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tv   2020  ABC  October 29, 2021 9:01pm-11:00pm PDT

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♪ ♪ two people went on this vacation and only one returned. >> everybody wanted to find this woman, gabby petito and brian laundry. >> spottings throughout florida, as far north as the appalachian trail. >> this urgent search for gabby petito. >> whatever you think you know about this case, we're just now putting together how much of it played out online. on the one hand, you have gabby taking up this new van life, recording everything, being recorded. and on the flip side, the crit zn sleuth crime junkies solving
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mysteries from their own homes. now with the internet, people take it upon them selves to find it. >> it's a real life crime story you can participate in. looking for bread crumbs anywhere. this patchwork of a story started to come together. >> each of us held a piece of the puzzle. >> this is where things spin out of control. brian laundrie's notebook was found near the remains. that could break the case open. never goes outside. [ laughter ] >> she was happy. genuinely happy. she, like, "come on, let me show you this." we'll go to the beach. just -- just listen to the ocean. look at the waves. look at the sand. watch the sunrise. watch the sunset. >> she did a lot.
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>> driving across oregon was an absolute dream. wish i was back down the beach looking at the pacific ocean. >> she did a lot. she was very busy. she loved her friends. she was a beautiful artist, brilliant artist. just so talented. >> everybody sees the pictures of her out there as an adult. but when i close my eyes and i think of her, i still remember a little, blond hair, bright, blue eyed little girl with her hair up and, you know, ponytails. >> gabby wants to be adventurous. if you look at her instagram posts, it's very clear she just loves life and loves new experiences. >> made my favorite mango smoothy for breakfast, went on a nice little hike, had sushi and watched the sunset before going home to some chocolate covered straw buries. what could be better than this?
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#21. >> the gabby petito story is important. because i think everybody, not only saw a little bit of someone they knew in the story but also, frankly, saw a little of themselves. >> the sunset. >> gabby wore her heart on her sleeve. gabby believed everything could come true. she believed in this perfect love. >> i can't wait to get back to days like this, traveling the world with you and asking strangers to take our picture. never taking moments like this for granted again. >> brian laundrie is a typical american young man. loved the outdoors by all accounts. they met in high school. >> he was a junior when they met in high school. it seems both of them were kind of free spirited. >> we don't know a whole lot about brian laundrie. there's no friends or acquaintances that have really come forward and wanted to speak
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with us. if you take a look at his public instagram page, a lot of the photos are just solo with just him alone. >> brian laundrie had his own social media accounts too, and he did his own posting. >> he definitely fashions himself as being a little edgy. >> gabby and brian knew each other in long island. that's where they're from. she came down to where he was living with his parents in their house. >> my name is kristin thorne. i'm a reporter with wabc eyewitness news in new york, and i've been covering gabby petito case since day one. we do know that gabby petito lived with the laundries in north port, florida, for about 2 1/2 years. >> brian and gabby were actually engaged before they went on this trip. >> so we are right outside capitol reef right now at a free dispersed campsite. since we left new york, i only set up my hammock once. >> and we are kinda, like, in the desert.
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>> you see this evolution. you see them growing. you see the excitement. you see -- this is where they're -- there, you know, what's happening. you -- you watch someone grow up right through instagram photos. >> the petito family talked to abc australia. >> she always wanted to do this. she planned it out. she knew what she wanted to do, and she knew where she wanted to go. >> oh, of course i worried. i told her to be careful. "be safe," you know, "make sure to be aware of your surroundings." you know, "don't trust everybody." i knew, but i felt safe because she was with brian, and i felt like she would be okay. i think i thought he would take care of her. >> what we can tell from brian laudrie, from his instagram page, is that he is very into the environment, keeping the environment clean. and we can see that he eats out of melon rinds.
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he tries not use plastic. >> down sizing our life to fit in this itty bitty life was the best decision we could have made. >> she wanted to create her own business of blogging for a living. and she had a unique perspective on how she was going to capture that audience. >> we know that brian and gabby purchased this van actually a year prior, and this was something that they had been planning for quite some time to do, to travel the country. i think that, for a lot of young people right now, this idea of leaving everything behind, getting in a van, seeing the world is attractive. >> i love the van. >> van life is exactly what it sounds. it's living in, often, a restored van or school bus and having this kind of low, nomadic
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lifestyle where you can travel all around the country. >> van life is an aspirational lifestyle, and it is something that people seek. it attracts a certain person who wants to travel and sort of see things up close and not from the air or from a speeding train, but traveling at their own pace. >> van life was made popular and kind of grew into people's vision of what they were seeing through this very popular film, "nomadland." >> it's fern. i need a ride to town. why? i blew my tire. >> there's kind of a joke in van life that you never really never know where you're gonna go more than a few days in advance. and that's really very true. >> it was growing in popularity largely through instagram and youtube people that live a van life. >> the pandemic really flipped our life on its head. the life we were living was completely opposite of what really brings us joy. >> we taught ourselves everything we needed, from solar electricity and battery power to plumbing to, you know, vehicle maintenance. >> hello, hello. good morning. it's really nice and sunny today, and its only 10:00 in the morning. >> and your hope is that you will become an influencer.
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>> the way to live a sustainable life as a -- as a van lifer is to have millions of followers online. >> gabby definitely wanted to be part of this community. she and brian were posting it on instagram, on youtube. and they were documenting this journey for people on the internet to essentially engage with. >> yes, you got it. >> when i look at gabby's instagram, i see her building her brand. and then she followed a lot of people who were doing the van life thing too. so it looks like she was following the formula on how to get successful there. >> living in a van is a struggle. it is not the beautiful picture of life that a lot of internet creators painted out to be. >> gabby and brian were in a smaller van than i usually see people in. i imagine that's a lot of
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pressure. any relationship has fights. but now you're in this tiny van. there's no place else to go. i don't know what you're supposed to do when you're in that kind of an environment. >> life on the road is difficult. you have to pivot a lot. it changes in a millisecond, and you have to be ready for that. >> oh, my god! the tent is just coming in on me. the wind is so bad. [ laughter ] i envisage sitting here like this for a while. >> especially for gabby and brian. they were struggling. they were not the cream of the crop van life creators. they were not going viral. they were really living hand to mouth. and so there was a lot of tension, you could tell, around that. >> i'd like to report a domestic dispute. the gentleman was slapping the girl. >> i couldn't handle that. i'm sorry. you don't become a runner, who breaks eight world records... after age 65, without a serious support system.
