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Brian Laundrie – update: Petition calls for investigation into Florida police as FBI probe fugitive’s texts

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Over 3,400 people have signed a petition calling for a formal investigation into the way in which the North Port police department handled the Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie investigation.

The FBI will have pieced together Brian Laundrie’s “digital footprint” and be aware of his movements and communications in the days before his death, according to one expert.

Laundrie’s remains are being examined by a forensic anthropologist in Sarasota County to try to determine his cause of death.

Authorities are also trying to repair a personal notebook retrieved from a dry bag near his body as part of their investigation into the death of his girlfriend Gabby Petito.

Crucial to their investigation will be Laundrie’s digital communications, including his texts and emails, use of social media, and internet browsing history prior to his death.

NewsNation Correspondent Brian Entin believes law enforcement will already have pieced together much of the puzzle.

“I think the FBI knows a lot of those questions and they will be resolved,” Mr Entin says. “If they close the case those documents will be available through public record searches.”

Ms Petito’s family strongly suspect that Laundrie was impersonating her in text messages after her death to try to confuse them and the police.

Cellphone records should also be able to track Laundrie’s movements between Wyoming and Florida, where he returned to on 1 September.

Mr Entin believes the FBI could release their findings linking Laundrie to Ms Petito’s death before closing the case.

“If they don’t do that, there’s technically a chance that there’s still a murderer out there,” he says.

“I think that would calm the public down and give the Petito’s some kind of closure.”

Read More

Brian Laundrie’s parents: Who are Christopher and Roberta Laundrie?

Well-known influencer under fire for peddling conspiracy Brian Laundrie still alive

How the media broke the news of Gabby Petito’s body being discovered

Gabby Petito: Everything we know about YouTuber’s murder on ‘dream’ road trip

Key Points

  • Carlton Reserve warns visitors of ‘affected’ trail conditions

  • North Port Police department did ‘phenomenal work’

  • North Port Police operated in ‘support role’ when Gabby Petito investigation was launched

  • Gabby and Brian moved to New York before their cross-country trip, police chief reveals

  • Instagram posted claimed – without evidence – she was a former girlfriend of Brian Laundrie

  • Brian Laundrie’s parents: Who are Christopher and Roberta Laundrie?

  • Brian Laundrie’s parents may never tell their side of story, says attorney

Gabby Petito Foundation hosts raffle

08:23 , Eleanor Sly

The Gabby Petito Foundation is hosting a fundraiser with all proceeds going to the foundation.

Writing on Twitter, the organisation said that the fundraiser was being hosted by Isles Meetups – Tampa Islander “Casey Cizikas” Jersey.

The fundraiser will run until from now until 15 November at 6:00 pm and those who enter can win a jersey autographed by ice hockey star Casey Cizikas.

Thousands sign petition demanding Florida police be investigated for handling of Gabby Petito, Brian Laundrie case

07:34 , Eleanor Sly

More than 3,400 people have signed a petition calling for a formal investigation into the North Port police department’s handling of the Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie investigation.

The change.org petition, addressed to Florida governor Ron DeSantis, urged him to start an “internal investigation into this case” but added that the “bigger picture is to bring about change.”

“Police deal with citizens on a daily basis and the actions of incompetence can have tremendous, life-altering effects on numerous people in their communities,” the petition said. “What happens when you have a department that’s full of incompetence? Well, Governor DeSantis, this case right here is what happens.”

Maroosha Muzaffar reports:

Thousands demand Florida police be investigated in Petito-Laundrie case

Gabby Petito case spawned true crime hobbyists, analyst says

05:56 , Maroosha Muzaffar

In the wake of massive interest in the fates of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie, an intelligence analyst has said that such breakout cases have given rise to an entire subculture of “true crime hobbyists.”

Elise Thomas, an open-source intelligence analyst at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue wrote in the Strategist that “intense, prurient interest in criminal cases isn’t new, but the role of social media platforms adds new and powerful dynamics.”

She added that many have linked interest in the missing persons’ cases to a kind of hobby. “Once, a disappearance or a death might have interested only a local or national audience, but social media has erased any boundaries on who can engage with a case.”

The analyst also pointed to the case of four-year-old Cleo Smith from Western Australia. “A significant number of those creating content about Cleo were American. The people at the centre of a case — investigators, families, witnesses and anyone who may fall under suspicion — are put under an intense spotlight.”

She said that “the transmutation of the suffering of people like the Smith and Petito families into social media content for the dissection of true-crime hobbyists raises a range of practical questions, but it should also spark a deeper ethical conversation about the consumption of tragedy as entertainment.”

Before Gabby Petito’s remains were found near a national park in Wyoming, hundreds of “digital sleuths” had combed through the social media pages of Petito and Brian Laundrie to try and find any clues to her whereabouts themselves.

Online sleuths scour Brian Laundrie’s Pinterest page for clues

05:11 , Maroosha Muzaffar

After Brian Laundrie’s skeletal remains were found in the Myakahachee Creek Environmental Park on 20 October, the internet is now obsessing over his Pinterest page for clues into his mindscape.

The social media page — where Laundrie had Pins saved under several titles like “Outdoors,” “Our House,” “My Girl,” “Bleak,” Life is a trip,” Bizarre Designs” and “Life Goals” — is the latest target for internet sleuths who are trying to find any clues about what might have happened on Petito and Laundrie’s ill-fated cross-country road trip.

The Pinterest page that goes by the name @blaundrie1197 has not formally been acknowledged by the Laundrie family as being Brian’s, but it has pictures of Petito and shows her modelling several custom face masks.

