Brian Laundrie admitted he killed girlfriend Gabby Petito in a notebook entry he wrote shortly before he took his own life, the FBI revealed Friday in its final report on the case.
Laundrie also sent text messages between his and Petito’s cellphone in the days after Petito was strangled to death last summer in an attempt “to deceive law enforcement by giving the impression Ms. Petito was still alive,” the FBI Denver said in its final investigative update on the case.
All “logical investigative steps have been concluded in the 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.
“The FBI’s primary focus throughout the investigation was to bring justice to Gabby and her family,” Scheider said. “The public’s role in helping us in this endeavor was invaluable as the investigation was covered in the media around the world.
“On behalf of the FBI, I want to express my deepest appreciation to the public for the thousands of tips that were provided during the investigation, and to our local, state and federal law enforcement partners for their work throughout the investigation.”
Richard Stafford, an attorney for the Petito family, thanked the FBI and its victim services.
“We truly appreciate the FBI’s diligent and painstaking efforts in this extremely complicated case,” Stafford said in a statement. “The quality and quantity of the facts and information collected by the FBI leave no doubt the Brian Laundrie murdered Gabby.”
Brian Laundrie is seen writing in a notebook.Gabby Petito/Instagram
Steven Bertolino, the lawyer for the Laundrie family, issued a statement after the release of the FBI report.
“Gabby and Brian are no longer with their families and this tragedy has caused enormous emotional pain and suffering to all who loved either or both of them,” Bertolino wrote. “We can only hope that with today’s closure of the case each family can begin to heal and move forward and find peace in and with the memories of their children.
“May Gabby and Brian both rest in peace.”
Gabrielle Petito speaks with police as they responded to an altercation between her and boyfriend Brian Laundrie on Aug. 12, 2021.Moab City Police Department/AFP
Long Island native Petito, 22, vanished last summer during an ill-fated cross-country trip with Laundrie. She was reported missing Sept. 11, and her body was found Sept. 19 at a Wyoming camp ground, with an autopsy determining she’d been strangled.
When Laundrie, 23, returned to his parents’ North Port, Fla., home without her, he quickly became the sole person of interest in the case before he disappeared, too. A massive manhunt for him followed, until his remains were found at a nearby nature preserve Oct. 20.
A revolver, backpack and the notebook were found near his body, the FBI stated. Authorities determined he’d shot himself. Police had determined that between Aug. 30 and Sept. 1 Laundrie had used Petito’s debit card on his drive from Wyoming to Florida, the report said.
Brian Laundrie attempted to “deceive law enforcement” into believing Gabby Petito was still alive during her disappearance.Instagram
It isn’t clear what the notebook entry said, but the FBI’s review stated that it “revealed written statements by Mr. Laundrie claiming responsibility for Ms. Petito’s death.”