NORTH PORT, Fla. (NewsNation Now) — Brian Laundrie claimed responsibility for Gabby Petito’s death through written statements discovered in a notebook that investigators found near Laundrie’s remains, the FBI confirmed Friday.
The Denver FBI on Friday issued what the agency referred to as its final investigative update in the Petito case, noting that no one other than Brian Laundrie was directly involved in the woman’s death.
Prior to the FBI’s announcement, the family of Gabby Petito said they believe the then-unreleased FBI report on the homicide investigation into her death “leaves no doubt” that Brian Laundrie, her boyfriend and a person of interest in the investigation of her death, killed her.
The family lawyer released the following statement to NewsNation.
Gabby’s family would like to thank the Federal Bureau of Investigation, specifically theRichard stafford, petito family lawer
Wyoming, Denver, New York and Tampa offices, all of their task force members and their
Gabby’s family would like to thank the FBI’s Victim Services Department for all they
have done for them. Victim Services has been there for support from the earliest stages of
this investigation and helped their entire family navigate through the worst moments of
We truly appreciate the FBI’s diligent and painstaking efforts in this extremely
complicated case. The quality and quantity of the facts and information collected by the
FBI leave no doubt that Brian Laundrie murdered Gabby.
Petito’s family met with the FBI in Tampa Thursday.
This comes as the parents of Brian Laundrie are trying to reclaim items found near his body, including a notebook that is still in FBI custody, his family’s lawyer said earlier this month.
WATCH LIVE ABOVE: NewsNation’s Brian Entin gives an update on the latest in the case
Steven Bertolino told NewsNation’s Brian Entin that this was part of the formal proceedings to administer Laundrie’s estate and confirmed the notebook was part of the request.
“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,” Bertolino said in a statement Friday. “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.”
The Petito family had previously filed to obtain Gabby Petito’s belongings that were in the Laundrie family home or in FBI custody.
“We truly appreciate the FBI’s diligent and painstaking efforts in this extremely complicated case,” the Petito family attorney Richard Stafford said in a separate statement issued Friday. “The quality and quantity of the facts and information collected by the FBI leave no doubt the Brian Laundrie murdered Gabby.”
Laundrie was at the center of a nationwide search after Petito vanished. The FBI never previously connected him to Petito’s death beyond calling him a person of interest.
Laundrie’s remains were found in October after more than a month of searching a 24,000-acre Florida nature reserve. In November, authorities confirmed that Laundrie died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Laundrie’s items and remains were found in a swampy area — home to alligators, snakes, coyotes and other wildlife — that had previously been underwater, according to Michael McPherson, chief of the Tampa FBI office.
Petito, 22, vanished while on a cross-country road trip with Laundrie in a converted camper van. The trip was well documented on social media until it abruptly ceased, allegedly somewhere in Wyoming.
Petito was reported missing Sept. 11 by her parents after she did not respond to calls and texts for several days. Petito’s body was found Sept. 19 just outside Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. A Teton County coroner said Petito died by strangulation three to four weeks before her body was found.