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went hiking for my birthday. #22. one whole years worth of adventures and stories down. i love our adventures. ♪ i think in a lot of her old
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posts you saw that she really cared about brian. he was a figure on her page and in her life. and he really meant a lot to her. >> here's a picture from our first date because i have so much love for you. brian asked me to marry him and i said yes. >> the other thing to note about her posts, is they are heavily edited, keeping her life beautiful on camera. >> social media is basically the highlight reel of your life. you're not posting videos of yourself fighting with your spouse. you're -- it's -- you're there to project an idealized version of yourself in your relationships. >> um, so me and brian just got up and got ready, made the bed in the tent, set up. um, i think our plan for today is to just hang out here in the tent.
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um, brian's stretching, doing some morning yoga. >> so they're visiting national parks. so we know they stopped in colorado, then they stopped in utah. >> they've been on this trip over a month. and then on august 12th there is a phone call placed to 911. >> a witness had reported seeing gabby and brian fighting. that witness said brian had slapped gabby. >> grand county sheriff's office. hi, can you hear me sir? >> yeah, i hear you. hi, i'm calling -- i'm right on the corner of main street by moonflower.
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and we're driving by, and i'd like to report a domestic dispute to florida with white van. gentlemen, 5'6", beard. >> what were they doing? >> we drove by him -- a gentleman was slapping the girl. >> he was slapping her? >> yes. and then we stopped. they ran up and down the sidewalk. he proceeded to hit her, hops in the car, and they drove off. >> at the time these officers received that original radio call, they were under the impression that a male had assaulted a female. >> it was clear that there was a domestic situation occurring and that officers needed to respond. >> the police follow the van. >> he's driving somewhat erratically. possibly intoxicated. he's speeding.
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currently doing 45 miles an hour, zone through here is 25. >> brian hit the curb. >> oh. subject's just hit the curb. when they pull brian and gabby oer, it's a turning point in this story. >> what's you guys's names? >> gabby. >> i'm brian. >> gabby, brian, okay. what's going on? how come you're crying? >> i'm just crying because we've just been fighting this morning. some personal issues. >> it was a long day. we -- we were camping yesterday, and camping got -- flies and stuff. i'm sorry. i'm sorry i hit the -- the bump there. >> i was distracting him from driving. i'm sorry. >> can i get you to step out of the vehicle for me, ma'am? >> the body cam footage was a real social media versus reality moment, huge contrast between her public, instagram and their youtube videos, verse what you saw in the body camera footage, which seemed like a peek behind the curtain. >> do you want to tell me what's going on? >> yeah, i don't know. it's just, some days, i have really bad ocd, and -- >> okay. >> i was -- i was just cleaning and straightening up the back of the van before i was apologizing to him and saying, "i'm sorry that i'm so mean." because sometimes i have ocd, and sometimes i can get really frustrated. not like mean towards him. i just like, i guess, my vibe is like, i -- i am gonna be like in a bad mood.
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>> when i saw the body cam footage, all i thought was, "this looks really toxic." and then i thought, "these are two people who are struggling." where do you go to decompress and get away from somebody when you're in the middle of a fight with somebody and you live in a tiny car together? >> so -- so i've been building my website. so i have been really stressed, and he doesn't really believe that i could do any of it, so kind of been like a, i don't know, he's like in -- i don't know, we've just been fighting all morning. >> brian laundrie made light of what she was doing, that she was in a bad mood because she was working on her little project. >> okay. >> why wouldn't he let you in the car? >> he told me i need -- >> because of you -- because of your ocd? >> he told me i needed to calm down, yeah. but i'm perfectly calm. i'm calm all the time. >> now another law enforcement speaks to gabby about, "hey, this is a toxic relationship.
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if you ever considered a life on your own or leaving this, now think about it." >> what's his name, brian? is he usually pretty patient with you? >> he gets frustrated with me. and i know that he's definitely -- i have a lot of anxiety, he has anxiety too. >> that could be a bad combo for both of you. it may be a bad for your soul. i'm just saying, i'm not telling what to do with your life, but if you know you have anxiety, look at the -- look at the situations you can get in. you know what i mean? >> the officers question miss petito, again, multiple times, and ask her directly, "were you struck by mr. laundrie?" >> there's someone on your cheek here. looks like -- did you get -- did you get hit in the face? kinda looks like someone like hit you in the face. then over on your arm, shoulder right here. that's new. have a new mark. >> yeah i don't know. >> can i see the other side of your face. so what happened here and here? >> i am not sure. it was an accident.