The page includes links to Laundrie’s Instagram and Depop pages. Some have pointed out posts that would suggest the couple might have been planning to have a baby.

There were several Pins saved under “Kids Books” on Brian’s page, and Petito’s Pinterest page also had a sub-folder titled “Oh Baby.”

The FBI is still investigating the cause of Brian Laundrie’s death and experts have said that it might take some more time before they find out the cause.

Brain Laundrie’s Pinterest page had in September also raised alarm bells among those who had been following the case closely.

Commentators said that he had shared several cryptic and “foreboding” images and messages including one that read “Don’t try to find me. I have finally escaped my ‘master’s’ wicked clutches.”

Heidi Planck now missing for three weeks in California

04:01 , Graeme Massie

The Los Angeles woman has not been seen since she left her 10-year-old son’s football game in California on 17 October, with her pet dog found on the 28th floor of a downtown apartment complex.

The 39-year-old’s friends, who have posted missing signs all over the city, planned on holding a prayer vigil for her on Sunday night to mark three weeks since she was last seen.

When she was last seen, Planck was wearing jeans and a gray sweater, driving her 2017 gray Range Rover with a black-and-yellow California license plate of ‘U840X0.’

She is white, 5ft3 inches tall and weighs about 120 pounds, with blond hair and blue eyes.

Missing 16-year-old girl rescued after using TikTok hand signals for distress

02:30 , Graeme Massie

A missing 16-year-old girl was rescued after using TikTok hand signals to warn a motorist she was in distress, police say.

Police in Kentucky say that they pulled over and arrested James Brick after someone in the car behind his truck recognised the hand gestures and called 911.

Mr Brick, 61, was charged with unlawful imprisonment after being stopped in Laurel County, Kentucky, with the missing youngster in his back seat.

Missing 16-year-old girl rescued after using TikTok hand signals for distress

Gabby Petito’s mum still ‘shocked’ by reminders of daughter’s death

01:01 , Graeme Massie

“When you turn on Hulu, and your daughters story is the recommended show to watch. It’s still shocking, feels like I’m outside looking in, this cannot be our life. We must keep going!!” tweeted Niki Schmidt on Sunday.

More than 3,400 people sign petition for police department investigation

00:31 , Graeme Massie

A total of 3,439 people have signed the change.org petition, calling for a probe into North Port Police Department’s handling of the Brian Laundrie investigation.

“The North Port Police Department has been incompetent in their handling of both Gabby Petito’s missing persons case as well as the Brian Laundrie’s missing person case,” the petition reads.

“Millions of taxpayers money was spent on this investigation over a month’s time with little to no results. Within a day of the search area being opened back up to the public, the person of interest’s parents were the one’s to discover belongings of that of their son.”

Gabby Petito’s father celebrates missing woman being found

Sunday 7 November 2021 18:00 , David Taintor

Gabby Petito’s father, Joseph, on Saturday celebrated that missing woman Mikaiya Richardson had been found, after he asked for help in locating the missing woman following his own daughter’s demise:

‘That was one of the moments I got kind of emotional’

Sunday 7 November 2021 14:46 , Bevan Hurley

NewsNation correspondent Brian Entin says he found bodycam footage showing a distraught Gabby Petito speaking to Moab police officers after a fight with Brian Laundrie deeply distressing to watch.

“That was one of the moments I got kind of emotional. I felt it was especially sad.”

He said the release of footage from the 12 August encounter with cops altered people’s perceptions of the couple, who had shared seemingly idyllic photos and videos of their van-life trip.

“All we had seen up until that point was the YouTube video and the Instagram posts, and all of these beautiful images of Gabby and Brian, and when that video came out it was like, ‘oh my gosh there’s another side that we didn’t really know about.’

“That was the moment that we thought, ‘OK there’s another side to this.’ And I think people’s fascination with the case got even more intense.”

Read more here:

The little-known reporter who broke the biggest story in America

Utah city accused of violating state law to return $3,000 in fees collected for Gabby Petito police body camera video

Saturday 6 November 2021 03:40 , Bevan Hurley

ICYMI: The city of Moab, Utah is returning almost $3,000 in fees it charged several media organisations for the release of body camera footage depicting a police encounter with Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie.

Lisa Church, a spokesperson for the city, pointed out that once the video had been prepared for one request, no other entity should have been charged, as the “actual cost of providing a record” would be nothing.

“Even if one person were charged a fee once that document is created, everybody else should not have been charged,” she said.

The Independent’s Graig Graziosi has more on the story below…

Utah city to refund nearly $3,000 in fees charged for Gabby Petito police footage

Gabby Petito Foundation offers advice for domestic violence victims

Saturday 6 November 2021 02:40 , Bevan Hurley

The Gabby Petito Foundation is now offering advice on where people in violent relationships can go to for help.

Gabby’s father Joe Petito announced the creation of a new foundation in September to help people in dangerous relationships, and assist families locate their missing children.

In an interview last month, Mr Petito said they had been inundated with messages from vulnerable young women who found themselves in similar situations to his daughter, who was strangled in what police have described as a domestic violence incident.

Now the foundation’s website has been updated to include tips on where people can go to for help.

Under the hashtag #justiceforgabby, the site says: “If you or somewhere you know is impacted by relationship abuse, you are not alone. There are many resources available that can support your path to a safer future.”

It’s provided links and contact details for the National Domestic Violence Hotline, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and the National Sexual Assault Hotline.

