Manhunt of Brian Laundrie Continues

The disappearance and homicide of 22-year-old Gabby Petito has grabbed the attention of the United States by storm. The story begins in June 2021, with Gabby Petito and her fiance, Brain Laundrie. Petito would routinely communicate with her family and followers through social media during the trip until the end of August. The couple embarked on a road trip through the western United States in Petito’s white Ford van.

On August 12th, police in Moab, Utah were called to the side of the highway after a witness noticed the couple getting into an altercation. Moab Police, along with U.S. Park Rangers, responded but came to the conclusion that the conflict was leaning towards a mental health issue rather than a domestic violence situation. The couple was released without charges, and both were separated for the evening.

On August 17th, Laundrie reportedly flew back home to North Port, Florida alone to fetch some belongings, and returned to meet back with Petito on August 23rd.

On August 27th, Laundrie and Petito were seen engaging in another altercation as reported by multiple witnesses. During the last week of August, the Petito family told police that this is when they last had contact with their daughter. Petito’s family believed that she and Laundrie were in Grand Teton National Park in western Wyoming. Throughout the following days, multiple people have reported seeing Laundrie exploring the park area.

On September 1st, Laundrie returned to his home in Petito’s van alone. A few days later, the entire Laundrie family went on a family camping trip at Fort De Soto campground in Pinellas County, Florida.

On September 11th, Petito was finally reported missing by her parents after days of being unable to contact their daughter. On September 17th, Laundrie disappeared and a nationwide manhunt ensued.

On September 19th, human remains were found in Grand Teton National Park and were consistent with the description of Gabby Petito. The next day, Laundrie’s parents had a search warrant executed on their home and were questioned by the police.

On September 21st, the Teton County Coroner’s Office confirmed that the found remains match the remains of Petito’s body.

On September 23rd, a federal warrant was issued for Laundrie. This warrant allows law enforcement to access more data and acquire other special privileges to help find him. Previously, Laundrie was only wanted for questioning, and was not accused of any crime.

All throughout social media, one can witness many calling for Laundrie to turn himself in to the authorities. There are constant updates on the news, and social media posts emerge every day regarding the murder case. While this case has been the most popular reported missing persons case in awhile, it is important to remember that thousands of other people go missing every year, and are unreported to the public. This case should not overshadow the countless other missing persons cases that occur each day.

Jackson Ragone ’24

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