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i was trying to get in the back of the car and the backpack got me. >> so it was the backpack that got you? >> she had bruises on her left arm that she blamed on an inanimate object, a backpack. >> so there's two people that came to us and told us that they saw him hit you. two people saying that they saw him punch you. >> this never happened before. >> i've got a news flash for everybody. when brian laundrie struck her in the face in broad daylight, i guarantee you that was not the first time he had hit her. >> now, anytime we talk about demeanor, it's subjective. i'm giving you my take. gabby's pretty hysterical. she is defensive of herself and of brian. and begins to take responsibility for what's been
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going on. even suggesting that she, herself, was the aggressor in any physical altercation that may have happened. >> well, to be honest, i definitely hit him first. >> where'd you hit him? >> i slapped him. >> you slapped him first, and then -- just on his face? >> he told me to shut up. >> there are relationships in which women are aggressively violent toward men. that is possible. but in the vast majority of domestic violence situations, the men are the aggressors. and the women, in public, when questioned about it, especially by law enforcement, will often take responsibility for it out of fear that the aggressor, the man in their relationship, will be more angry if they don't. i do want to emphasize that we do not know what happened between these two people. >> we want to know the truth, if he actually hit you. >> well, i guess -- >> 'cause you don't -- >> i guess, yeah, but i hit him first. >> i would have had about 50 questions to ask her about what he's done in the past. has he ever hit you? has he ever tried to choke you out? getting her to describe the
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dynamic between the two of them. >> she totally covers for him. she was apologizing. she was deferential. she was upset. she was crying. she kept taking the blame. >> where did he hit you? don't -- don't worry. be honest. >> he, like, grabbed my face, like -- like this. um, he didn't, like, hit me in the face, he didn't, like, punch me in the face. >> did he slap your face, or what? >> well, like, he grabbed me with his nail, and i guess that's why it looks -- i definitely have a cut right here, 'cause i can feel it. >> so they have a couple of questions for gabby and depending upon how she answers those questions, that will determine the outcome. >> gabby. this is a very, very important question. how you answer this question is going to determine what happens next. but the only person who can answer this question is you. supporting family business, girls with curls,
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throughout the moab incident, gabby is extremely distressed. >> what happened? what's going on? >> i'm just have a stress -- a very stressed morning. >> she's the one crying. she's the one gasping for breath. >> seeing her in distress in that moment really bonded people to her. >> i thought at first, "are these people high? are they sober? why are they acting so strangely?" >> hey, we got a call about a male hitting a female and the two of them getting in this vehicle. >> officer pratt's video that shows him approach mr. laundrie while he is still seated in that white van. and officer pratt asks him multiple times if he has struck ms. petito. >> i just -- i don't want to try and defend myself, but i pushed her away. she gets really worked up. >> they eventually take brian
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out of the truck and talk to him outside the truck -- >> can you step out of the vehicle? >> -- trying to figure out exactly what's happened. >> mr. laundrie's demeanor at the time of the stop was typical in that he was very compliant with officers. >> turn around for me real quick. >> i got nothing on me. >> he is visibly unperturbed. >> so tell me what's going on. >> well, she just gets worked up sometimes, and i try and really distance myself from her. so, like, i -- i locked the car and i walked away from her. >> the interesting dynamic is that brian laundrie is really calm. and there's such a discrepancy that it's almost an intentional way to discredit her experience.
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>> i think that our little squabbles started because we were -- we were hanging out at the coffee shop, and when i got back to the van, there was some dirt and stuff in the van. and, uh, i moved our food around. i wouldn't even call it a disagreement. there's a few little -- little things, little -- just little relationship, um -- i don't know if you have a relationship. >> i have been married for over five years now, so -- >> there's a lot of little things that -- >> yeah, i can -- sometimes. >> you see him connecting with the officers on an interpersonal level. also their story was that they'd had a similar kind of discord with their own relationship. >> that's one thing that people really weren't happy about. they're like, "why are they offering him help on how to deal with this when this looks like it's a domestic violence situation?" >> they arrived at the scene and that they noticed marks on his neck. >> okay. you want to tell me about those scratches on your face? >> he's actually got some surface cuts. right? but he's cut. there was some blood. >> i said, "let's just take a breather and let's not, you know, go anywhere. let's just calm down for a minute." know i shouldn't push her. i was just trying to push her away to go, "let's -- let's take a minute and step back and breathe." and she -- she got me with her phone. >> and that, to them, corroborated gabby's account of what had happened. >> so you pushed her, and she hit you? >> she was -- i wasn't -- i
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was -- it wasn't like a push and she jumped on me. she was -- she was already -- she was already -- i don't wanna -- >> swinging at you? >> swinging, swinging, and i was -- >> and once you get the wheels of justice going, it's hard to put on the brakes. >> lot of nails, lot of rings. >> yeah. you've got three scratches on your neck. you've got one on your left side of your nose. you've got one on your face here. >> it is not irrational, when he has scratches on his neck, to be asking him questions about how he got them. but what they didn't ask enough was, "why did we get a call from someone saying you were hitting her?" >> do you mind lifting up your right sleeve for me? yeah. what's that from? >> i suppose fingernails. but i'm not complaining. i'm not complaining about fingernails. i'm fine. and i love gabby. i -- i hope she doesn't have too many complaints about me. >> so brian laundrie is trying to portray himself as the victim, but also trying to say,
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"but, hey, you know, it's not that big a deal. she just kind of gets this way." and i think that that was part of the problem here is that the police ended up believing that. >> look, these are not easy situations. and i think the police were really trying to figure it out. >> so at this point, it sounds to me like she is the primary aggressor. >> yeah. >> now, the problem with the -- her being the primary aggressor is in an instance of domestic assault, be it a male or be it a female, we shall arrest. >> it seems to me that they chose to ignore the previous 911 call where there's clear evidence that laundrie had just beaten gabby petito. the entire moab incident hinged on one thing. and that is naming gabby petito as the aggressor. >> she appeared to be the aggressor, and she said she was
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the aggressor. now, do i believe that? no. but the police can only go on the evidence they are given. they had no basis on which to arrest brian. if anything, they could've arrested her. >> we can't treat this differently than if it was a male on female violence. >> yeah. >> and we're gonna have to charge her. >> it is also evident to me that during the course of their interactions with both parties, the officers felt that that was not the right course of action. >> in no way, shape, or form that i can perceive does what happened here, a little slap fight between fiances who love each other, want to be together, can i perceive that this is going to digress into the situation where he's going to be a battered man. right? but then again, i don't have a crystal ball. >> well, this is really bad news. so let's talk to him first. >> brian, unfortunately, in the state of utah, the state legislature doesn't give us discretion on charges when it
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comes to a domestic assault. and your own companion has made it clear that she was the primary aggressor and that she was striking you and you received injuries. so at this point, you're the victim of a domestic assault. [ laughter ] even if you don't want to pursue this, we don't have a choice. >> they've heard brian's story, and now they have to decide what to do. what are their next steps? do they arrest gabby? brian? >> i -- i don't want to be separated. no, we're a team. please. please. when my brother passed away. and a couple of years later, my mother passed away. after taking care of them, i knew that i really wanted to become a nurse. amazon helped me with training and tuition. today, i'm a medical assistant and i'm studying to become a registered nurse. in filipino: you'll always be in my heart.
