Authorities Get Their Hands On New Crucial Clue In Gabby Petito Case
Published in Sep 2021 / Updated in Oct 2021
Following Gabby Petito's disappearance and possible death, a lot has been going on to get to the root of what really happened. Now, authorities have finally uncovered a new important clue that might finally solve the mystery of Gabby's death.
The Clue Reveals More Secrets On Gabby's Disappearance
As you probably know, not everything that has been discovered about this case is making sense so far.
Before Petito Disappeared, Police Got A 911 Call
Some weeks before Petito disappeared, the authorities got a 911 call about a domestic incident. According to the call, the incident involved Petito and Laundrie.
That call would have made Laundrie a person of interest to the authorities, but it didn't.
Unfortunately, The Call Was Revealed Too Little Too Late
By the time it was revealed that this call was ever made, the police had found a body in a Wyoming park. It appeared to match Petito's description.
Petito's Mother Reported Her Missing On September 11
Petito's mother, Nicole Schmidt, informed the police that Petito was missing. In August, she was always in touch with her family when she and Brian Laundrie, her fiance, were in Wyoming.
Then Laundrie Returned To Florida Without Petito
When Laundrie got back to Florida on September 1, Petito was not with her. As we speak, he is a person of interest.
The Couple Always Posted About Their Travels On Social Media
Although the pair always shared their travels with their fans on social media, Petito had not posted anything to her Instagram account for three weeks.
Soon, Police Began Searching For Her
In a statement, North Port police chief, Todd Garrison, explained that a search for Gabby was on.
In the statement, the authorities claimed that they urged everyone, including Brian Laundrie, to offer any information about Petito's whereabouts.
They also pointed out that Brian's "lack of information" was "hindering this investigation." Their hope, however, was that the answers would eventually come out.
Their Van Had Been Confiscated And Searched For Clues
The police were also concerned that Brian was not interested in explaining why he left Petito on her own as he drove her van to Florida. In a statement, her family claimed that these were important questions that required immediate answers.
Both Laundrie's And Petito's Family Were Quiet During The Investigation
For the most part, both families remained tight-lipped as the investigation took place. That was until Cassie Laundrie, Brian Laundrie's sister, gave an interview about the incident on television.
She claimed that she and the rest of her family hoped that Gabby would be safe when she was finally found.
"Obviously Me And My Family Want Gabby To Be Found Safe"
During the interview, Cassie explained that Petito was like a sister to her and that her kids loved her:
"... all I want is for her to come home safe and found this to be just a big misunderstanding."
Search For Petito Yielded Few Results Despite Days Of Searching
Although numerous pleas for information had been made, the relentless search for Petito had been unsuccessful.
That would soon change on Sunday 19.
Human Remains Were Found At The Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Human remains were found on Sunday 19 in September. According to the FBI, the remains they discovered were consistent with Petito's physical description.
The News Was Shared In A Statement By Charles Jones, An FBI Agent
In the statement, Charles Jones said:
"Earlier today, humans remains were discovered, consistent with the description of Gabrielle 'Gabby' Petito."
However, the agent explained that "full forensic identification" had not been made to give 100% confirmation that the remains they found belonged to Gabby.
However, the family was informed about the development.
People Were Shocked By The Discovery
A lot of people on social media showed their dissatisfaction with the development. They express their sympathy for Petito's family.
The Power Of The Internet Has Come To The Fore
Surprisingly, search crews found human remains close to where YouTubers filmed Petito's van before she disappeared.
Jenn And Kyle Bethune Saw Petito's Van
Jenn and Kyle Bethune, who go by "Red White & Bethune" on YouTube, saw Petito's van in a video they took. They made the discovery while reviewing the video following her disappearance.
The video was recorded on August 27, and in the footage, a white van was seen parked on the side of the road in Grand Teton National Park.
The van was close to the location the FBI found the human remains thought to be Gabby Petito's.
The Video Was Uploaded On YouTube
The YouTubers posted the video showing Petito's van on YouTube.
They were editing a video they took on August 27 at around 6 in the evening in Spread Creek Dispersed Camping when they made the discovery. Apparently, they had passed by the white van, which had Florida plates.
Since they were originally from Florida, they were tempted to stop and say hi, but all the lights were off, so it didn't seem like there was anyone in it. Eventually, the YouTubers left because they could not find a place to set up.
The Camera Recorded The Van By Accident
Bethune said the camera had been left recording by accident by her husband when it videoed Petito's van. After they saw the van while reviewing the video, they imagined it would be helpful in the investigation and passed it on to the FBI, who were able to locate human remains in the area.
People Think The Police Could Have Done More
Despite the authorities' progress in the case, many people believe that a lot more could have been done sooner. In particular, the public thinks that more should have been done about Laundrie.
