on the 7th, all together.
UPDATE September 10th (received 9/29)
The weekend of September 10th was the last weekend that a neighbor of the Laundries, Karyn Aberts, says she saw Brian Laundrie at his home.
Petito/Schmidt family file a missing persons report for their daughter.
Law enforcement and her family continue to plead with Laundrie for information. Investigators said he is not cooperating.
“We don’t know what Brian knows; that’s the bottom line. We’re hopeful to talk him. He needs to talk us. We need to know exactly where he was where she was their last locations,” Josh Taylor, the Public Information Officer for North Port, said.
Police impound Petito’s white van 5 hours after she’s filed as a missing person in Long Island, taking it from the Laundrie home, while they wait for the search warrant.
UPDATE: A neighbor stated that the weekend of September 10th, she saw the Laundrie family “in the neighborhood out in the front yard,” and that it looked like “a normal … they were going for a walk kind of thing,” and that she “never thought anything about it.” She also told CNN, “We saw them take walks as a family,” and “We saw them ride their bikes as a family and things like that.”
Another neighbor stated he saw the Laundrie family packing up a pickup truck and attached camper before taking a long weekend trip together right after Petito was declared missing. He also stated he saw Laundrie’s father, Christopher, working on another camper after the FBI came and towed Petito’s white van away. They (neighbors) estimated that there was about “a week, week-and-a-half” between the day they saw Brian return in the van and the day he and his parents took off in the truck with the camper.
According to his parents, Brian left to go hiking in the Carlton Reserve National Park. He left with nothing but a backpack.
Police name Brian Laundrie a ‘person of interest’ in the missing persons case for Gabby Petito.
Brian Laundrie was named as a person of interest by the North Port police for hindering the investigation.
Police execute a warrant and access Petito’s external hard drive and computer found inside the white van.
North Port police hold a press conference with Petito’s father in which they beg for the Laundrie family to help them find Gabby.
Laundrie’s sister speaks with “Good Morning America” hours after the Petito family hold a press conference asking for their help. Cassie Laundrie breaks the family’s silence stating: “Obviously me and my family want Gabby to be found safe,” she said. “She’s like a sister and my children love her, and all I want is for her to come home safe and found and this to be just a big misunderstanding.”
Laundrie family report Brian missing since Tuesday when he left for the hike. Police execute a search for the missing man, searching his room for personal items to assist the K9 units, heading to his last known whereabouts located at the Carlton Reserve National Park in Florida. Police discovered his allegedly abandoned Ford Mustang near the entrance, towing it away as possible evidence.
UPDATE: It was later revealed the family went looking for Laundrie on Wednesday 15th, and found his Ford Mustang, which had a police note on it demanding that the vehicle be removed from the area. The family initially left the car there so that Laundrie could drive it back, but they returned on Thursday 16th, to retrieve it, according to Bertolino (the Laundrie lawyer).
Passerby Zachary Randazzo snapped a photo of a man with Laundrie’s description at 5PM on Friday, 9/17 at Targee Avenue in North Port — about two blocks from Laundrie’s parents’ home, and 90 minutes before police showed up at his home following the missing persons report.
REVEAL September 17th
Petito’s friend, Rose Davis from Sarasota, revealed Laundrie as a controlling and manipulative boyfriend. She said Petito had described strange episodes, which at times forced her to sleep at Davis’s house.
“He’s got these jealousy issues and he struggles from what Gabby called these ‘episodes,’ where he would hear things and hear voices and wouldn’t sleep,” she told the NY Post.
“Gabby had to stay at my house a bunch of times because she just needed a breather and didn’t want to go home to him.”
Search for Laundrie continues throughout Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County.
“A weekend ground search and aerial search Monday of the 25-thousand-acre preserve has yet to yield any answers, but we must press on,” North Port Police said on Facebook. Police indicated the search picked up Tuesday in a different part of the reserve. It concluded Tuesday evening around sundown and resumed Wednesday morning.
The search effort included the use of drones and bloodhounds who used articles of Laundrie’s clothing taken from his home to get his scent. Police initially focused their search on a nearby park which spans about 200 acres before expanding to the rest of the reserve.