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so look, i'm gonna speak to you, frankly, i have a daughter almost your age. and i'm looking at you, not so much like a suspect. but also, it's kind of a victim
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in the sense that the stuff you did today that contributed to this, because you both contributed to this, is as a result of your inability to cope with the anxiety and the stress that you're having. normally, we take people to jail, but he's trying to work and so you can just have the van. >> in some states when there's been a domestic violence incident, there can be a mandatory separation imposed. those kinds of separations can save a life. >> nobody wanted to go to jail. they didn't want to be separated. >> i don't want to be separated. >> you have anxiety? >> yes. no, we are a team please, please. >> there's not -- what is it? >> we are a team, please, this is going to give me so much anxiety. could we just have, like, a driving ticket? >> okay, the -- the very best thing i can do is call my supervisor and see if i'm missing something here. >> she gets extremely agitated when she believes they're going to be separated, and, or being
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separated from her van. and let me point out that it's not just a van. this is where she's living. this is also her livelihood, her dream. >> i think when miss petito is informed by the officers that there may be an impending arrest, she's frightened. >> if we get out, i will pay any driving ticket, any parking ticket, anything. >> gabby, gabby try to calm down. >> her reaction causes the officers to reevaluate. those officers were heading down the path of making an arrest, and they changed the direction. >> in that police report that they filed in moab, the officer made it clear that the couple stated that they were in love, they were engaged to be married. and they didn't want to see anyone go to jail that night or face any charges. >> we understand you're not even wanting to pursue this, but the cops have to follow the statue. >> there is no doubt in my mind that the moab police had had training in domestic violence, because they kept going back to the statute, back to what proper procedure is.
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>> i figured i had to just ask. >> there was a significant debate that was occurring on the scene about the appropriateness of a physical arrest or not. >> okay. how far do you want to go with this? >> so i went and i looked at the code for assault. if you go ask her what was your intention when you were slapping him, and she says, i wanted him to hurt, or be ill or impair his physical condition, then there's nothing we can do. whatever she answers to that question will seal her fate. >> right. >> if it became clear that she had the intent to hit him, and she was not acting in self defense, the police clearly believed they would have had to arrest her. >> gabby, this is a very, very important question. how you answer this question is going to determine what happens next. when you slapped him those times, were you attempting to cause him physical pain or physical impairments? was that what you were attempting to do?
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>> no. i was trying to get him to stop telling me to calm down. >> doesn't sound to me like she's tempted to injure him. >> they did what appeared to be a pretty thorough investigation at the scene for over an hour, talking to each one of them, talking among themselves, not really getting that critical element of an assault. >> alright brian, she claims that she did not have intent to hurt you when she was slapping at you. so technically speaking, it does not fit the letter of the code. so i am not going to be charging her with dv. this is what i am going to do, however. i'm not going to release you guys together. i want you guys to stay away from each other tonight. okay?
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>> they separate them, one in the van, one in a hotel, and make them cool down, basically, for 24 hours. >> they -- these kids didn't have any money. they decided let's, let's let them go keep them apart. >> well, uh, we're ver -- ver -- very little money we have, for sure. >> i think seekhaven will get you a hotel. >> seekhaven, the domestic violence provider, says to them, "no, we cannot pay for a hotel room for miss petito, because she is identified as the primary aggressor." >> so instead of sending her to a hotel, they send her off in the van. >> here's that. i am giving him a ride to the hotel. okay. >> will it be a far drive for me to get him in the morning? i'm -- i'm just curious. >> i'm not going to tell you where he's going to be at tonight. >> i -- i know. >> like i said, i -- i want you guys to be separated.p>> i -- i- >> but i can tell you this -- >> i just don't usually drive the van, so i just wanted to make sure it's not, like away. >> she's concerned about driving the van by herself and knowing where the hotel where he's gonna
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be is. >> gabby asks, "how near is this hotel? is he going to be nearby?" >> it is striking to listen to gabby feel like she needs brian. >> if the cops had arrested him, would gabby be alive today? would that have changed the course of these events? maybe she may still be alive today if he had been arrested or not. >> the city of moab launched an independent investigation into the handling of the incident, but declined to comment at this time. >> so after the incident in moab, they continue on their journey, and then august 25th, she posts what was her last photo on social media. >> gabby's final post had people really scratching their heads. it's a photo of her holding a little pumpkin in middle of the summer.
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>> shortly after this incident in utah, where police had responded to a fight between bryan and gabby, gabby is going to post this famous now final youtube video, where you would have no idea that this was a couple who was in a serious fight. >> all the chocolate melted. >> it's so melted, i know. it's a river of chocolate. >> you can't keep chocolate in utah. not in july. >> it was five days after the police stop when something strange happens. brian goes back home. >> on the 17th, brian alone hops a plane in salt lake city and flies all the way back home. >> according to the laundrie family attorney, the reason
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brian flew back was to pick up some items and close up a storage space to save money. >> that couldn't have been cheap to fly back from salt lake city, to florida. it's a little weird. did they have another fight? did they need to split for a while and cool off? >> so according to her father, gabby was in salt lake city working really on their youtube page at that point. >> the whole thing seems odd to me. and particularly odd when you think in another six or seven days, she's dead. >> august 23rd, brian then flies back to utah from florida to get back with gabby and they continue on their road trip. >> once they're back together, there's a post from gabby that really raises eyebrows. the pumpkin post. >> her last post was on august 25th. >> gabby, in the photo, has perfect hair after being on a
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trip for two months in a van. and she's holding a pumpkin and writes happy halloween, which is odd because it was posted on august 25th. >> so in gabby's latest instagram post her roots are not there, especially in comparison to some of them before that. >> it seemed as if she had taken that, at some point, and was planning to use it at halloween. it didn't fit in with all of her other blog postings. >> and then in late august, people saw brian get in another fight. >> at merry piglets restaurant in jackson, wyoming. witnesses reported a lot of screaming, him yelling at the restaurant staff, going in and out of the restaurant. >> he was really angry.
