CBS 48 Hours: 5 chilling details about mystery-filled Gabby Petito case

Gabby Petito
Gabby Petito set out for a trip that was supposed to last for four months(Image via CBS)

In July 2021, social media star Gabby Petito set out for what she thought would be one of the most exciting road trips of her life with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie. However, little did the 22-year-old know that the trip she was so excited about would turn out to be the last road trip of her life.

Over a week after Petito's parents reported her missing, her remains were discovered in a secluded area of Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park. Autopsy reports revealed that she was strangulated. Petito's fiance Brian soon became a suspect in her murder, sparking a countrywide manhunt for him, which ended only after his body was discovered in a Florida swamp.

Petito's unnerving story will be explored in the upcoming episode of CBS' 48 Hours. The episode, titled Gabby Petito: The Untold Story, will take a look at how Petito was murdered and attempt to identify some of the "warning signs" that could have saved the young vlogger's life. The synopsis for the episode reads as follows:

"48 Hours explores Gabby Petito's final days and the missed warning signs that might have saved her, contributor Jericka Duncan reports."

The epiode will air this Saturday, September 17, 2022, at 9 pm ET. Ahead of its premiere, here are some facts about Petito's murder case.

Unnerving details about Gabby Petito's murder mysery

1) A witness caught the couple having a fight and raised an alarm

The first alarm was raised on August 12, 2021 when a witness saw the couple having a fight. Laundrie was reportedly seen slapping Gabby.

In a statement, the witness said,

"They were talking aggressively at each other and something seemed off. At one point they were sort of fighting over a phone—I think the male took the female's phone. It appears that he didn't want her in the white van. He got into the driver's seat and she followed him."

Police were quick to take action and the couple were nabbed in the middle of their trip. However, both Gabby and Laundrie denied having a serious fight. As a result, no charges were pressed and officers recommended that the two temporarily separate to help de-escalate the situation.

A number of other witnesses also claimed to have seen the couple fighting on the trip, but they reportedly thought that the fight was not objectionable enough to be flagged, even though it was awry.

2) Gabby last spoke to her mother on the same day that she uploaded her final Instagram post

On August 26, 2021, Gabby spoke to her mother for the last time. It was also on the same day that she made her last Instagram post. When asked if she sensed something was wrong, Gabby's mother claimed that there were no hints whatsoever.

A few days later, on September 11, she filed a missing person’s report after she was unable to get in touch with her daughter and had not heard from her for a long time.

3) Laundrie was named a person of interest

In the first week of September, Gabby Petito's fiancé Brian returned home alone from their road trip. He was named a person of interest four days after Gabby's mother filed a missing persons report. However, police were unable to get in touch with Brian.

Later in the month, Gabby's mortal remains were found in the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping area in Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park. Autopsy reports determined that she died due to manual strangulation.

4) Laundrie confessed to killing his fiancé in his notebook

In mid-September 2021, Laundrie’s parents reported that their son was missing. This was about five days before the mortal remains of Petito were discovered on September 19.

A month later, on October 20, Brian Laundrie's skeletal remains were discovered from a Florida swamp. The cause of his death was concluded to be a self-inflicted gunshot. A revolver and notebook were also recovered alongside Laundrie's remains. In the notebook, Laundrie claimed responsibility for Gabby's murder.

5) Gabby's mother claimed that the last text she received from her daughter was fake

On August 30, 2021, Gabby's mother Nicole Schmidt received a text message from her saying "No service in Yosemite." She later revealed that she did not believe her daughter had sent the text.

When asked about the reason behind her doubt,

“I do not believe the text on August 30th was from my daughter. The van was in Florida on the 1st [of September]. I think I can do the math.”

However, Nicole refused to comment on who she believed had sent her the text message.

Gabby was last known to be at Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park at the end of August. Brian Laundrie returned home on September 1, two days after Gabby's last alleged text message.

Explore other details about the disappearance of Gabby Petito in the latest episode of 48 Hours, arriving on CBS this Saturday, September 17, at 9 pm ET.

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Edited by Upasya Bhowal