Internet obsessives scour Carlton Reserve for Brian Laundrie clues in the days after his remains were discovered

Saturday 6 November 2021 01:40 , Bevan Hurley

ICYMI: After the partial skeletal remains of Brian Laundrie were found in a park connected to the Carlton Reserve, internet-obsessed sleuths have been scouring the area searching for additional clues.

One woman, whose Twitter name is just “Olivia”, claimed she found bones 60 yards from the spot where Mr Laundrie’s remains were located. She shared imaged of the bones, which included long spikes along their edges.

The Independent’s Graig Graziosi has more on the bones’ likely origins and other objects found in the Carlton Reserve in the story below.

Internet obsessives scour Florida reserve for Laundrie clues

Forensic anthropologist examining Brian Laundrie’s remains may have results by end of November

Saturday 6 November 2021 00:40 , Bevan Hurley

Steven Bertolino, the attorney representing the Laundrie family, said that the results of a forensic anthropologist’s examination of Brian Laundrie‘s remains are expected by the end of November.

Laundrie was a person of interest in the disappearance and death of his fiancée, Gabby Petito. His remains were found in the Carlton Reserve, a protected swamp, on 20 October, more than a month after he went missing. Ms Petito’s remains were found on 19 September. Her death was ruled a homicide by way of manual strangulation.

Mr Bertolino told Fox News that he believed the forensic anthropologist’s examination will conclude within two to three weeks.

Graig Graziosi has more:

Anthropologist examining Brian Laundrie’s remains may have results by end of November

The dark themes that permeate Brian Laundrie’s digital footprint

Friday 5 November 2021 23:40 , Bevan Hurley

Brian Laundrie’s final social media post, around the time of his girlfriend Gabby Petito’s death, shows the cover of a book titled Burnt Out, how to cope with autistic burnout.

While it’s unknown whether Laundrie was on the autism spectrum, he and Ms Petito told officers attending a domestic disturbance in Utah on 12 August they were suffering from a mental health breakdown.

Laundrie’s social media posts often feature macabre drawings and references to violent video games.

In a separate Pinterest post, text at the bottom of an image reads: “Don’t try to find me,” and “I have finally escaped my ‘master’s’ wicked clutches. To the others I say: JOIN ME. Bite the hand that feeds you. Vive La Liberte.”

Read the full story here…

The dark themes permeating Brian Laundrie’s digital footprint

NewsNation reporter Brian Entin: ‘I became obsessed with not missing anything’

Friday 5 November 2021 22:40 , Bevan Hurley

NewsNation reporter Brian Entin, who covered the Gabby Petito case from 14 September, told The Independent that he became “obsessed” with it.

“Once I was invested in it, I thought, ‘I’m in this ‘til the end’. I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss any of the critical moments,” he told The Independent.

Mr Entin and his camerawoman had only planned to stay in North Port, Florida – where Petito had lived with her boyfriend Brian Laundrie and his family – for a couple of days. But as the case took off and captured the attention of millions across America and the world, they remained camped out next door to the Laundrie family home, focused on the story for seven weeks.

“There was such a hunger for information in real time it became a challenge, because there wasn’t always confirmed information to give,” he said, talking about the 16-hour days he spent reporting on the case.

“My approach was the same as in other cases, just tweet out information as fast as possible, but make sure it was totally accurate. Stick to the facts.”

Throughout the case, Mr Entin liaised with local authorities, police and the Laundrie and Petito families, covered protests, vigils and searches of the Carlton reserve, and ultimately became one of the most trusted sources of information as the tragic story eventually unravelled.

‘Gabby’s law’: Joseph Petito calls on states to make it compulsory to report missing persons cases to national database

Friday 5 November 2021 21:40 , Bevan Hurley

Gabby Petito’s father is calling on states to make it compulsory to report missing person cases to a national database.

The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) is a federally funded resource centre to help law enforcement track cases.

The site is described by cold case investigators as the nation’s most effective database for tracking missing persons, but many law enforcement agencies don’t use it.

Only 10 states have passed legislation requiring law enforcement to report missing persons cases.

Joseph Petito, whose daughter was killed during a van-life tour, has become a vocal campaigner in trying to improve the way missing persons cases are investigated.

On Wednesday, he asked his 100,000 followers on Twitter: “Should every state make it a law to report to http://Namus.gov or create a site so that all the missing in all states can be found in 1 database? If yes, tag all the politicians to help make it so.”

Gabby Petito: Everything we know about YouTuber’s murder on ‘dream’ road trip

Friday 5 November 2021 20:41 , Bevan Hurley

Gabby Petito, 22, an aspiring social media star who went missing in late August during a “dream” cross-country road trip from New York to Oregon with her fiancé, was strangled to death, and her body found in a Wyoming national park.

More than a month later, skeletal human remains found inside the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in Florida were confirmed to be those of her fiancé Brian Laundrie. There had been no trace of him throughout a weeks-long hunt.

“The FBI and our partners remain dedicated to ensuring that anyone responsible for or complicit in Ms Petito’s death is held accountable for their actions,” special agent in charge Michael Schneider said.

Read more here:

Everything we know about Gabby Petito’s murder on ‘dream’ road trip

Abduction survivor Elizabeth Smart on Petito family ‘closure’

Friday 5 November 2021 19:19 , Bevan Hurley

ICYMI: Abduction survivor Elizabeth Smart said that the Petito family will not receive the kind of “closure” that she got when her captor was sentenced.

“I mean, I can only speak for me. And I know, when I finally saw that my captor was sentenced, that the trial happened, that it was finished, it really was the closing of a chapter,” she told CBS News.