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that's the best i can describe it. he was just very visibly angry. and in that moment, gabby reminded me a lot of how she seemed in that body cam video of the cops. she just seemed distraught. she seemed really upset, she was emotional. she was crying. >> and then people saw them get into this van and leave. >> that suggests to me that the pressure between the two of them, and in particular in brian, is building. >> what we would later know is that was the last time gabby petito was seen in public. >> from the youtube video, their relationship seemed solid. but clearly it wasn't showing everything. >> it does appear that their relationship was what some would term toxic. they would fight. >> according to gabby's mother, during her conversations with gabby during the trip, there appeared to be more and more tension between gabby and brian. >> so we know that the last time gabby spoke to her mother was on
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august 25th. she told her mother they were in grand teton national park and they were likely headed to yellowstone. after that conversation over the phone, gabby's mother started receiving some odd text messages. >> the text message to her mother was, can you help stan? i just keeping getting his voicemails and missed calls. well, stan is her grandfather's name. >> and what's weird about that is that gabby never called her grandfather by his name stan. >> the last contact that gabby's mother has from her daughter is august 30th. she gets a text that says only "no service in yosemite", which is strange because it's so brief, but also they weren't going to yosemite. >> that's hundreds and hundreds of miles away. so mom knew immediately something was very, very wrong. >> gabby's mother is really concerned. she hasn't had a face-to-face video call with her daughter in
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days and more days are passing and now there's no contact whatsoever. where is she? >> i was texting her every day anyway, but i wasn't getting responses. by day six, seven, i was checking her social media. i didn't see any activity. i'm worried and everybody was like, she's fine. she's fine. they're out in the mountains. they have no signal. and i said, no, it's not like her. >> unbeknownst to gabby's mother, brian laundrie has driven gabby's van back to florida. he arrives on september 1st. >> authorities say brian used a debit card that was not his to withdraw $1000 and he made his way all the way back home to florida with no sign of gabby. >> according to the laundries' family attorney, the card in question is gabby's debit card. >> brian laundrie shows up back in florida without gabby, and seemingly unconcerned about her whereabouts. so what's that about? >> 80 red lights go off in my head when i hear that he has left. his fiance.
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>> and that's when everybody becomes deeply concerned about gabby's wellbeing and whereabouts, and deeply suspicious of brian laundrie. >> developments tonight -- >> missing woman -- >> desperate for answers. >> this is where things really get weird. and, and where the story, becomes a national story and starts to spin out of control. s >> lights, camera, reporters. we are everywhere. >> the girl right here, this is what matters. >> everybody wanted to find this woman. >> it opened up this broader conversation about missing women and specifically missing black and indigenous women and the lack of attention. >> missing white girl syndrome. >> there is an explosion on the internet. crime junkies go crazy.
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>> a theory that has been circulating. >> i think he just dumped her body. >> it was so eerie that i couldn't even believe that it was happening in real life. woman: life's been hard enough. especially when you're struggling with depression. so, i did some research, took a questionnaire, and talked to my doctor. i'm taking my antidepressant, but i still feel stuck. adding rexulti could help. when added to an antidepressant, rexulti was proven to reduce depression symptoms 62% more than the antidepressant alone. so you can stay on your current treatment and keep moving forward. rexulti can cause serious side effects. elderly dementia patients
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light said, camera. they opened up this broader conversation about missing women and specifically missing black and indigenous women and the lack of attention. >> missing white girl syndrome. when we got the alert brian laundrie was missing, my stomach dropped. >> anywhere he goes, anywhere, somebody sees that guy. >> got strange looks. not brian. >> any advice on what i should say to people that think i am
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brian laundrie? >> protesters started coming out and they were gathering outside brian's parents' house. the truth always comes out. where's brian, where's gabby, they were shouting. >> brian laundrie's notebook was found near the remains. that could break the case wide open. >> stand up. tell us what you did. ♪ >> hello, hello, and good morning. brian is stretching, doing some morning yoga. >> everything about gabby and this case is tailor-made to go viral. you have a young, attractive couple. there's controversy. >> it was so eerie and so real that i couldn't even believe that it was happening in real life. >> two people went on this vacation, and only one returned. >> wow, this gabby petito case.
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>> and so they feel compelled to keep talking about her. >> the gabby petito case. >> the gabby petito -- >> we need to talk, and i am on the road. >> and then, because the case was so viral, it ended up everywhere. >> the theory that has been circulating. >> i think he had just dumped her body. >> you couldn't escape it. >> we have some new information in the gabby petito case. >> actually, when i checked the gabby petito tag on tiktok, it had over a billion hits today. >> so this loving couple had been out on a road trip, and then brian, for whatever reason, decides that he's going to come back to florida without gabby. gabby's family hasn't heard from her in days. when they last checked in with her, things seem to be going fine. but now they're realizing that something here is wrong.
