Woman Gone Missing: The Gabby Petito Case


Kendall Schmidt, Staff Writer

The infamous case of Gabby Petito, a 22 year old girl from New York, has left the internet shocked by her sudden death and disappearance. Conspiracy theorists, bloggers, and social media influencers have left their thoughts on the story; however, authorities are starting to uncover the legitimate truth and are steps closer to locating her alleged murderer’s whereabouts. This nationwide manhunt has left many on the edge of their seats.
The FBI located Gabby’s dead body in a Wyoming national forest just a week after her parents had filed a missing persons report. Gabby had been on a road trip with her fiance, Brian Laundrie, when the tensions had begun. In the midst of their vacation, the couple had gotten into an argument which ultimately made Laundrie appear as a prime suspect. Police have reported witnessing the couple being “engaged in some sort of altercation” (Eyewitness News). Recently released body camera footage of the two, displays Gabby under extreme emotional distress. It appears as though she had been profusely crying. Police say that the argument stemmed from Petito hitting Laundrie after he entered their van with dirty shoes. Evidenced by his physical scars, the couple had been forcefully separated for a day; however, they refused to press any charges on each other.
As their expedition progressed, another report of a verbal altercation had occurred. A witness at a restaurant in Jackson Hole, Wyoming tells ABC news in an interview, “It wasn’t necessarily between them, it was more so Gabby abruptly leaving the restaurant crying, and Brian was just evidently really upset, pissed off, I would say.”
A few days later, Gabbys’ parents received an abnormal text message from her which they believed showed a sign that she was in a perilous situation. Gabby’s parents filed the report, making her fiance a prime suspect; however, he refused to speak to any authorities about her disappearance. Police began simultaneously searching for Gabby in national forests out West, and Laundrie in a wildlife reserve in Florida. However, nothing was found until September 19th.
An autopsy report validated that the body found in Wyoming had been Gabby Petito. Thus, the investigation had furthred and the manhunt for Laundrie had begun. Unsuccessful in the search, police issued a steep bounty reward for finding the culprit and Petito’s parents even went to social media to instigate a surrender from Laundrie. In an interview with Ramapo junior, Natalie Raff, she shares her thoughts on the case, “Like myself, I know of many others who have been following the case on the news and I’ve heard a lot of people talking about it in school. It is interesting that they were able to capture video camera footage on the incident just before she disappeared.” Most recent reports have indicated from an autopsy update that the possible cause of death was strangulation. Breaking news from the FBI as of October 22, indicates that the remains found at the Carlton Reserve in Florida do in fact belong to Laundrie, providing the case with some closure.
While discussing the case with Ramapo High School Italian teacher, Leonardo Castano, he stated his opinion. He remarks, “It is crazy how involved the media has been in this case. If true, then this is a very cruel story. She was too young to have died this way.”
Moreover, Brian Laundrie still remains wanted for the murder of Gabby Petito. Is he actually guilty of her death? Where was he hiding? Was there another victim? The world may never know, and through social media people will continue to ask these questions.