Laundrie Disappeared Before He Was Questioned
Police officers are facing criticism for allowing Laundrie to get away before being questioned about Petito's disappearance.
After Laundrie vanished, the police started looking for him.
By the time they questioned his family about his whereabouts, he had been gone for three days.
A Lot Of People Have Criticized The Police For Failing To Question Laundrie
It is not just internet users who are critical of the police for failing to question Laundrie about Petito's disappearance. Experts and former detectives also think the authorities were sloppy.
Laundrie Should Have Been "Under Surveillance"
According to Ed Gavin, a former acting chief of the New York City Administration for Children's Services and an expert in missing persons, Laundrie should have been under surveillance.
The police should not have let Laundrie out of their sight like they did and should have put him under surveillance "immediately." He insisted that time is a critical factor in these kinds of investigations.
Investigators Should Have Obtained Warrants
According to a former Miami-Date homicide detective, those investigating the case should have gotten a search warrant for all the things in his house, his laptop included. The expert argued that getting their hands on the laptop might have offered significant clues about the case.
It Is Not Just The Police's Handling Of The Case That's Being Criticized
A lot of people are also wondering why nothing was done about the 911 call. The call was about a "possible domestic violence" incident between the couple, which was made a month before Petito disappeared.
Police Shared A Bodycam Footage Of A Followup To The 911 Call
The police shared a video showing that they followed up on the call made by a witness in Utah. The man said he had seen Laundrie hit Petito before he got into a van in the call.
Police Got To The Scene Soon After
After the call was made, police got to the scene. In the bodycam footage, the police are seen having a conversation with Laundrie and Petito by the roadside.
Petito appeared distressed.
Thousands Have Watched The Bodycam Footage
The video, which is an hour-long, has now been watched by many people. The officers in the video are seen interacting with the couple after pulling over their van outside Arches National Park in Moab.
The Couple Was Separated And Then Questioned
The officers wanted to know what had led to the 911 call. Petito claimed to have "really bad OCD" and then said she was saying sorry to him for being so mean:
"We've been fighting all morning. He wouldn't let me in the car before... He told me I needed to calm down."
Petito Was Put In The Back Of The Police Patrol Car
After Petito was put in the back of the police patrol car, the police officer went to talk to Laundrie, who said that she got worked up sometimes and that he tried to distance himself from her:
"I locked the car."
Apparently, he had told her they should take a break and tried to push her back, saying, "Let's just take a step back." Laundrie also claimed that Petito hit him with her phone.
Eventually, The Incident Was Identified As A "Mental/Emotional Health Break," Not Domestic Assault
After the encounter with the police, the pair agreed to spend the night apart rather than have charges filed with the police. Petito remained in the van while the police helped Laundrie to find a hotel room.
The Footage Might Suggest Petito Started The Violence
Although the bodycam footage seems to suggest that Petito started the violence, the 911 call suggests otherwise.
The Caller Said Something Different
When the man called 911, he said he was at the corner of Main Street by Moonflower. Then the authorities asked for more details.
"A Gentleman Was Slapping The Girl"
The caller went on to say:
"They just drove off. They're going towards Main Street. They made a right onto Main Street from Moonflower. We drove by him, a gentleman was slapping the girl."
After the caller said the man was slapping the girl, the officer asks "He was slapping her?" and the man says:
"Yes. And then we stopped. They ran down and up the sidewalk. He proceeded to hit her, hopped in the car and they drove off."
The man then explained in detail what the van looked like and where the incident had happened.
The Man's 911 Call
Weeks after the incident, Petito's mom got a message from her phone.
The Message Got Her Concerned
When Petito's mother got the message, she had a hard time believing it had come from her daughter. In a statement to the media, she said:
"The van was in Florida on the 1st [of September]. I think I can do the math."
Petito's Mom Did Not Comment On Who Might Have Sent The Message
The message she received said, "No service in Yosemite." According to Nicole Schmidt, Petito's mom, this was very unlike her daughter, and it got her genuinely concerned.
The Message Was Sent A Day After Her Final Instagram Post
To make matters worse, Laundrie got back home four days later, and he didn't have Petito with him, which raised more questions than answers.
Another Cryptic Message Has Been Discovered
The message was found on the hard drive of the couple's van, and it has been released due to a warrant. This was the last message Schmidt got from her daughter Petito.
What The Message Says
The message Petito's mother got said, "Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls." Stan was Petito's grandfather, but her mother explained that she never called him Stan, which made her concerned that something was not right.
The Hard Drive Might Have More Information
According to those investigating the case, the drive might offer more clues as to how Petito died. The information might help prove that a "felony has been committed."
People are still awaiting developments on the case, including confirmation on whether the human remains the authorities found to belong to Gabby Petito, although that seems more than likely.