FBI wraps up Gabby Petito investigation, says Brian Laundrie sole person of interest
The FBI’s Denver field office announced on Friday that it had concluded its investigation into the death of Gabby Petito, whose remains were found last year following a cross-country road trip with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie.
“All logical investigative steps have been concluded in this case,” FBI Denver Division Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider said in a statement. “The investigation did not identify any other individuals other than Brian Laundrie directly involved in the tragic death of Gabby Petito.”
FBI Denver also noted that a review of a notebook that was found near Laundrie’s remains in October, “revealed written statements by Mr. Laundrie claiming responsibility for Ms. Petito’s death.”
Schneider thanked the public for providing “thousands of tips” to law enforcement officials in addition to other local, state and federal partners that worked with the FBI in their investigation.
The announcement concludes an investigation that launched after Petito went missing last year while traveling with Laundrie. After he arrived back in Florida without Petito, she was reported missing on Sept. 11.
The case rapidly gained national media attention.
Footage from a bodycam worn by a Moab, Utah, police officer during a traffic stop involving Petito and Laundrie indicated that the couple had been involved in a domestic dispute shortly before her disappearance, CNN reported. The officer had asked what happened between Petito and her fiancé after witnesses claimed they saw Laundrie hit her.
In the footage, Petito acknowledged that Laundrie had hit her, but claimed she had hit him first. Pressed by the officer about what happened, she said, “Well, he kept telling me to shut up.”
She said that he had “grabbed my face” but had not punched her, later adding, “Well he, like, grabbed me with his nail, and I guess that’s why it looks … definitely I was cut right here [points to cheek] because I can feel it. When I touch it, it burns,” according to the network.
Bodycam footage reportedly showed Laundrie saying that he had pushed her away, claiming, “She gets really worked up, and when she does she swings,” Fox News noted.
Remains were discovered in Wyoming days after Petito was reported missing. The FBI confirmed that they belonged to her later in September, while officials searched for Laundrie, who had been named a person of interest in the case.
Laundrie’s remains were found on Oct. 20 at a park in Florida, and an attorney later confirmed he had died by a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
— Updated at 5:36 p.m.