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Gabby Petito documentary update – Brian Laundrie 'showed no red flags' before disappearing with Gabby, parents reveal

GABBY Petito's relationship with Brian Laundrie is uncovered in a new documentary in which her parents admitted they didn't see "red flags" with Laundrie before Gabby disappeared.

Her mom Nichole Schmidt and stepdad Jim said Laundrie would often visit their home and seemed like a nice, polite young man.

"I didn’t see anything in him that would worry me at all. No red flags," Nichole said.

The documentary, now streaming on Peacock, “sheds new light on the tragic story, the unanswered questions, and the shocking conclusion,” with exclusive interviews from her family.

Petito, 22, went on a cross-country road trip with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, and never returned. The 22-year-old was reported missing on September 11, just days after Laundrie returned home without her, and her remains were later discovered on September 19.

Autopsy results revealed she was strangled to death and Laundrie was named a person of interest but disappeared himself and was found dead of an apparent suicide on October 22.

Read our Gabby Petito live blog for the latest news and updates…

  • Jocelyn Cook

    Gabby Petito’s dad at her funeral, continued

    “And she’s inspired a lot of women and a lot of men to do what’s best for them first. Put yourself first and do it now while you have the time. I couldn’t be more proud as a father,” he added.

    Joe also warned women in toxic relationships to “leave now” so that way this tragedy does not happen to them.

    Just days after, the family then held a press conference, where Nicole showed off matching tattoos that were designed by Gabby prior to her death.

    On October 3, 2021, Gabby’s family announced that they had launched the Gabby Petito Foundation in honor of their late daughter.

  • Jocelyn Cook

    Gabby Petito’s dad at her funeral

    On September 26, the Petito family held a memorial service for Gabby to lay her to rest following the autopsy results.

    At the service, her father Joe said that he wanted people to be “inspired” by the life she embodied.

    “So when you leave here today, be inspired by what she brought to the table because the entire planet knows this woman’s name now,” he said.

  • Jocelyn Cook

    The Gabby Petito Foundation

    On October 3, 2021, Gabby’s family announced that they had launched the Gabby Petito Foundation in honor of their late daughter.

    “The Gabby Petito Foundation is up and running!,” a post on the foundation’s Twitter page read. “We have a lot of work to do, website is just starting out so be patient with us, we will get there. Thank you for all the support and love!”

  • Jocelyn Cook

    How to watch the documentary

    To view the Gabby Petito documentary, viewers must subscribe to Peacock.

    Subscriptions range from $4.99/month to $9.99/month, depending on users viewing preferences.

    The platform also offers annual subscriptions from $49.99/year to $99.99/year.

  • Jocelyn Cook

    Gabby Petito timeline

    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

     

    Gabby and Brian’s bodies identified exactly one month apart

    Brian Laundrie’s remains were identified as his on October 21, 2021.

    His remains were found after an extensive search at Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park

    On September 21, 2021, the Teton County Coroner Dr Brent Blue confirmed that the body found in Wyoming was that of Gabby Petito.

    Petito died as a result of a homicide.

    ‘Her final resting place’

    Gabby’s family traveled to Wyoming where her remains were found near Grand Teton National Park on September 19.

    “It almost felt like her home. Her final resting place,” Gabby’s mom, Mrs Schmidt, told Dr Oz on a recent episode of the show featuring Gabby’s parents and step-parents.

    “Such a beautiful, peaceful place to be. And we went there to bring her home and that’s what we did.”

    Gabby’s dad describes ‘horrific’ times

    Petito’s father, Joseph, and stepmother, Tara, appear in the new documentary’s trailer as well and describe the time their daughter was missing as “horrific” and “a blur.”

    “Her bright, beautiful light touched a lot of people,” Tara says in the trailer.

    ‘Tragic for two families’

    Laundrie family attorney Steve Bertolino spoke of the loss suffered by both the Petito and Laundrie families.

    “There are two young people that have now lost their lives,” Bertolino said. “These are parents that are suffering.

    “Now, I understand that whatever happened or whatever didn’t happen,” he added. “This is tragic for two families.”

    “And anybody with a child, and anybody with a sense of humanity can understand the frustration that both families feel on that point.”

    • Jennifer Korn

      Family friend on Gabby’s legacy

      Petito family friend Steve Campo told the Sun that Gabby’s “going to be looking over her family now and taking care of her brother and two sisters and looking over them.”

      He added that Gabby’s case has resonated with women everywhere.

      “Just speaking to other women and stuff when they saw the video of her, they knew that she was in trouble. I wouldn’t.”

      “I don’t know but they were in relationships that that happened and they saw that you never want to see that again.”