Smart was 14 when she was kidnapped in June 2002 from her home in Utah by Brian David Mitchell. She was held captive for approximately nine months before she was found 18 miles from her home. Her captor was subsequently given a life sentence in 2011.

“So, I can only imagine for Gabby Petito’s heartbroken family that there is a sense of loss and lack and they don’t get to receive that. And they don’t get to receive that kind of closure.”

 (Getty Images for Lifetime)

(Getty Images for Lifetime)

Timeline of events in Petito-Laundrie case

Friday 5 November 2021 18:22 , Bevan Hurley

2 July – Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie leave New York for van-life road trip.

12 August – The couple is seen arguing in Moab City, Utah. Concerned bystanders call the police, who intervene, capturing the altercation on video on the officers’ body camera. One officer describes the incident as a “mental health crisis”.

17 August – Laundrie flies from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Tampa, Florida, alone, to collect some items and close a storage unit as the couple allegedly contemplates extending their road trip.

23 August – Laundrie returns to Salt Lake City to rejoin Petito.

24 August – Petito spotted checking out of a hotel in Salt Lake City with Laundrie.

25 August – Petito has a video call with her mother.

27 August – Louisiana couple see Petito and Laundrie involved in a “commotion” at the Merry Piglets Tex-Mex restaurant in Jackson, Wyoming. Last known sighting of Petito.

30 August – last text messages sent from Petito’s phone.

1 September – Laundrie returns to North Port, Florida, where the couple lived, without Gabby.

11 September – Petito’s family launch missing person’s investigation

14 September – Police declare Laundrie a “person of interest” in the case.

17 September – Laundrie’s family call investigators to their home, admit Brian has been missing since 14 September.

19 September – FBI announce that a body has been discovered in Wyoming, believed to be Petito.

20 September – FBI search the Laundrie home, declared it a crime scene.

21 September – Petito family attorney confirms that the body found in Wyoming is Gabby. FBI confirm her death to be a homicide.

23 September – FBI issue federal arrest warrant for Brian Laundrie, related to “activities following the death of Gabby”.

12 October – Teton County Coroner announces Petito’s cause of death was strangulation.

20 October – Human remains discovered in Florida’s Carlton Reserve, alongside personal items that belonged to Laundrie.

21 October – FBI match Laundrie’s dental records to human remains found in the Carlton Reserve.

‘Gabby’s law’: Joseph Petito calls on states to make it compulsory to report missing persons cases to national database

Friday 5 November 2021 17:10 , Bevan Hurley

Gabby Petito’s father is calling on states to make it compulsory to report missing person cases to a national database.

The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) is a federally funded resource centre to help law enforcement track cases.

The site is described by cold case investigators as the nation’s most effective database for tracking missing persons, but many law enforcement agencies don’t use it.

Only 10 states have passed legislation requiring law enforcement to report missing persons cases.

Joseph Petito, whose daughter was killed during a van-life tour, has become a vocal campaigner in trying to improve the way missing persons cases are investigated.

On Wednesday, he asked his 100,000 followers on Twitter: “Should every state make it a law to report to http://Namus.gov or create a site so that all the missing in all states can be found in 1 database? If yes, tag all the politicians to help make it so.”

Ms Petito’s parents established the Gabby Petito Foundation to assist other families reunite with their missing children and loved ones.

‘That was one of the moments I got kind of emotional’

Friday 5 November 2021 16:10 , Bevan Hurley

NewsNation correspondent Brian Entin says he found bodycam footage showing a distraught Gabby Petito speaking to Moab police officers after a fight with Brian Laundrie deeply distressing to watch.

“That was one of the moments I got kind of emotional. I felt it was especially sad.”

He said the release of footage from the 12 August encounter with cops altered people’s perceptions of the couple, who had shared seemingly idyllic photos and videos of their van-life trip.

“All we had seen up until that point was the YouTube video and the Instagram posts, and all of these beautiful images of Gabby and Brian, and when that video came out it was like, ‘oh my gosh there’s another side that we didn’t really know about.’

“That was the moment that we thought, ‘OK there’s another side to this.’ And I think people’s fascination with the case got even more intense.”

The little-known reporter who broke the biggest story in America

The little-known reporter who broke the biggest story in America

Friday 5 November 2021 15:05 , Celine Wadhera

After spending every waking moment of the past seven weeks covering the Gabby Petito case, NewsNation correspondent Brian Entin is finally taking a day off to spend time with his golden retriever, Shelby.

He told The Independent about how he and his camerawoman would arrive at the Laundrie family home around 6am each morning and remain there until midnight before retiring to get a couple of hours of sleep at a nearby hotel, while a freelance cameraman monitored the scene in case anything of interest happened.

The case profoundly affected Mr Entin, who continues to honour Petito’s legacy through his journalism by providing a platform for stories on domestic abuse while also drawing attention to other missing persons cases across America.

My colleague Bevan Hurley reports on how Mr Entin became one of the most trusted journalists covering the case that gripped millions of people around the world.

The little-known reporter who broke the biggest story in America

Where does the investigation go from here?

Friday 5 November 2021 14:22 , Celine Wadhera

When asked where the Gabby Petito case will go from here, NewsNation correspondent Brian Entin said that he was hopeful that lingering questions surrounding the case would be answered.

Mr Entin said that he sees two possibilities from here. The FBI could quietly wrap up their investigation, without saying anything publicly on the case again.

Or, the FBI could lay out the information that they have connecting Laundrie to Petito’s death, through a press conference or the release of a memo.

