Who was Gabby Petito?
Gabby Petito was a 22-year-old woman who went missing during a cross-country road trip with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, in a white Ford Transit van. She was last seen alive on August 27, 2021, in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. She was reported missing by her family on September 11, 2021, after they lost contact with her for several weeks. Her body was found on September 19, 2021, near the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area in Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming.
How did Gabby Petito die?
According to the Teton County Coroner, Dr. Brent Blue, Gabby Petito’s cause of death was manual strangulation/throttling, and her manner of death was homicide. He said that she died about three to four weeks before her body was found, which means she was killed sometime between late August and early September. He also said that there was no evidence of sexual assault or drug use on her body. He did not reveal any other details about the autopsy report, citing the ongoing investigation by the FBI.
What is the role of Reddit in the case?
Reddit is a social media platform where users can create and join communities, or subreddits, based on their interests. One of the subreddits that emerged after Gabby Petito’s disappearance was r/GabbyPetito, where users shared information, theories, and updates about the case. The subreddit has over 100,000 members and has been a source of tips, leads, and clues for the authorities and the public. Some of the notable contributions from Reddit users include:
- Finding and sharing the dashcam footage of the Moab police encounter with Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie on August 12, 2021, where they were involved in a domestic dispute. The footage showed signs of distress and anxiety on Gabby’s part, and raised questions about Brian’s behavior and involvement in her death.
- Finding and sharing the YouTube video of the Red, White, and Bethune family, who captured Gabby Petito’s van on their GoPro camera on August 27, 2021, near the area where her body was later found. The video helped narrow down the search area and timeline for the investigators, and also showed that Brian Laundrie was not with Gabby at the time.
- Finding and sharing the Instagram posts of Brian Laundrie, who had been documenting the road trip with Gabby Petito on his account. The posts showed the places they visited, the dates they were there, and the mood they were in. Some of the posts also contained cryptic messages and references to books and movies that some users speculated were related to the case.
What is the status of the investigation?
The investigation into Gabby Petito’s death is still ongoing, and the FBI is leading the case. The main person of interest in the case is Brian Laundrie, who returned to his home in North Port, Florida, on September 1, 2021, without Gabby Petito. He refused to cooperate with the authorities or the Petito family, and disappeared on September 14, 2021, after telling his parents he was going for a hike in the Carlton Reserve, a 25,000-acre nature preserve. His remains were found on October 20, 2021, in the reserve, along with a backpack and a notebook that belonged to him. The cause and manner of his death are still pending, and the notebook is being examined for any clues or evidence. The FBI has not confirmed or denied whether Brian Laundrie was responsible for Gabby Petito’s death, or whether there are any other suspects or persons of interest in the case. The investigation is expected to continue until all the facts are established and justice is served.