Timeline: The disappearance and homicide of Gabby Petito

·6 min read

"Van Life" vlogger Gabby Petito was reported missing on September 11, 2021. What happened between her and her fiancé has been missing in the days leading up to her death?

July 2021: New adventures

Briian Laundrie and Gabby Petito at the start of their journey on July 4, 2021. / Credit: Brian Laundrie/Instagram
Briian Laundrie and Gabby Petito at the start of their journey on July 4, 2021. / Credit: Brian Laundrie/Instagram

Petito and Laundrie leave New York for what was supposed to be a four-month, cross-country trip visiting and camping in national parks. They plan to sleep in their van and document their travels on Instagram and YouTube.

August 12, 2021: Disorderly conduct stop

Gabby Petito is seen talking to a Moab, Utah, police officer after police pulled over the van she was traveling in with fiancé Brian Laundrie near the entrance to Arches National Park on August 12, 2021.  / Credit: Moab Police Department
Gabby Petito is seen talking to a Moab, Utah, police officer after police pulled over the van she was traveling in with fiancé Brian Laundrie near the entrance to Arches National Park on August 12, 2021. / Credit: Moab Police Department

A 911 call is placed by someone who reports seeing a confrontation between Gabby and Brian. The caller said he saw Laundrie hit Petito. Police in Moab, Utah, are dispatched and pull the van over. It is unclear if they knew the details of the 911 call. Police bodycam video shows Petito crying and upset. The police report says that Petito hit Laundrie, but no arrests were made. The couple is separated for the night - Laundrie checks into a hotel and Petito stays in the van.

August 19, 2021: "Van Life"

Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie as seen in a video posted to YouTube on August 19, 2021. / Credit: Gabby Petito/YouTube
Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie as seen in a video posted to YouTube on August 19, 2021. / Credit: Gabby Petito/YouTube

Petito and Laundrie post a video on YouTube called "Van Life: Beginning Our Van Life Journey." The images show them laughing and kissing.

August 24, 2021: Seen in Salt Lake City

Petito and Laundrie are reportedly seen leaving a hotel in Salt Lake City.

August 25, 2021: Gabby's last post

Gabby Petito's last post on Instagram was this photo on August 25, 2021. / Credit: Gabby Petito/Instagram
Gabby Petito's last post on Instagram was this photo on August 25, 2021. / Credit: Gabby Petito/Instagram

The van is spotted at Grand Teton National Park. This is also the last day a post is made to Petito's Instagram account.

August 27, 2021: An odd text

Gabby Petito / Credit: Find Gabby/Facebook
Gabby Petito / Credit: Find Gabby/Facebook

According to a search warrant, on August 27, Petito's mother says she receives an odd text from Gabby's phone. It read, "Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls." Stan is Gabby's grandfather, but her mother says Gabby never referred to him by his first name. Gabby's mother said it was out of character and concerning.

August 29, 2021: Hitchhiking claims

Miranda Baker posts on her TikTok claiming she picked up Brian Laundrie, who was hitchhiking alone.

August 30, 2021: Another text

Petito's mom says she receives a text from Gabby's phone. She wouldn't comment on what it said but according to some reports it read "no service in yosemite".

September 1, 2021: Brian returns home

According to police, Laundrie returns to North Port, Florida, where he lived with Gabby — but he was alone.

September 11, 2021: Gabby reported missing

On September 11, 2021, Nicole Schmidt, Gabby Petito's mother, files a missing person's report with the Suffolk County, New York, Police Department. / Credit: WCBS
On September 11, 2021, Nicole Schmidt, Gabby Petito's mother, files a missing person's report with the Suffolk County, New York, Police Department. / Credit: WCBS

Gabby's mother files a missing person's report with the Suffolk County, New York, Police Department after not hearing from her since late August.

September 13, 2021: Where is Brian?

Laundrie's parents tell police Brian left the family's home for a hike in the Carlton Reserve in Sarasota, Florida.

September 14, 2021: Families torn apart

Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito / Credit: Gabby Petito/YouTube
Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito / Credit: Gabby Petito/YouTube

Brian Laundrie's family issues a statement through their lawyer saying that they intend to remain in the background while the search for Gabby is underway. Petito's family issues a statement accusing Laundrie of refusing to tell them where he last saw Gabby.

September 15, 2021: A person of interest

Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie in an Instagram post from March 17, 2020   — their one-year anniversary. / Credit: Gabby Petito/Instagram
Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie in an Instagram post from March 17, 2020 — their one-year anniversary. / Credit: Gabby Petito/Instagram

North Port Police say that Laundrie is refusing to cooperate and name him as a person of interest in Petito's disappearance.

