Brian Laundrie claimed responsibility for the death of his fiancé Gabrielle Petito in a notebook before shooting and killing himself, the FBI said Friday.
No one else appeared to have been involved in the death of Petito, the agency said in what it called its final investigative update into Petito’s disappearance and death, which sparked national headlines and a massive social media following after the 22-year-old went missing in September.
The couple had chronicled their cross-country road trips on social media and amassed a following of hundreds of thousands of their own, but questions arose when Laundrie returned to his home in North Port Florida on Sept. 1 without Petito. Laundrie was driving the white van the couple had driven in their “Van Life” YouTube channel, but Petito’s whereabouts were unknown.
Gabby Petito’s family reported her missing 10 days later. North Port police would later name Laundrie as a person of interest in the case, noting that he’d made no contact with authorities about Petito’s disappearance and that he, and his attorney, had repeatedly refused to answer questions about her.
Investigators also believe Laundrie used Petito’s cell phone multiple times after her death, sending text messages between her phone and his in order to try to deceive law enforcement and give the impression that she was still alive.
According to the FBI, investigators also believe Laundrie used Petito’s debit card on his trip back to his family’s home from Wyoming to Florida.