Gabby Petito: Missing or Murder?

Gabby Petito: Missing or Murder?

Smera Arun


There are thousands of people that go missing every year, but the case of influencer Gabby
Petito has blown up on social media and captivated the public more than ever before.

Photo with light hair color

On July 2, 2021, Gabby Petito and her fiance Brian Laundrie went on a cross-country camping trip that stopped at several national parks. Gabby posted many photos on Instagram along the way, which was expected of her. What stirred her followers were her last two photos. She posted them without a location tag, causing many of her followers to think that something was wrong. Another thing that was a bit suspicious about her last post was the description. They were lengthy paragraphs talking mostly about her fiance. This wasn’t like her, considering that she mostly wrote about the environment in a short and sweet hashtag. “This post doesn’t add up.” commented one of her followers on her last photo. It was a picture of her holding a knitted pumpkin in front of a butterfly mural. The other photo she posted showed the view of the park they
were visiting from their van.

Another clue that her followers found was Gabby’s hair color. In her last photo, Gabby’s hair seemed to be freshly dyed, while in her previous posts, her hair seemed to be more lightly colored. One of her followers speculated that
the photo could have been one that was taken a long time ago. One of them even
stated, “They were traveling across the country visiting state parks, and then all of a sudden
a post where they are back in civilization with a generic description. This was not posted
by Gabby.”

Although, her followers weren’t the only ones who realized that Gabby wasn’t being
herself. Nicole Schmidt, the mother of the missing vlogger, said that her daughter sent
some very unusual last texts. One that was sent to Nicole stated, “No signal in
Yosemite.” It may seem like a normal text, but it wasn’t like Gabby. Her mother said,
“That text was NOT from Gabby. I know it.” Gabby also sent a text to her mother saying,
“Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls.” This worried
her mother even more than before because Gabby never referred to her grandfather as
Stan. This caused the public to believe that Brian sent the message to confuse
the Petito family. But, there are other theories for this specific text.

Picture with dark hair color

One of them is that “Stan” is an acronym for “Send the Authorities Now”, and a form of code if Brian was periodically checking Gabby’s phone. This could potentially be true because there
seemed to be a lot of tension between the couple before Gabby disappeared. At this point, many believe that Brian Laundrie was the definite culprit of this curious case. He came back to the Petito house a week before the couple was scheduled to
come back. Laundrie also refused to cooperate with authorities and even hired an attorney to protect his case. Then, on Sep 17, 2021, he went missing, although many argue that he isn’t “missing” and has just hidden from the public.

Chris and Roberta Laundrie, Brian’s parents have a few things piled up against them. One of them is the fact that they keep ignoring calls from the Petito family. They stopped
answering the Petito’s calls shortly after Gabby’s parents’ concerns for their daughter began to emerge. Another card played against them is the fact that they drove Brian’s car back from the Carlton Reserve. If his parents didn’t know Brian’s whereabouts or whether he was coming back or not, how would they have brought back the vehicle? Chris and Roberta also waited three entire days before reporting their son missing, which would have given him plenty of time to escape or hide crucial evidence.

Ally, a 7th grader here at Rio Norte, says, “Personally, I think Brian Laundrie did it! I think
the parents were assists in the homicide. Their parents keep changing the story! And
Brian Laundrie left without Gabby…”.

So, is the case of Gabby Petito missing or murder? Unfortunately, it’s the latter.
Her remains were discovered near Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park after an
autopsy done on September 19, 2021. The Teton County coroner then declared that her
death was a homicide. Although Brian Laundrie has a lot of evidence against him, he
hasn’t been declared a suspect yet, so the person who committed this homicide remains a