“If they don’t do that, there’s technically a chance that there’s still a murderer out there,” he said. “I don’t think that would calm the public down and give the Petitos some kind of closure.”

Laundrie’s cause of death is yet to be determined, and the contents of his personal notebook and digital communications have not been made public. Similarly, most details from Petito’s autopsy have not been released.

The moment that everything changed

Friday 5 November 2021 13:22 , Celine Wadhera

NewsNation reporter Brian Entin said that the release of the Moab Police’s bodycam footage of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie on the side of the road was the moment that everything changed in the case.

“All we had seen up until that point was the YouTube video and the Instagram posts and all of these beautiful images of Gabby and Brian and when that video came out it was like ‘oh my gosh there’s another side that we didn’t really know about.

“That was the moment that we thought, ‘OK there’s another side to this’. And I think people’s fascination with the case got even more intense.”

When bodycam footage from a second officer was released a few weeks later, showing Ms Petito holding her hands around her neck in an apparent simulation of being strangled, Mr Entin said he found it deeply distressing to watch.

NewsNation reporter Brian Entin: ‘I became obsessed with not missing anything’

Friday 5 November 2021 12:22 , Celine Wadhera

NewsNation reporter Brian Entin, who covered the Gabby Petito case from 14 September, told The Independent that he became “obsessed” with it.

“Once I was invested in it, I thought, ‘I’m in this ‘til the end’. I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss any of the critical moments,” he told my colleague Bevan Hurley.

Mr Entin and his camerawoman had only planned to stay in North Port, Florida – where Petito had lived with her boyfriend Brian Laundrie and his family – for a couple of days. But as the case took off and captured the attention of millions across America and the world, they remained camped out next door to the Laundrie family home, focused on the story for seven weeks.

“There was such a hunger for information in real time it became a challenge, because there wasn’t always confirmed information to give,” he said, talking about the 16-hour days he spent reporting on the case.

“My approach was the same as in other cases, just tweet out information as fast as possible, but make sure it was totally accurate. Stick to the facts.”

Throughout the case, Mr Entin liaised with local authorities, police and the Laundrie and Petito families, covered protests, vigils and searches of the Carlton reserve, and ultimately became one of the most trusted sources of information as the tragic story eventually unravelled.

Laundrie family have yet to receive Brian’s remains

Friday 5 November 2021 10:56 , Celine Wadhera

Brian Laundrie’s remains have not yet been returned to his family, despite having been found in Florida’s Carlton Reserve, a 24,000-acre nature preserve, more than two weeks ago.

Steven Bertolino, the family’s lawyer, confirmed this on ABC7, and added that he believed the FBI had all the information it needed to conduct its investigation into the 23-year-old man’s disappearance and death.

Earlier, the lawyer said that the initial autopsy conducted by the Sarasota County medical examiner was inconclusive and unable to determine the cause of Mr Laundrie’s death. The remains have since been sent to a forensic anthropologist for further evaluation

Eventually, the Laundrie family plans to have their son’s remains cremated, but have not planned a funeral.

North Port Police speak with Florida students about abuse, harassment and conflict resolution

Friday 5 November 2021 09:25 , Celine Wadhera

North Port Police, a key law enforcement agency in the investigation into Gabby Petito’s disappearance and the hunt for Brian Laundrie, were at the Imagine School this week, speaking to students about the effects of abuse, harassment, and conflict resolution.

“We always appreciate when members of our NPPD along w/ the community speak to each other on important issues facing our youth. #Together,” the police force said on Twitter.

While some people on Twitter were receptive to the force’s desire to engage with youth, many vented their anger over the Petito case, which they believe was handled improperly.

“I respect your weekly mession to help our youth but we can’t and won’t forget about #justiceforgabby There are questions that we won’t stop asking until we get answers,” one user wrote. While another called for an investigation into the force’s handling of the case.

Timeline of events

Friday 5 November 2021 08:25 , Celine Wadhera

2 July – Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie leave New York for road trip.

12 August – The couple is seen arguing in Moab City, Utah. Concerned bystanders call the police, who intervene, capturing the altercation on video on the officers’ body camera. One officer describes the incident as a “mental health crisis”.

17 August – Laundrie flies from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Tampa, Florida, alone, to collect some items and close a storage unit as the couple allegedly contemplates extending their road trip.

23 August – Laundrie returns to Salt Lake City to rejoin Petito.

24 August – Petito spotted checking out of a hotel in Salt Lake City with Laundrie.

25 August – Petito has a video call with her mother.

27 August – Louisiana couple see Petito and Laundrie involved in a “commotion” at the Merry Piglets Tex-Mex restaurant in Jackson, Wyoming. Last known sighting of Petito.

30 August – last text messages sent from Petito’s phone.

1 September – Laundrie returns to North Port, Florida, where the couple lived, without Gabby.

11 September – Petito’s family launch missing person’s investigation

14 September – Police declare Laundrie a “person of interest” in the case.

17 September – Laundrie’s family call investigators to their home, admit Brian has been missing since 14 September.

19 September – FBI announce that a body has been discovered in Wyoming, believed to be Petito.

20 September – FBI search the Laundrie home, declared it a crime scene.

21 September – Petito family attorney confirms that the body found in Wyoming is Gabby. FBI confirm her death to be a homicide.

23 September – FBI issue federal arrest warrant for Brian Laundrie, related to “activities following the death of Gabby”.