September 16, 2021: A plea for help

Joe Petito appeals to the public to come forward with any information that could help investigators.
Joe Petito appeals to the public to come forward with any information that could help investigators.

North Port Police hold a press conference. Gabby's father asks everyone to help find his daughter.

September 18, 2021: The search for Brian

Members of the North Port Police Department gather to search for Brian Laundrie on September 18, 2021. / Credit: North Port Police Department
Members of the North Port Police Department gather to search for Brian Laundrie on September 18, 2021. / Credit: North Port Police Department

The search for Laundrie begins in the 24,000-acre Carlton Reserve. His parents say that was where he was headed the last time they saw him.

September 19, 2021: Remains found

Authorities say they found remains near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming where the van was previously spotted.

September 20, 2021: FBI raid

Police execute a search warrant on Laundrie's home, seizing his car and a hard drive that may contain "evidence that a felony has been committed."

September 21, 2021: Gabby is identified

Gabby Petito photographed at Bryce Canyon National Park on July 21, 2021.   / Credit: Gabby Petito/Instagram
Gabby Petito photographed at Bryce Canyon National Park on July 21, 2021. / Credit: Gabby Petito/Instagram

A coroner confirms that the remains found in Wyoming is Gabby Petito and determined the initial manner of death is homicide. The FBI announce they are taking over the criminal investigation, and authorities continue to search for Laundrie in the Carlton Reserve.

September 23, 2021: Arrest warrant issued

A federal court in Wyoming issues an arrest warrant for Brian Laundrie. He's charged with the unauthorized use of a debit card to make unauthorized withdrawals worth more than $1,000 during the time Petito went missing.

September 24, 2021: A vigil for Gabby

A candlelight vigil is held for Petito in her hometown of Blue Point, New York.

September 25, 2021: Helping others

The Gabby Petito Foundation. No one should have to find their child on their own. We are creating this foundation to give resources and guidance on bringing their children home. We are looking to help people in similar situations as Gabby. #gabbypetito https://t.co/oaX4BsPcYj pic.twitter.com/I9tz5q6Hcc

— joseph petito (@josephpetito) September 25, 2021

Petito's father announces the creation of the Gabby Petito Foundation to "help people in similar situations as Gabby" and provide resources and guidance for parents searching for missing children.

September 26, 2021: Saying goodbye

Over 1,000 people attend a public memorial service for Petito at a Long Island, New York, funeral home. The service was also streamed online.

September 28, 2021: "Turn yourself in"

Petito's family and their attorney thanked law enforcement on Tuesday and urges Laundrie to turn himself in to authorities.

October 6, 2021: Laundrie's travels in August

Brian Laundrie / Credit: Brian Laundrie/Instagram
Brian Laundrie / Credit: Brian Laundrie/Instagram

Brian Laundrie flew cross-country to visit his parents' home in Florida during his trip with Gabby Petito, according to the Laundrie family's lawyer, Steven Bertolini. The attorney says Laundrie flew home on August 17 and returned to Utah on August 23, four days before Petito was last seen. Laundrie flew to Florida to get some supplies and close a storage unit to save money, Bertolini told CBS News. He says Laundrie and Petito were thinking about extending their road trip.

October 12, 2021: Gabby Petito strangled to death, coroner says

The coroner in Teton County, Wyoming, announces Gabby Petito died by strangulation. Dr. Brent Blue said the manner of death is still considered a homicide, backing initial autopsy results that were released last month. Petito's body was outside for 3-4 weeks before it was discovered, the Blue said. He declined to comment on whether Petito is believed to have died in the location she was found, or whether her body was buried.

October 20, 2021: Apparent human remains found at Carlton Reserve

The FBI confirms that authorities have found "what appears to be human remains" at the site where they were searching for Brian Laundrie. Special agent Michael McPherson also says authorities found personal items nearby — including a backpack and notebook — that the believe belong to Laundrie. The suspected human remains were found in an area previously underwater, the FBI said. Authorities are investigating whether the remains belong to Brian Laundrie.

October 21, 2021: Brian Laundrie's remains identified, FBI says

The FBI confirms human remains found a day earlier at a Florida reserve belong to Brian Laundrie. The discovery comes after a weeks-long manhunt following the disappearance and death of his fiancée, Gabby Petito.

November 23, 2020: Attorney: Brian Laundrie dies by suicide

Brian Laundrie died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head and his manner of death was suicide, according to his family's attorney Steven Bertolino.

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