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>> brian shows up back in florida on september 1st. he's in gabby's van. >> and the neighbors saw the van in the driveway. one of the neighbors told me, "i did think it was strange that i didn't see gabby. but what do i know? i'm just a neighbor here." >> we don't know, obviously, what he told his parents as to where is gabby. >> we do know that when brian was back home in florida, at least with his family, he was interacting with them. he was there with his parents. the petitos have no idea that brian is home in florida without their daughter, driving the van they'd both been living in. >> if brian was staying in my house and gabby returned to my house without him and in his vehicle, i'd be on their phone with their parents saying, "listen, we've got an issue we need, you know -- we need to, you know -- we got to -- we got some stuff we got to talk." >> once brian got home, it appeared to be business as
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neighbors told me that they saw brian and his parents going for walks down the street. and then eventually, b his parents went camping for a few days. >> they were camping at ft. desoto, which, you know, is our usual camping spot. and because it was labor day and the kids had school the next day, we just went for a couple of hours. and we ate dinner and had s'mores around the campfire and left. there was nothing peculiar about it. >> she says she didn't have any reason to ask about gabby, nothing came up about gabby, and that she had no idea there was anything wrong. >> i'm frustrated that, in hindsight, i didn't pick up on anything. it was just a regular trip. >> it's been ten days since they heard from her, and gabby's family is worried enough that on september 11th, they report her as a missing person. >> right now on abc action news, desperate for answers. plus the expanding search for gabby petito.
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>> tonight, new developments in the nationwide search for a missing long island native gabrielle petito. >> once the missing person's report has been filed, they can go ask questions. but they can't force anyone to answer them. >> north port police, when they were investigating gabby's disappearance, they were met at the door by brian laundrie's parents with a note with contact information for their attorney. >> it's not a crime to hire a defense lawyer. but it really looks bad. >> it certainly looks bad to gabby's mother. >> when the detective came to my door to let me know that the van was in florida with him, she also said that he had obtained a lawyer. i -- i almost fell on the ground because i was just like, "where -- where's gabby?" and that's -- that was my response to that information, and i just went to shock. i knew something was wrong. >> so gabby petito is officially missing. but remember, there's no evidence that brian laundrie was
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involved in that. >> the family lawyer released a statement saying they hope the search for gabby will be successful, that it's a difficult time for both families, and that brian is going to "remain in the background" with no comment. >> that may be a smart legal strategy, but not one that looks good to people following the case. >> his attorney, mr. bertolino, told the parents not to talk. but i think the average person is saying this is -- this is not right. >> we don't know what brian knows. i mean, that's the bottom line, and we're hopeful to talk to him. he needs to talk to us. we need to know exactly where he was, where she was, their last locations. >> brian's sister cassie says she was shocked to learn that gabby was missing and hasn't heard from him since that campout. >> nothing. radio silence. i have -- i've tried to get in touch with him. phone went to voicemail. and i didn't think anything of it because he's not very good at keeping his phone charged, so. everything's different when you look back on it.
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>> i understand trying to protect your son, or your daughter, and stuff like that. i get it. but the one thing that you're supposed to do, as parent, you're supposed to tell your child to stand up for the things that they've done. this is a 23-year-old man. come on. tell us what to you did. tell us what you didn't do. just tell us the truth. tell us something. >> why can't the police department arrest brian for a stolen vehicle? because that van was gabby's. but the police department was clear. they had no evidence that a crime had been committed. >> but the police were able to get a search warrant for gabby's
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van, looking for any information on her computer drive. >> if she were killed in the van, do you have some body fluid that's suspicious that's either his or hers? is there an indication of a struggle inside the van? you're gonna look for anything that could potentially link they said she was going to be your daughter in law. please help us. >> and then it all takes a turn. >> tonight her boyfriend is a person of interest but he's not talking. the new pleas for him to share what he knows. >> if law enforcement tells you they have a person of interest, we know this is a serious case. >> we've been assuming brian laundrie was home with his parents but then his parents told investigators brian went on a hike in the carlton preserve, hadn't returned. >> when we got the alert brian
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laundrie was missing, my stomach dropped. i remember looking at my phone and not being able to believe what i was reading. >> the question everyone wanted to know is brian hiding? >> and they've found someone unexpected. >> boom, boom, boom. [sigh] ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ [typing] ♪ ♪ [typing] ♪ ♪ [typing] ♪ ♪
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police arriving to find out her fiance has vanished, with neighbors now very worried and gathering in her yard. >> in the very beginning of this investigation, at brian's parents' house, media was lining the street up and down. there were so many people, so many reporters and media outlets in that neighborhood. >> be respectful of everyone's property, please. >> tons of equipment, lights. we are everywhere. north port police told us they had been surveilling the house
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and had surveillance on the house at this time. but at some point, brian left. the laundrie family claims very strongly they do not know where their son is. and they're just hoping for him to come home safely. >> we're going to turn next year to the search for the person of interest. that search intensifying tonight. numerous law enforcement agencies are involved in the search inside the carlton reserve. they're using drones, atvs and they're searching a heavily wooded area. 75% of it is underwater. they're using vehicles that can go into marshy watery areas. >> the carlton reserve is a $25,000 acre, wildfire reserve, twice the size of manhattan. it is massive. i can tell you from being there, it is a rough environment.
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we do know that brian laundrie has quite a bit of experience camping. so, is he able to survive in that type of environment? >> he reads books about it. it wouldn't surprise me if he could last out there very long time. >> i'm retired special forces, 25 years, combat veteran and survival expert. if you're on the run, out here trying to hide, there's got to get something small, like a baby sack on the ground, which exposes him to the critters and the wetness. if he wants to survive out here for any period of time is he's got to beable to keep himself clean, dry out his feet and stay hydrated. those are massive challenges in that environment. if i were going to stay here for the tonight, this would be a bed for me.