12 October – Teton County Coroner announces Petito’s cause of death was strangulation.

20 October – Human remains discovered in Florida’s Carlton Reserve, alongside personal items that belonged to Laundrie.

21 October – FBI match Laundrie’s dental records to human remains found in the Carlton Reserve.

Abduction survivor Elizabeth Smart on Petito family ‘closure’

Friday 5 November 2021 05:43 , Namita Singh

Abduction survivor Elizabeth Smart said that the Petito family will not receive the kind of “closure” that she got when her captor was sentenced.

“I mean, I can only speak for me. And I know, when I finally saw that my captor was sentenced, that the trial happened, that it was finished, it really was the closing of a chapter,” she told CBS News.

Smart was 14 when she was kidnapped in June 2002 from her home in Utah by Brian David Mitchell. She was held captive for approximately nine months before she was found 18 miles from her home. Her captor was subsequently given a life sentence in 2011.

“So, I can only imagine for Gabby Petito’s heartbroken family that there is a sense of loss and lack and they don’t get to receive that. And they don’t get to receive that kind of closure.”

File: Elizabeth Smart attends the Lifetime and NeueHouse Women's Forum screening of  ‘I Am Elizabeth Smart’ at NeueHouse Madison Square on 13 November 2017 in New York City (Getty Images)

File: Elizabeth Smart attends the Lifetime and NeueHouse Women’s Forum screening of ‘I Am Elizabeth Smart’ at NeueHouse Madison Square on 13 November 2017 in New York City (Getty Images)

Brian Laundrie’s remains not yet handed over to family

Friday 5 November 2021 04:01 , Namita Singh

The lawyer for the family of Brian Laundrie said that the FBI has all the information it needs for their probe in his disappearance and death.

Speaking with ABC News, Steven Bertolino said that the remains of Brian Laundrie, which were found about two weeks ago in the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park near his North Port home, have so far not been handed over to the family.

“I was informed by the FBI that they have all the information they need for this investigation,” Mr Bertolino said. “You would have to confirm with them if the matter is closed.”

Special Agent in Charge Michael McPherson of the FBI Tampa office announces that human remains and personal items belonging to Brian Laundrie have been found at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park on 20 October 2021 in North Port, Florida (Getty Images)

Special Agent in Charge Michael McPherson of the FBI Tampa office announces that human remains and personal items belonging to Brian Laundrie have been found at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park on 20 October 2021 in North Port, Florida (Getty Images)

Gabby Petito: Everything we know about YouTuber’s murder on ‘dream’ road trip

Friday 5 November 2021 01:30 , Bevan Hurley

Gabby Petito, 22, a vlogger who went missing in late August during a “dream” cross-country road trip from New York to Oregon with her fiancé, was strangled to death, and her body found in a Wyoming national park.

More than a month later, skeletal human remains found inside the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in Florida were confirmed to be those of her fiancé Brian Laundrie. There had been no trace of him throughout a weeks-long hunt.

Read more here…

Everything we know about Gabby Petito’s murder on ‘dream’ road trip

Bloggers who filmed Petito van in Wyoming national park believe they led FBI to her grave

Friday 5 November 2021 00:30 , Bevan Hurley

Travel blogger Jenn Bethune has told how she and husband Kyle “got goosebumps all over our body” when they reviewed footage that captured Gabby Petito’s van parked along the side of a remote road in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park.

The couple had been filming as they drove through the national park on 27 August, and recalled seeing the van’s Florida license plates as they’re also from the Sunshine State.

It wasn’t until weeks later that they learned of Ms Petito’s disappearance when someone tagged them in an Instagram post to say alert them of the missing person case.

After going through their old clips, they saw the distinctive Ford Transit van, and immediately passed what they knew to the FBI.

“We knew it was her van as soon as the footage passed by it,” Ms Bethune told ABC’s 2020.

The sighting is believed to have led authorities to the spot where Ms Petito had been buried in a shallow grave.

 (Fox News)

(Fox News)

The dark themes that permeate Brian Laundrie’s digital footprint

Thursday 4 November 2021 23:30 , Bevan Hurley

Brian Laundrie’s final social media post, around the time of his girlfriend Gabby Petito’s death, shows the cover of a book titled Burnt Out, how to cope with autistic burnout.

While it’s unknown whether Laundrie was on the autism spectrum, he and Ms Petito told officers attending a domestic disturbance in Utah on 12 August they were suffering from a mental health breakdown.

Laundrie’s social media posts often feature macabre drawings and references to violent video games.

In a separate Pinterest post, text at the bottom of an image reads: “Don’t try to find me,” and “I have finally escaped my ‘master’s’ wicked clutches. To the others I say: JOIN ME. Bite the hand that feeds you. Vive La Liberte.”

Read the full story here…

The dark themes permeating Brian Laundrie’s digital footprint

Brian Laundrie’s parents leave North Port home to grieve in private

Thursday 4 November 2021 22:30 , Bevan Hurley

Brian Laundrie’s parents Chris and Roberta left their North Port home last week to grieve privately, their lawyer Steven Bertlino says.

The Laundries’ home was besieged by protesters for weeks as the FBI searched for their missing son.

His remains were found in the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park on 20 October, after his parents joined the search and led law enforcement to a spot where he regularly camped.

Mr Bertolino said the couple had remained in Florida. They have also decided not to hold a funeral ceremony for their son, and are still awaiting his remains to be returned to them.

Mr Bertolino has said he believes a forensic anthropology analysis of the remains will be complete by the end of November.

Who are Brian Laundrie’s parents?

