Timeline of the disappearance of Gabby Petito: Remains found, Brian still at large

Gabrielle Petito, who has lived in North Port for the last two years, has been reported missing.
Gabrielle Petito, who has lived in North Port for the last two years, has been reported missing.(WWSB)
Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 11:11 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 19, 2021 at 7:22 PM EDT
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NORTH PORT, Fla. (WWSB) - The disappearance of 22-year-old North Port resident Gabrielle Petito has drawn national attention as facts in the case continue to be revealed. Sunday, FBI Agents confirmed that human remains discovered in Wyoming appear to belong to Gabby. Her fiancé, Brian Laundrie remains at large and FBI agents are closing in, executing a search warrant at his parents’ home.

Petito vanished during a cross-country road trip with her boyfriend, 23-year-old Brian Laundrie. Laundrie has returned to his parents’ home in Florida -- alone -- driving her van. Now, Brian has disappeared and investigators are looking for him.

North Port Police named Brian as a person of interest and stated that on the advice of their attorney, Brian and the family were not speaking to investigators. The Laundrie family met with detectives on Friday evening to report him missing.

Here is a timeline of events in the case:

July 2, 2021:

Gabby and Brian head out from New York on their cross-country road trip. On July 4, Gabby posted a photo of her in Kansas on her Instagram. She was planning on creating a blog about the trip and told authorities in Utah that she had recently quit her job as a nutritionist to create content.

Statements from the Petito family say the couple drove about 3,800 miles, to Kansas, Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming.

Aug. 12, 2021:

Police in Moab, Utah were called to a domestic incident.

According to an incident report from the Moab City Police Department, a witness told officers the couple was arguing when Petito began slapping Laundrie. Laundrie appeared to try to lock her out of their Ford Transit camper but she managed to get inside. They drove off before the police arrived.

Police searching the area spotted the van speeding and driving erratically. A traffic stop was made; when officers approached, Petito was crying uncontrollably, the report noted.

Officers said both Petito and Laundrie said she suffers from serious anxiety; that months living together in a small van created an emotional strain between them.

Laundrie told police Petito had gone into a “manic state” and thought he was going to leave her in Utah without a ride. Officers also noticed several small scratches on Laundrie’s face and arm.

Officers determined that the situation did not rise to the level of domestic assault but suggested they separate for the night. Officers contacted a local family crisis center, which arranged a hotel for Laundrie.

Police took him to the hotel; Petito stayed with the van, the report said. Both said they were in love and expressed a desire to stay together, officers noted.

Aug. 25, 2021:

Posting on all of Gabby’s social media accounts stopped.

Her last text to her mother on this date reads, “No service, in Yosemite.”

Aug. 30, 2021:

Attorneys for Gabby’s family confirm they received a text message from her phone, but the attorney says the family does not believe the text was sent from Gabby.

Sept. 1, 2021:

Brian Laundrie returns to North Port with the van that was registered to Gabby. She is not with him.

Sept. 11, 2021:

Gabby Petito’s family reports her missing to authorities in Suffolk County, New York.

Sept. 15, 2021:

North Port Police take over the investigation and classify Brian Laundrie as a person of interest. He is not cooperating with the investigation. Police recover the van and some items out of it.

Sept. 16, 2021:

Gabby’s father comes to North Port and asks for help in bringing his daughter home safely.

Sept. 17, 2021:

A vigil is held in North Port for the safe return of Gabby Petito. At the same time, Brian’s family requests to talk to the police. Brian is not on the scene. The FBI and officers searched a vehicle outside the home. Brian is not talking to investigators.

Now, the North Port Police Department and the FBI are searching for Brian.

The attorney for the Laundrie family, Steven Bertolino, called FBI investigators Friday saying the family wanted to talk about the disappearance of their son.

Family members are now claiming they have not seen Brian since Tuesday of this week, according to the North Port Police Department.

His attorney released the following statement to our ABC affiliate, WABC, in New York:

“Be advised, the whereabouts of Brian Laundrie are currently unknown. The FBI is currently at the Laundrie residence removing property to assist in locating Brian. As of now, the FBI is looking for both Gabby and Brian.”

According to WABC, his attorney says police removed items from Laundrie’s parent’s home on Friday to help find him.

Department officials also said it is important to note that while Brian has been named an official person of interest in this case, he is not wanted for a crime. They are currently not working a criminal investigation against Brian.

Sept. 18 and 19, 2021:

North Port Police continue searching in an area where Brian was last believed to have been walking. His family told investigators he left his home with a backpack on Tuesday.

Crews are continuing their search and say they are working to verify that Brian left, saying they only have information from his family members. They confirmed that his car was recovered in front of the home, saying Brian’s family likely picked it up from the reserve after saying he drove himself there.

Sept.19 ,2021:

FBI agents confirm that human remains found in Wyoming are believed to belong to Gabrielle Petito. The remains matched her description but a cause of death was not immediately known. North Port Police called off its search for Brian Laundrie.

Sept. 20, 2021:

The FBI executed a search warrant at the home of the Laundrie family but Brian’s whereabouts are still unknown at this time.

The attorney for the Laundrie family originally announced that he would hold a press conference Tuesday. But, on Monday night, he said he was holding off on the press conference after conversations he had with FBI officials.

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