      “Again it’s somebody’s sister, somebody’s daughter, wife, you know, no one should ever feel that way again, that they can’t escape.”

    • Jennifer Korn

      Gabby’s father on Brian Laundrie

      Gabby’s dad Joe Petito called for Laundrie to be imprisoned for the rest of his life before his remains were found in a Florida reserve.

      He told Dr. Phil: “I want to look him in the eyes. I want to see him in a jail cell.”

      Prior to the determination of Brian's cause of death, Joe also claimed that Laundrie was too “cowardly to kill himself”.

      Joe said: “He is a coward. I would use some other words but I can’t use them on this show.”

      Laundrie’s cause of death was determined to be a gunshot to the head.

    • Jennifer Korn

      Was Gabby Petito pregnant?

      Gabby’s autopsy confirmed that she was not pregnant at the time of her death.

      Online sleuths had speculated that Gabby may be pregnant after discovering a Pinterest board titled: “Oh Baby”.

      The board was also shared by Brian Laundrie’s mom, the International Business Times reports.

      The page contains several links to items of clothing that were previously for sale including onesies and crocheted bibs.  

      There are several snaps of toddlers playing on the beach and cute family photos.

    • Jennifer Korn

      Chilling warning from Gabby’s mom

      In the hour-long documentary, Gabby’s mom Nichole Schmidt revealed that she warned Gabby about getting married to Brian Laundrie, 23, too young.

      “They were engaged, so it was exciting, but I was like ‘well, just make sure this is … you know you’re young, and make sure its what you want.’

      “But I couldn’t tell her, you know, you can’t get married now because I got married very young,” Nichole said.

      Her stepfather Jim was excited about the young couple.

      “You know as a dad, you’re like, okay, you know, that’s great, you know, you can settle down a little bit. You’re happy for her, you know, that she’s found who she wanted to be with,” Jim shared.

      On the other hand, Joe and Gabby’s stepmom Tara refused to speak about their daughter’s engagement on camera, simply saying: “We’re not going to talk about that.”

    • Jennifer Korn

      Dad: ‘entire planet’ knows Gabby’s name

      On September 26, the family held a memorial service for Gabby to lay her to rest following the autopsy results.

      At the service, Joe said that he wanted people to be “inspired” by the life she embodied.

      “So when you leave here today, be inspired by what she brought to the table because the entire planet knows this woman’s name now,” he said.

      “And she’s inspired a lot of women and a lot of men to do what’s best for them first. Put yourself first and do it now while you have the time. I couldn’t be more proud as a father.”

      Joe also warned women in toxic relationships to “leave now” so that way this tragedy does not happen to them.

      Just days after, the family then held a press conference, where Nicole showed off matching tattoos that were designed by Gabby prior to her death.

      On October 3, 2021, Gabby’s family announced that they had launched the Gabby Petito Foundation in honor of their late daughter.

    • Jennifer Korn

      How to get help

      If you are being abused in a relationship, anonymous and confidential help is available.

      For help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or  1-800-787-3224 (TTY).

      However, if you are actively in danger, call 911.

    • Jennifer Korn

      Gabby was killed by ‘throttling’

      While Dr. Blue’s initial remarks lacked specificity, he later appeared on CNN and elaborated on Gabby’s cause of death, insisting she had been killed by “strangulation via a throttling.”

      Professor Joseph Scott Morgan, a forensic expert and former medical examiner teaching at Jacksonville State University in Alabama said Brent’s comments are significant, as “that really narrows the field down because throttling is so very specific.

      “He went to great lengths to even say that this was not mechanical, which essentially means that there wasn’t a ligature involved,” Morgan said. “When they say throttling, they’re talking about the application of two hands on this young woman’s throat.”

      Morgan called the manner of death “intimate”, adding that throttling can either happen anteriorly — from the front — or posteriorly — from behind, and is often driven by a component of passion.

    • Jennifer Korn

      How did Gabby go missing?

      Gabby Petito had quit her job and packed her life into a camper van for a cross-country adventure with Brian Laundrie, starting in July, documenting their journey in a stream of social media posts.

      In images shared by the couple online, they are all smiles — barefoot in a canyon or surveying the ochre rocks of state and national parks.

      In one YouTube video published during their trip, Petito and Laundrie are shown kissing tenderly, enjoying a sunset together, and strolling on a beach.

      But the young woman’s family filed a missing person report on September 11 after the 22-year-old mysteriously vanished, and Laundrie returned home to Florida without her.

    • Jennifer Korn

      Was Brian Laundrie ever charged?

