FBI: Laundrie Took Responsibility in His Notebook

Investigation into Gabby Petito's killing will close soon, agents say
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2022 5:42 PM CST
FBI: Laundrie Wrote of His Guilt in Petito's Death
Gabby Petito talks to an officer in a police video after she and Brian Laundrie were stopped in August in Utah.   (The Moab Police Department via AP)

A notebook kept by Brian Laundrie made his guilt clear in the slaying of Gabby Petito, the FBI announced Friday. The Denver field office said the investigation into the death of the 22-year-old Florida woman will be closed shortly, per CNN. "All logical investigative steps have been concluded in this case," an FBI statement said. "The investigation did not identify any other individuals other than Brian Laundrie directly involved" in Petito's death. The notebook was found near Laundrie's body in October after he killed himself in Florida, the FBI said. Agents disclosed for the first time that a revolver also was found near his remains.

The FBI blamed Laundrie directly for the first time in the statement, per the AP, though he'd been under suspicion since she disappeared. Petito's body was found near a campground in Wyoming in September. The FBI did not reveal exactly what Laundrie wrote in the notebook, other than that it contained statements "claiming responsibility" for the killing. Laundrie's parents, the media, and others had tried and failed to get a look at the notebook before now, per USA Today. Laundrie, 23, had texted Petito's phone after her death, according to the FBI release, apparently trying to deceive investigators.

The families of Petito and Laundrie, who had been engaged, have agreed on who will get their possessions, including the notebook, a Laundrie family attorney said. A Petito family lawyer issued a statement thanking investigators and saying, "The quality and quantity of the facts and information collected by the FBI leave no doubt" that Laundrie was the killer. The Denver office called its statement the final investigative update on the case, per the New York Times. (Petito's parents have started a foundation in her name to work against domestic violence.)

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