‘We need help’: Joseph Petito issues plea for help to curb domestic violence

Thursday 4 November 2021 21:30 , Bevan Hurley

Gabby Petito’s father is calling on Americans to raise awareness about the insidious danger of domestic violence.

“1 in 3 woman, 1 in 4 men will be victims and that doesn’t include the kids forced to see it,” Joseph Petito tweeted on Wednesday.

“Over 100 million affected just in USA. Tag all the elected officials you you know to help and share. We need help.”

The Petitos have established the Gabby Petito Foundation charity to help women who are at risk of domestic violence.

Ms Petito was killed in what officials have called a domestic violence homicide.

Brian Laundrie was named a “person of interest” in her disappearance. His remains were located in a Florida reserve on 20 October.

Bloggers who filmed Petito van in Wyoming national park believe they led FBI to her grave

Thursday 4 November 2021 20:30 , Bevan Hurley

Travel blogger Jenn Bethune has told how she and husband Kyle “got goosebumps all over our body” when they reviewed footage that captured Gabby Petito’s van parked along the side of a remote road in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park.

The couple had been filming as they drove through the national park on 27 August, and recalled seeing the van’s Florida license plates as they’re also from the Sunshine State.

It wasn’t until weeks later that they learned of Ms Petito’s disappearance when someone tagged them in an Instagram post to say alert them of the missing person case.

After going through their old clips, they saw the distinctive Ford Transit van, and immediately passed what they knew to the FBI.

“We knew it was her van as soon as the footage passed by it,” Ms Bethune told ABC’s 2020.

The sighting is believed to have led authorities to the spot where Ms Petito had been buried in a shallow grave.

Petito van was filmed by the Bethune family (Fox News)

Petito van was filmed by the Bethune family (Fox News)

Instances of domestic violence need to be dealt with ‘more urgency’

Thursday 4 November 2021 19:32 , Bevan Hurley

ICYMI: Criminal behaviour analyst Laura Richards has said that cases of domestic violence and missing persons should be dealt with with “more urgency” in the wake of the Gabby Petito case.

After Petito’s homicide and the death of Brian Laundrie, Ms Richards said: “I think it’s genuinely the problem that there isn’t enough urgency or priority that are afforded to women and girls.”

She told Vox: “I’ve seen that consistently — and if you add in that they’re Black or they’re brown, even less so. I’ve worked in lots of different cases where women have gone missing and no one’s asked questions of the main person who may be responsible.”

Gabby Petito Foundation offers advice for domestic violence victims

Thursday 4 November 2021 18:19 , Bevan Hurley

The Gabby Petito Foundation is now offering advice on where people in violent relationships can go to for help.

Gabby’s father Joe Petito announced the creation of a new foundation in September to help people in dangerous relationships, and assist families locate their missing children.

In an interview last month, Mr Petito said they had been inundated with messages from vulnerable young women who found themselves in similar situations to his daughter, who was strangled in what police have described as a domestic violence incident.

Now the foundation’s website has been updated to include tips on where people can go to for help.

Under the hashtag #justiceforgabby, the site says: “If you or somewhere you know is impacted by relationship abuse, you are not alone. There are many resources available that can support your path to a safer future.”

It’s provided links and contact details for the National Domestic Violence Hotline, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and the National Sexual Assault Hotline.

The dark themes that permeate Brian Laundrie’s digital footprint

Thursday 4 November 2021 17:02 , Bevan Hurley

Brian Laundrie’s final social media post, around the time of his girlfriend Gabby Petito’s death, shows the cover of a book titled Burnt Out, how to cope with autistic burnout.

While it’s unknown whether Laundrie was on the autism spectrum, he and Ms Petito told officers attending a domestic disturbance in Utah on 12 August they were suffering from a mental health breakdown.

Laundrie’s social media posts often feature macabre drawings and references to violent video games.

In a separate Pinterest post, text at the bottom of an image reads: “Don’t try to find me,” and “I have finally escaped my ‘master’s’ wicked clutches. To the others I say: JOIN ME. Bite the hand that feeds you. Vive La Liberte.”

The dark themes permeating Brian Laundrie’s digital footprint

Laundrie sold eery bookmarks via Petito’s Depop page

Thursday 4 November 2021 16:49 , Bevan Hurley

Brian Laundrie designed what looked to be fake blood-covered bookmarks, which his fiance Gabby Petito tried to sell on her Depop page, shortly before the pair embarked on their road trip, from which only he returned.

Ms Petito listed the custom-made bookmarks for sale on her Depop page, “thingsgabbydoes”, in February 2021.

The bookmarks came in a variety of designs, featuring birds, penguins, and even a shadowed outline of the Marvel Comics character Hellboy.

Another of the bookmarks, called the “Chuck Palahniuk custom”, includes a stamp of two angels facing one another over a fountain. On top of them, is a pink lipstick mark.

Droplets of red and crimson smudges can then be seen splatted over the bookmark.

Police hold gun found where Dog the Bounty Hunter searched for Brian Laundrie ‘in evidence’

Thursday 4 November 2021 14:30 , Bevan Hurley

Police are holding a gun found in the area where Dog the Bounty Hunter searched for Brian Laundrie in evidence.

Christopher Sacco reeled in the weapon in a plastic bag as he fished in the waters off Fort De Soto Park about a week ago.

Graeme Massie has the details.

Police hold gun found near Dog the Bounty Hunter Brian Laundrie search area

Gabby Petito: Everything we know about YouTuber’s murder on ‘dream’ road trip

Thursday 4 November 2021 12:29 , Eleanor Sly

Gabby Petito, 22, an aspiring social media star who went missing in late August during a “dream” cross-country road trip from New York to Oregon with her fiancé, was strangled to death, and her body found in a Wyoming national park.