      Although Brian was not charged with any crime in relation to Gabby’s murder, the FBI issued a warrant for his arrest for the unauthorized use of Gabby’s debit card.

      Bank records show that from August 31 to September 1, four days after the couple was spotted at the Merry Piglets restaurant, Brian swiped Gabby’s Capital One card, running up a balance of $1,000.

    • Jennifer Korn

      ‘I hope she did not suffer’

      In a heartbreaking interview with 60 minutes, Gabby’s distraught mom Nichole said: “I hope she did not suffer and she was not in any pain. 

      “That she was in a place she wanted to be, looking at the beautiful mountains.”

      She added: “You never, ever think it is going to be yours. It is surreal.”

    • Jennifer Korn

      Moab police refund licensing fees

      Officers in the Utah city where Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie had an explosive domestic dispute have been accused of illegally collecting nearly $3,000 in fees for the distressing police bodycam footage of the incident.

      The Moab Police Department are planning to return the fees collected from multiple media organizations featuring footage of the officers pulling over Gabby and her ex-fiancé Brian outside of Arches National Park.

      The thousands of dollars in fees charged by Moab police the dissemination of the footage – which grabbed national spotlight – cost three times more than what the department had expected to take in for the entire fiscal year of fee revenues, the Salt Lake Tribune reported citing a city budget document.

      Moab Police Department charged 30 entities – mostly news organizations – $98 to provide the footage totaling $2,940,  according to a document The Tribune obtained through an open records request. 

      The law enforcement agency has since agreed to refund the fees which may have violated Utah law. 

    • Jennifer Korn

      Why did Gabby visit Grand Teton?

      Petito had quit her job and packed her life into a camper van for a cross-country adventure with Brian Laundrie, starting in July, documenting their journey in a stream of social media posts.

      In images shared by the couple online they are all smiles — barefoot in a canyon or surveying the ochre rocks of state and national parks.

      In one YouTube video published during their trip, Petito and Laundrie are shown kissing tenderly, enjoying a sunset together and strolling on a beach.

      But the young woman’s family filed a missing person report on September 11 after the 22-year-old mysteriously vanished, and Laundrie returned home to Florida without her.

    • Jennifer Korn

      Gabby’s last texts and post

      Gabby Petito’s remains were found less than 1,000 feet (300m) from where, on the evening of August 27, another pair of travel bloggers caught video images of the couple’s 2012 white Ford Transit van parked along a dirt road.

      Petito, who was documenting the couple’s “van life” road trip on social media, posted her final photo to Instagram on August 25, the same day that she last spoke to her mother by phone.

      The family believes the couple was headed to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming at the time.

      Schmidt received text messages from Petito’s phone on August 27 and August 30, but suspects that someone other than her daughter sent them, according to investigators.

    • Jennifer Korn

      Brian’s notebook is ‘key evidence’

      Brian Laundrie’s notebook, which was found next to his remains at a Florida nature reserve, may reveal the truth about what happened between him and his late fiancée, Gabby Petito, an ex-prosecutor says.

      The notebook and remains were found by police next to a backpack belonging to Laundrie at Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, near the Carlton Reserve.

      Neama Rahmani, a former assistant US Attorney and the current president of West Coast Trial Lawyers, told The Sun the notebook and bag will be “crucial evidence” in helping to solve Gabby’s murder.

      “Law enforcement found a backpack and notebook, that’s key evidence,” Rahmani said.

    • Jennifer Korn

      Gabby's mom speaks of her daughter's 'magical' presence

      In the documentary, Gabby's mom Nichole Schmidt said everyone who met their daughter instantly "fell in love with her."

      The devastated mother said: "People would meet her and just fall in love with her.

      "She just had this presence. I don't know what it was. It was just magical."

      "There are so many good memories over the years, but the one thing I hold dear to me is the hug that we had before she left for the trip in the driveway."

      "It's still unbelievable. I still don't understand it. It doesn't make sense," she added.

    • Jennifer Korn

      Rare photos of Gabby Petito shared in documentary

      Rare photos of Gabby Petito were shared in a new documentary, prompting her heartbroken parents to say “this is all we have left now.”

      Gabby‘s heartbroken parents, Nichole Schmidt and Joe Petito opened up about what made their daughter special in the new Peacock documentary, The Murder of Gabby Petito: Truth, Lies and Social Media.

      “Man, that smile. That smile didn’t change. Those eyes didn’t change. Those eyes, they would get her out of so much trouble,” Joe said.

      “No matter how old she got, she would still be my baby girl, you know, how much trouble she was in, it didn’t matter. She was still my baby girl, you know?

      “These are all I have left now,” Joe said as he stared down at his daughter’s childhood photos.

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