According to the FBI, Brian Laundrie penned a confession to murdering Gabby Petito.
The FBI revealed Friday that the boyfriend of killed cross-country tourist Gabby Petito confessed to murdering her in a journal recovered near his corpse in a Florida swamp.
It was the first time officials directly blamed Brian Laundrie for Petito’s killing, despite the fact that he had been the leading suspect all along.
Meanwhile, the FBI in Denver revealed that Laundrie, 23, had sent text messages to purposefully mislead others into believing that Petito, 22, was still alive after he battered and strangled her in late August.
Laundrie returned to Florida in early September but then went missing. His parents discovered an item belonging to him at a nature preserve near their home in October.
Further investigation yielded Laundrie’s remains, a handgun, a rucksack, and the notepad. Laundrie died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to medical examiners.
The FBI did not clarify what Laundrie had written in his notebook or in the messages he sent to deceive. According to the statement, the messages were exchanged between Laundrie’s phone and Petito’s phone.
“The timing and substance of these texts indicate that Mr. Laundrie was trying to mislead law enforcement by creating the idea that Ms. Petito was still alive,” according to the statement.
The Grand Tetons were the last stop on the couple’s cross-country van trip last summer, which ended with Laundrie mysteriously returning home alone in the vehicle.
The couple’s journey was chronicled on Instagram. They drove across Colorado before being halted by authorities in Moab, Utah, on August 12 after getting into a fight.
Petito was seen on a police video describing a fight that erupted. Petito was determined to be the aggressor, but cops chose to separate them for the night rather than press charges.
Attorneys for the Petito and Laundrie families did not reply Friday quickly to emails and text messages requesting comments on the FBI’s findings.
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