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FBI: Laundrie claimed responsibility for death of Petito in notebook

Missing Traveler
Posted at 3:48 PM, Jan 21, 2022

The Federal Bureau of Investigation Denver office issued a statement Friday saying that during their investigation, they did not identify any other individuals "directly involved" in Gabby Petito's death other than Brian Laundrie.

The statement comes a day after the Petito family met with field officers in Tampa Bay on Thursday.

"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," the Laundrie family's attorney, Steven Bertolino, said in a statement to Scripps sister station WFTS. "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.”

In a press release on Friday, the FBI said that a review of the notebook found near the body of Brian Laundrie on Oct. 20, 2021, in a Florida park "revealed written statements made by Laundrie claiming responsibility for Petito’s death."

The agency added that they did not identify any other individuals "directly involved" in Petito's death during their investigation other than Laundrie.

During their investigation, the FBI said that they found that between Aug. 30 and Sept. 1, 2021, Laundrie used Petito's debit card without authorization as he drove back to Florida from Wyoming. 

They also found text messages on Laundrie's and Petito's phones after her death, indicating that he tried to deceive law enforcement by giving the impression that she was still alive.

The FBI said they plan to close the case "in the near future."

In August, Petito's family said they last spoke to their daughter on Aug. 25, who was on a cross-country trip with her boyfriend.

On Sept. 1, Laundrie returned to Florida without Petito. After Petito's family filed a missing person report on Sept. 11, Laundrie chose not to speak with authorities.

Petito was reported missing on Sept. 11, and her body was found in Wyoming's Bridger-Teton National Forrest on Sept. 19.

Petito's remains were found in Wyoming at the Grand Teton National Park on Sept. 19. On Sept. 21, officials confirmed that the body found was that of Petito.

In October, the Teton County Coroner's Office determined her cause of death to be a homicide by strangulation.

On Oct. 20, Laundrie's skeletal remains were found at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park.

In November, Bertolino said in a statement that Laundrie died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.