It was a wild and likely tragic weekend in the Gabby Petito case. On Friday night, it was reported that Brian Laundrie–who at that point was still “a person of interest” to the police–told his parents he was going backpacking and vanished. Then, on Sunday, authorities in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming discovered a body they believe to be Gabby Petito.
They have not confirmed the identity yet but they seem to be strongly suggesting it’s her. Until the autopsy is completed, there are still a lot of unanswered questions, but given what we know so far about the timeline of Ms. Petito’s road trip with fiancé Brian Laundrie, the physical fight they had, his solo return from the trip, and subsequent disappearance, it seems almost certain that he is the primary suspect. The vast majority of the time in cases like this, the partner of the missing victim is the perpetrator, especially when violence has been previously involved.
One question that must be asked now in light of these recent events is: how did law enforcement allow this young man to vanish like this? How did they not have him under surveillance?
It was obvious from the beginning to anyone following this case that he was the most likely suspect and that he was extremely likely to flee. Given the media hysteria over this case–and even protests outside his parents’ home–it’s incredible that he was able to slip off undetected.
As of Monday, it is being reported that the FBI is interviewing his parents at their home and collecting evidence. According to CNN analyst, Andrew McCabe, formerly of the FBI (and whose name you might recognize from the Trump/Russia/FBI imbroglio), officials are probably seizing devices from the house and looking for any notes or records Brian left behind.
According to WFLA in Sarasota County, Florida, at about 10 am 15 FBI and North Port police units taped off the house. During the subsequent search, police seized and towed away a Ford Mustang from the home. Suitcases and bags were also searched, as well as a shed on the property’s backyard.
Earlier Monday, police announced they were no longer searching Carlton Reserve for Laundrie.
The timing of all this seems excessively strange: Brian disappears; two days later, they find what is likely her body. This is, of course, on top of the original strangeness of returning from a road trip with your fiancé, which you advertised on social media, without your fiancé and refusing to answer questions from the police or her family.
This guy couldn’t look more suspicious if he tried.