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most uncomfortable but can dry out my feet. not get eat by the critters. this right here can be my tree hugging pillow. >> the threats he faces are numerous. >> the biggest danger in this environment will be things he doesn't see. the ticks, the leeches and most importantly, the scrapes and cuts are going to get infected and they'll bring him down unless he has medical training and antibiotics. he doesn't strike me as the person who has the real survival skills necessary to survive in this kind of environment. just don't think he has it. >> people are go tag turn this giin if they find him. but he might be able to survive on his own for a time or get somewhere else, like mexico. >> there's no boarder patrolen the mexican side. brian laundrie could have walked across the border with his hair
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on fire and nobody would have seen him. >> have enough cash to avoid atms, grocery stores, gas stations. never use your cell phone so you can't be tracked. >> and something that way. he doesn't go to prison. >> there are obviously numerous law enforcement agencies investigating this case. and also it caught thutension of dog the bounty hunter. >> fox news capturing dog the bounty hunter, joining the search, knocking on the laundrie's door. >> boom, boom, boom. i really let loose on the knock. the reason i got involved is purely request from our fans. this is a real hunt. this is probably, right now, in america, the most wanted man there is. in order to find him, we got to hunt. he's going to the wilderness
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because that's what he knows nd he feels protected there. we don't know if he's armed or not. >> you have personalities like john walsh or dog the bounty hunter being involved, then that's the win. the more eyes the better. >> what's are arwith all the resources to find this one guy who may or may not have killed this one woman? >> one thing that happened immediately after this case blew up in the media is it opened a broader conversation about missing women and specifically missing black and indigenous women and the lack of attention given to them. >> you have to remember that there are thousands of indigenous women have gone missing in the same area gabby's body was found. and gabby's case, luckily, has brought awareness to that. >> let's stand up for missing, and murdered indigenous women. >> she said she's never heard of this missing white women syndrome. >> anyone in true crime has seen it.
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this notion we have, as a culture too, specifically fixate on young, beautiful white women. >> it's really hard to talk about the missing white woman syndrome in the context of this case because of course we cared deeply, deeply about gabby petito. but at the same time, we have to recognize that we have an outsized compassion for young white women who are missing or murdered. and we have a negligent about brown women. >> i saw a post from an indigenous page on instagram. they specifically said we feel terrible for gabby's family. can we spend some of the energy we spent focusing on her, finding many of the other indigenous women missing across north america. >> mary johnson davis, sarah nicole graham. >> wyoming, the last place gabby was seen, issued a report this
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january. it said in the past decade, only 18% of missing caseinis involvi indigenous women receive media attention. >> there's a phrase in indian country, that when a native woman goes missing, she disappears twice, once in life and once in the news. >> if you look at data from 2020, there's 250,000 missing women as of last year. more than 100,000 were women of color. >> laurie ann baufman, wanda fay walker, erica nicole hunt. >> why do we have greater compassion in our heart for gabby petito than for these other women? we have to really dig deeply to ask ourselves that question. >> it's on all of you. every within in this room to do that. and if you don't do that for other people missing, that's a shame.
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because it's not just gabby that deserves that. >> brian is missing for weeks and the search goes on and on. >> i worry about him. i hope he's okay and i'm angry and everything runs through my head. i hope my brother's alive because i want answers just as much as everybody else. >> gabby petito's boyfriend has apparently disappeared himself. >> lot of the public was acting under the assumption that he's involved. why don't the authorities just arrest him? but from their perspective, there was no crime at play. this was simply a missing person. and he has no legal obligation to help them find her. >> when did they call the attorney? i got questions. >> earlier today, human remains
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were discovered. consistent with the description of gabrielle, gabby petito. >> now it's no longer a missing person's case. it's a murder investigation. >> and amazingly it was someone from social media who cracked the case. >> when we found the footage, i'm like please keep recording. please be on here and all the sudden we see a white speck getting closer and closer and closer. 1, 2, 3...yay! ♪ “i got you babe” by etta james ♪ ♪ wait hold up! here it comes! alright, everybody stand up straight. okay now let me flip it. ♪
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grand teton national park, where gabby petito spoke directly with her family for the last time before she disappeared. >> the search continues for gabby petito. >> where we are right now is the grand tetons in wyoming, just north of jackson hole on spread
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creek row, which is the camping area that brian laundrie and gabby petito were last camping at. >> law enforcement agencies on both sides of the country are looking for clues to find 22-year-old gabby petito. >> so once someone goes missing you hope you have a starting point. where were they at last? when did you see him? thquu t search teams out the better. the reality is time's against you. >> in the gabby petito case, there wasn't someone coming forward saying she left, she was wearing this, i last saw her walking in that direction, to give searchers any kind of assistance. how do you cover hundreds of square miles of rugged, rocky terrain? i mean what a nightmare. >> nobody knew who gabby petito was until, unfortunately, she disappeared. but because she'd created this incredible log of her travels, u, with her effervescent
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presence on social media, everybody wanted to find this woman. and now with the internet, people were gonna take it upon themselves to find her. suddenly we have internet sleuths. >> i heard about gabby petito roughly around the time that she was reported missing. people were like, "oh, she's an internet influencer." >> it's a true crime story happening in -- in real life, which you feel like you can participate in, you know, by making content on the internet. >> people on tiktok, we're immediately going to scrutinize every part of everyone's online presence. why is she posting with a pumpkin? why is this video framed like that? >> they're getting into gabby petito's mind and trying to align themselves to find out what happened. they're looking at the body language, they are looking into the timestamps, they're creating a map of everywhere that they traveled in this van. >> when did she really stop posting?