TIP September 18th
Police receive a tip from a vlogger with footage potentially revealing Gabby’s last known location. A search is conducted in Grand Teton National Park.
Vloggers reviewing video footage after listening to the news thought they’d captured Petito’s white van while driving through the park between 6 – 6.30PM on August 27th. They realized it may have been evidence and sent it straight to police.
Another version of the video clip reveals the van doors closing upon approach, suggesting that someone was inside when it passed by.
TIP #2 September 18th
Fellow camper, Miranda Baker, says she believes her and her boyfriend picked up Brian Laundrie in the evening at Colter Bay in Wyoming National Park and gave him a ride back to his van on August 29th. Apparently, Laundrie stated he’d been camping alone for the past few days while his girlfriend was staying in their van working on social media projects. She said he offered to pay them $200 for the ride before getting into their vehicle.
Laundrie, who was wearing a backpack, pants and hiking boots, “looked clean and didn’t smell bad,” and was very polite, Baker said. Laundrie told them he had been camping “basically in the middle of nowhere” at a site outside the Grand Teton National Park, near the Snake River.
Laundrie claimed to have hiked for days along that river, and that all he had was a tarp to sleep on, she said. Once Laundrie found out Baker and her boyfriend were going to Jackson Hole he got agitated, asked that the vehicle stop, and got out near Jackson Dam in Grand Teton National Park, according to Baker. She said they dropped him off less than 30 minutes after picking him up.
In a second video, Baker said Laundrie allegedly told her that he and Petito were camping along Snake River on an unregulated campground, “basically out in the middle of nowhere.”
Laundrie allegedly told them he had been “hiking for days along Snake River.”
Baker then recalled how unprepared Laundrie looked for someone who had been hiking and camping outside for days.
“Looking at his backpack, it wasn’t full,” Baker said. “He said all he had was a tarp to sleep on. Which, you think if you’re going camping for days on end, you’d want food and a tent, and he had none of that.”
This all happened four days after the Schmidt/Petito family last heard from Gabby, and three days before Laundrie showed up back home in Florida alone.
Within 24 hours of receiving various tips and video footage, human remains matching the description of the missing 22 year old Gabby Petito was found in an undeveloped camping area in Bridger-Teton National Forest on the eastern edge of the park in western Wyoming. The body was taken to the coroner’s office in Denver, Colorado for autopsy.
It was later revealed the body was found a short distance from where Petito’s white van was last seen.
Coroner confirms the body found belongs to that of missing woman, Gabby Petito.
FBI storm the Laundrie home and execute a search warrant in light of Petito’s death, removing his parents from the home and declaring it a crime scene. They remove several boxes and tow away a car thought to be frequently used by Laundrie’s mother.
TIP September 20th
Report of potential sighting in Brian Laundrie search. Sam Bass said he spotted the man toting a backpack at 6:17AM. Monday in the town of Baker, Fla., about 500 miles away from Laundrie’s home in North Port.
“I’m not saying this is the guy but whoever was on my trail camera this morning in Baker, Fl strongly fits the description of Brian Laundrie,” Bass wrote on Facebook. “Authorities have been contacted but people in the North West Florida area be on the look out.”
Coroner rules Gabby Petito’s cause of death a homicide.
UPDATE: Sept. 22nd
Priya Banerjee, a forensic pathologist, told the media on Wednesday that officials might not release the cause of death because it could hurt the investigation. Banerjee said that it will be hard to tie a perpetrator to the crime because of the conditions where Petito’s body was found.
“That is a challenge, tying the perpetrator to the crime, especially, I want to say, in the setting of decomposition, this was out in the wild, high-temperature fluctuation,” she said.
And, she told Fox News, Brian Laundrie’s DNA will likely be found with Petito since the couple spent so much time together on a cross-country road trip.
“So that will be a challenge, I think, to tie it all together,” she said.
Police continue and extend search for Brian Laundrie in The Carlton Reserve in Sarasota, Florida, including a dive team and cadaver dogs. Investigators also were using sonar to check large bodies of water in the sprawling, rugged terrain.
Criminal defense attorney, former assistant DA and police officer, Philip Holloway told Fox News he believed it was a slim chance of finding Brian Laundrie alive.
