Mystery as Gabby Petito homicide investigation is still open & experts believe Laundrie's notebook & parents may be key
MYSTERY remains as the Gabby Petito homicide investigation is still open, as experts believe Brian Laundrie's notebook and parents may be key.
Laundrie, 23, was a person of interest in Gabby’s disappearance and a search for his whereabouts was underway after Gabby was found strangled to death near Grand Teton National Park in September.
Just weeks later remains were found in the search for Laundrie and identified as his.
However, the investigation into Gabby's murder still remains open as the new year begins.
Authorities have not provided an update on the case since November 23, when medical examiners confirmed that Laundrie's cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head.
The Sun has contacted FBI Denver about why the case remains open, but did not immediately hear back.
Former FBI agent Jennifer Coffindaffer told NewsNationNow the reasons as to why she thinks the case remains open.
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Coffindaffer said: "I believe the FBI is using all their chemical techniques and other techniques to get everything they can out of that notebook, depending on how much was written in there…. You can imagine it may be a long, tedious process, but they can do it."
Laundrie’s notebook, which revealed he had $20,000 in his bank account despite stealing from fiancee, Gabby, may be given to his parents.
Chris and Roberta Laundrie filed a petition to claim their son’s assets following his death in October.
Court documents say that Laundrie had died intestate, meaning he did not make a will before his death.
According to court records obtained by Radar, Chris and Roberta filed a petition in Sarasota County court on December 8.
The couple is asking to become administrators of his estate.
The records show they submitted Brian’s death certificate in court along with information about his bank accounts and property.
Laundries’ estate also includes a notebook found near his remains. The exact contents of the notebook are unknown but it is believed that his final words may be inside. It is unlikely that they will ever be released to the public.
However, Gabby’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, filed a claim seeking her daughter’s belongings. According to court documents, the amount of the claim is unknown.
The filing of the estate is "a formality" says Laundrie family lawyer, Steven Bertolino and that "arrangements will be made so that the personal belongings of Gabby Petito that are currently located at the home of Chris and Roberta Laundrie will be given to Gabby’s family without a contest."
Laundrie had reportedly stolen Gabby’s bank card and used it to spend $1,000 to return to Florida after Gabby’s murder.
It is unclear what else was in the notebook and if this would help the FBI in their investigation.
Although it is unclear when this would happen, Coffindaffer was certain that "the FBI will release some sort of presser indicating who they believe was responsible for this crime."
If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues raised in this story, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text Crisis Text Line at 741741.
Gabby Petito timeline
Gabby Petito, 22, was last seen on August 24, leaving a hotel in Utah. Here is a timeline of Gabby Petito’s disappearance:
- June 2021 – Gabby Petito and her fiancé Brian Laundrie set off on a cross-country trip across the US.
- July 4 – Gabby posts photos of herself barefoot in Gove County, Kansas.
- July 8 – Gabby posts photos of herself at the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado.
- July 18 – Gabby and Brian post photos of themselves at Utah's Zion National Park.
- August 12 – Body camera footage was released in September showing an encounter Brian and Gabby had with police in Utah. Police confirmed that no significant injuries were reported.
- August 19 – Gabby and Brian post a video on their YouTube channel chronicling their trip.
- August 24 – Gabby is spotted leaving a hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah.
- August 25 – Gabby Facetimes her mom, Nichole Schmidt, for the final time. In a later police report, Schmidt said her conversations with her daughter revealed "more and more tension" between her and Brian.
- August 25 – Gabby also posts her last Instagram. No location is given.
- August 27 – Gabby is seen for what's believed to be the final time. Witnesses claim they saw Brian in an explosive argument with staff at a restaurant in Jackson Hole, leaving Gabby in tears.
- August 27 – Four hours later, travel bloggers driving through Grand Teton National Park drive past the couple's van "abandoned" on a dirt road.
- September 1 – Brian returns home to Florida without Gabby.
- September 11 – Gabby's parents report her missing to Suffolk County police.
- September 14 – Brian's family issues a statement saying he has retained an attorney and will not be cooperating with investigators.
- September 14 – Brian is allegedly last seen by his family. He reportedly told them he was going hiking in Cartlon Reserve but failed to return.
- September 15 – Florida's North Port police announce Brian is a person of interest in the case. He is not charged with any crime.
- September 16 – Utah police release body camera footage of the police encounter with Brian and Gabby.
- September 17 – Brian's parents say they have not seen their son in a couple of days and report him missing.
- September 18 – Police announce they were searching Carlton Reserve in Florida for Brian. Police announce they have not found anything.
- September 19 – Authorities in Wyoming say they found a body in Grand Teton National Park. The FBI announces the body was believed to be Gabby's but a full forensic identification needs to be completed first to confirm.
- September 20 – Police execute a search warrant on Laundrie's home, seizing his silver Mustang and a hard drive that may contain "evidence relevant to proving that a felony has been committed."
- September 21 – Officials announce they will be conducting an autopsy on the remains found in Wyoming to confirm whether or not they belong to Gabby. Police also resumed their search for Laundrie, this time on the Venice side of Carlton Reserve.
- September 21 – The FBI announced the body found in Wyoming was identified as Gabby's. The cause of death was not yet revealed.
- September 21 – The Teton County Coroner's office said Gabby's official cause of death was still pending but the initial manner of death is homicide.
- September 22 – Police continue to scour Carlton Reserve for a trace of Laundrie but yield no leads. A specialist dive team is called in to assist with the hunt.
- September 23 – Officials announced a federal arrest warrant for Brian was issued.
- September 26 – Gabby's funeral was held on Long Island, New York.
- October 12: Gabby's autopsy results were made public. Teton County Coroner Dr Brent Blue confirmed Gabby died by strangulation.
- October 20: Laundrie's personal items were found at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park. A medical examiner was called to the scene.
- October 21: The FBI confirmed the remains found have been identified as Laundrie's.
- November 23: Laundrie's autopsy reveals he died from a gunshot wound to the head
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