More than a month later, skeletal human remains found inside the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in Florida were confirmed to be those of her fiancé Brian Laundrie. There had been no trace of him throughout a weeks-long hunt.

“The FBI and our partners remain dedicated to ensuring that anyone responsible for or complicit in Ms Petito’s death is held accountable for their actions,” special agent in charge Michael Schneider said.

Read more here:

Everything we know about Gabby Petito’s murder on ‘dream’ road trip

Well-known influencer under fire for peddling conspiracy Brian Laundrie still alive

Thursday 4 November 2021 11:28 , Eleanor Sly

Social media users are criticising Internet personality Tana Mongeau for spreading conspiracy theories about Brian Laundrie’s body being misidentified.

Twenty-two-year-old Miss Mongeau has a reasonable level of influence online, with 7 million followers on TikTok and around 5.5 million subscribers on YouTube. She initially posted on Friday on Twitter, “I know Brian Laundrie pulled a Joe Goldberg”, referencing the fictional psychopath protagonist in the hit Netflix tv show You who fakes his own death.

The initial post did not resonate well online, with other users calling her out for spreading false rumours. “Quit using someone’s crime/murder as a joke to get some likes on social media,” one person responded. “This is in incredibly poor taste,” said another.

Jade Bremner writes:

Well-known influencer under fire for peddling conspiracy Brian Laundrie still alive

Internet sleuth claims Laundrie still active on emails

Thursday 4 November 2021 09:56 , Eleanor Sly

An internet sleuth has claimed that Brian Laundrie recently “logged” on to his emails.

A screenshot taken from the site Epieos seems to show that a Gmail account, thought to belong to the fugitive was “updated” on 30 October.

The Twitter sleuth also wildly claimed that Mr Laundrie accessed his Pinterest page.

There is in fact no evidence to support either claim and this is not the first time that theories about Mr Laundrie have been circulated on social media.

Brian Laundrie’s parents: Who are Christopher and Roberta Laundrie?

Thursday 4 November 2021 09:10 , Eleanor Sly

Chris and Roberta Laundrie led authorities to personal items belonging to their son Brian in the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park on Wednesday, marking the most significant update in the hunt for their fugitive son since he disappeared in mid-August.

Human remains were found in the area later in the day, although no immediate confirmation of the identity was made.

Prior to the discovery, the parents had remained steadfastly silent amid intense public scrutiny as their son Brian became the subject of a nationwide FBI manhunt.

Bevan Hurley reveals more here:

Who are Brian Laundrie’s parents?

Laundrie sold eery bookmarks via Petito’s Depop page

Thursday 4 November 2021 08:21 , Eleanor Sly

Brian Laundrie designed what looked to be fake blood-covered bookmarks, which his fiance Gabby Petito tried to sell on her Depop page, shortly before the pair embarked on their road trip, from which only he returned.

Ms Petito listed the custom-made bookmarks for sale on her Depop page, “thingsgabbydoes”, in February 2021.

The bookmarks came in a variety of designs, featuring birds, penguins, and even a shadowed outline of the Marvel Comics character Hellboy.

Another of the bookmarks, called the “Chuck Palahniuk custom”, includes a stamp of two angels facing one another over a fountain. On top of them, is a pink lipstick mark.

Droplets of red and crimson smudges can then be seen splatted over the bookmark.

Forensic anthropologist examining Brian Laundrie’s remains may have results by end of November

Thursday 4 November 2021 07:14 , Eleanor Sly

Steven Bertolino, the attorney representing the Laundrie family, said that the results of a forensic anthropologist’s examination of Brian Laundrie‘s remains are expected by the end of November.

Laundrie was a person of interest in the disappearance and death of his fiancée, Gabby Petito. His remains were found in the Carlton Reserve, a protected swamp, on 20 October, more than a month after he went missing. Ms Petito’s remains were found on 19 September. Her death was ruled a homicide by way of manual strangulation.

Mr Bertolino told Fox News that he believed the forensic anthropologist’s examination will conclude within two to three weeks.

Graig Graziosi has more:

Anthropologist examining Brian Laundrie’s remains may have results by end of November

Instances of domestic violence need to be dealt with ‘more urgency’

Thursday 4 November 2021 06:15 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Criminal behaviour analyst Laura Richards has said that cases of domestic violence and missing persons should be dealt with with “more urgency” in the wake of the Gabby Petito case.

After Petito’s homicide and the death of Brian Laundrie, Ms Richards said: “I think it’s genuinely the problem that there isn’t enough urgency or priority that are afforded to women and girls.”

She told Vox: “I’ve seen that consistently — and if you add in that they’re Black or they’re brown, even less so. I’ve worked in lots of different cases where women have gone missing and no one’s asked questions of the main person who may be responsible.”

Brian Laundrie’s remains not yet returned to family

Thursday 4 November 2021 02:45 , Graeme Massie

Josh Benson of WFLA in Florida said that the Laundrie family lawyer, Steve Bertolino, had told him that, “Remains not yet given to family.”

And the attorney added: “As previously stated I was informed by the FBI that they have all the information they need for this investigation. You would have to confirm with them if the matter is closed.”

Welcome to the live blog

Monday 1 November 2021 14:35 , Graig Graziosi

Welcome to The Independent’s continuing live coverage of the Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie case. Follow along for the latest updates throughout the day.

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