BACKGROUND September 22nd
A friend of the couple, Ben Matula, states their relationship was rocky since high school, “One minute they’d be all over each other, the next minute he’d be like, ‘We’re fighting.’ They always had some drama.”
FBI and DA of Wyoming issued a warrant for Brian Laundrie’s arrest. He was indicted by a federal grand jury for “use of unauthorized access devices” following Petito’s death. Charging documents allege that Laundrie used an unauthorized debit card (Petito’s) with the intent to defraud, spending $1000 between Aug. 30th and Sept. 1st.
TIP September 23rd
Another witness has come forward, Norma Jean Jalovec, claiming she picked up Laundrie who was hitchhiking the evening of August 29th around 6:15PM to 6:30PM.
As she drove past Jackson Lake Dam — where Miranda Baker (the first camper to give him a ride) said she’d dropped Laundrie off when he “freaked out” about going to Jackson — and saw a man, walking backward with his thumb out. He asked if she could take him to Spread Creek.
When she arrived at the entrance to the Spread Creek camping area, Laundrie told her to drop him off at the gate. Jalovec told the media she told him she could drive him inside, and that’s when he tried to get out while her vehicle was still moving.
Jalovec cracked a joke about trying to impress his fiance by hiking in rather than hitching a ride, but his response was to insist on being let out of the vehicle.
Read full story here.
TIP September 24th
A woman in Canada thinks she sees Laundrie exiting the hotel she’s staying at and snaps a picture, alerting the staff and police.
The woman said a worker at the hotel, which she did not identify, told her that the mystery man “didn’t know where he was going and he had the wrong hotel.”
The TikTok user said she sent the image to local news outlets and also reported her encounter with the man to the FBI.
BACKGROUND September 24th
Gabby’s best friend, Rose Davis, told authorities Brian Laundrie is capable of surviving in the wilderness. Davis claimed “If he’s alive, he’s out there, camping out … He lived in the Appalachians by himself for months.” And, she suspects he is on the run, in the swamps, and not holed up with someone who might be harboring him.
“He does not have friends,” Davis said. “He reads books.”
NOTE: The quickest route to the Appalachian mountains from North Port, FL takes a little under 9 hours by car, Brian Laundrie had a 3 day head start.
TIP September 27th
A tip alleges Brian went into a Florida campground (Fort De Soto Park) with both his parents in early September from Sept. 1-3 and Sept. 6-8. — but only his parents were seen leaving.
“They were registered, went through the gate. They’re on camera. They were here on Monday evening. “We think at least if he’s not here right now, we are sure he was caught on camera as he went in the gate — that he was here for sure. Not over in the swamp.”
The Pinellas County sheriff dept. responded with:
“No we are not heading to Ft. De Soto and there has been no confirmed sighting of Brian in Pinellas County.
We will refer you back to North Port PD for any further questions.”
Investigators working with Duane Chapman (Dog the Bounty Hunter) are honing in on portions of the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina. As the manhunt for Laundrie forges on, people have claimed to have seen the 23-year-old avid hiker in Watauga County, North Carolina, according to multiple reports. Users in a private Facebook page, Appalachian Classifieds, described how people were “reporting seeing Brian Laundrie in Boone, NC.”
The Watauga County Sheriff’s Office told local affiliate FOX 46, “We were looking into these claims, but nothing has been verified.”
REVEAL September 29th
Brian Laundrie’s parents bought a burner phone from AT&T on Sept. 14th, the day he disappeared. It was later seized by the FBI.
A hiker claimed to have run into Brian Laundrie on a deserted road on the Appalachian Trail near the South Carolina border. He stated that Laundrie parked his car before asking for help, mentioning, “Sir, I am lost. My girlfriend and I had a fight. But she called me, told me that she loved me. I have to go to California to see her.”
Christopher Laundrie, Brian’s father, finally joins the search for his missing son.
The coroner rules Petito’s cause of death as manual strangulation and noted it occurred three weeks before her body was found.
Items, a backpack, and a notebook, believed to belong to Brian Laundrie were found off a trail where he frequented. Coroner called to park to help with the identification of human remains found near the items.
Remains confirmed to be that of Brian Laundrie.
Brian Laundrie’s cause of death was confirmed to be a gunshot wound to the head, and the manner of death was suicide.