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is this her? >> the fact that she randomly posted it on august 25th with just that caption and did not tag a location to me is very suspicious. >> this caption seems different than, you know, this caption from five months ago and the way that she's talking. >> also notice the capitalization is different. she never capitalized anything but the first word, and now she is capitalizing different words which is what he does with his words. >> looking for breadcrumbs anywhere, they're hoping for any type of clue. >> august 29th is when we see brian resurface. and it is with a woman who's traveling through the teton national forest with her boyfriend, and they pick up hitchhikers, which by the way, is very common out there. >> in the beginning of the investigation, you didn't really know where to look for gabby petito. but then those tiktok videos by miranda baker started to come -- come out. >> my name is miranda baker. i'm 22 years old. my boyfriend and i came into the tetons. that's when brian approached us, and he said, "hey, i need to get a ride back to jackson. do you think you could give me a
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ride back?" >> he offered $200 to drive a few miles, and they thought that that was a little odd. >> he was really clean for someone who had been hiking for multiple days. that did strike me as weird, and especially his backpack. it wasn't full. it was empty. he said him and his fiancé were camping and out the disperse campsite near snake river. the biggest red flag was, would you go camping by yourself for multiple days alone with just a backpack and leave your fiancé in your van? it just doesn't make sense. we were driving for 15 minutes and i had brought up, you know, why are you going to jackson hole? and once i said "jackson hole" that's when the energy shifted. >> he got very upset about that. he said, "please let me out of the car." he got outta the car and, as miranda baker states, about 10-15 seconds later, he was gone. >> there's just one more weird instagram anomaly with gabby and
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brian. >> people spent days on end on social media trying to help resolve this situation. and in the end, it was social media that helped find gabby's remains. >> my name is jenn bethune, and i travel with my husband kyle, our three kids, and four dogs, in our 1983 silver eagle bus. our story is very intertwined with gabby's story. you know, we're youtubers. and so we film all the time, our everyday lives. >> it is the freaking tetons! >> she did not know at that time -- they were just driving through the teton national forest and this van is on the side of the road. >> it was crazy to us. because it had florida plates, and we're from florida. and we were like, "we can go hang out with them, go say hi." but the van looked very dark. it didn't look like anybody was there.
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>> she doesn't think much of it until weeks later. >> the fbi twitter account posted this saying that they are conducting ground surveys at the spread creek dispersed camping area. >> without all that attention, jenn bethune, who watched her video, never would've thought of a white van. >> when we found the footage, i'm like, "please, please keep recording. please keep recording. please be on here." and my husband kyle's standing next to me. and all of a sudden, we see this white speck getting closer and closer and closer. >> she found it at a particular moment, at a particular time that allowed the police to pinpoint where gabby's body might be. >> we both got goosebumps all over our body. we knew it was her van as soon as the footage passed by it. and it was just -- it was an insane feeling. at 12:08 in the morning, i called the fbi. i think each of us that had tips and that had the sightings held a piece of the puzzle. and we all worked together to be able to put that puzzle together. so i don't think it was just us. i think it was a community as a
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whole working together to bring gabby home. >> once the bethunes were able to pinpoint the van in their gopro footage, the police who had been searching the entire area were able to pinpoint to within 1,000 feet where gabby's remains were. and without that footage, they might not have been able to do that. she might have decomposed without ever having been found. >> starting with breaking news here at 6:00 pm, authorities found a body in the bridger-teton national park in wyoming. >> there's breaking news in the search for gabby petito. just moments ago officials found remains in grand teton national park in wyoming. >> tonight, officials confirming that they found a body near grand teton national park that -- >> earlier today remains were discovered consistent with the description of gabrielle "gabby" petito. let's go!.
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♪ tequila herradura. extraordinary awaits. on september 19th, the fbi announced that they had located remains just outside grand teton national park in bridger-teton national forest. >> human remains were discovered consistent with the description of gabrielle "gabby" petito.
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>> if you go behind where that van was placed about 15 feet, there's a small creek. her body was placed on the creek bed out -- exposed in the open. so if anybody here was trying to bury a body, good luck. you're not gonna get six inches before you're hitting granite rock. >> once her remains are recovered and in a state of decomposition, there's a question of how she died, which is eventually ruled a homicide, not an accident, not natural causes, but a homicide. we're now looking for the person of interest in that homicide. and that person of interest is
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brian laundrie. >> the fbi has been looking for brian laundrie all over the country. >> we are going to turn next to that search for the person of interest, brian laundrie. >> there have been spottings of him throughout florida. >> where is brian laundrie? >> as far north as north carolina. >> possible brian laundrie sightings along the appalachian trail. calls coming into 911. >> we've gotten almost as many tips for -- on the appalachian trail as we have for mexico. i am betting my money on mexico. >> brian's smile on his various social media sites photos provide some insight into his comfort level in natural surroundings, no matter where he may be. >> the fact that brian laundrie has spent -- the fact that brian has spent so much time in the outdoors living with minimal supplies makes the search for him a lot more complicated. is this person in the middle of a swamp? is he on the appalachian trail? is he out somewhere where no people are located? he has the possibility of lasting out there on his own without any outside help. >> we know that brian laundrie has hiked the trail. we know he's camped there
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before. so that makes it likely he would return to that spot. and there were ten other sightings of brian laundrie up and down the appalachian trail. >> i wasn't sure about what he looked like, and then i went into the car and pulled up photos of what he looked like, and i'm 99.9% sure that was him. >> are they real? maybe not. is it worth investigating? absolutely. >> you have elements of nature and social media and true crime dramas and podcasts and internet sleuths it kept getting as every day passed into this larger and larger thing. and everybody that you talk to had some kind of involvement or theory about how this was all playing out, how it was all going to end. >> one thing we haven't talked a lot about, all these misfortunate people who have been spotted as being a brian laundrie lookalike. >> one man was mistaken for brian laundrie so many times
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that he established a tiktok account dedicated to showing he wasn't the guy cops were searching for. >> i got some strange looks. like, i'm not brian. any advice on what i should say to people who think i am brian laundrie? >> "the new yorker" reported that u.s. marshals busted into the hotel room of a man who looked like brian laundrie and had been hiking on the appalachian trail. federal agents in riot gear and shields pointed guns in his face. the guy reportedly got his room comped and a free breakfast. but that's how intense the manhunt has gotten. >> so anybody that looks like him, beware because, uh, he can't go anywhere in america without being spotted. >> something good has come from all this attention. >> and search crews say this spotlight on the gabby petito case has already led them to discover the body of at least one other missing person in wyoming thanks to new tips
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stirred up this weekend in the gabby petito coverage. >> at this point, as i say, nine people who were missing have been found as a result of searches for gabby. some in the general area where gabby was missing. that's a good thing that people are out there and finding these people. >> so now the police are moving to a new phase in the investigation where they truly have a homicide. and they would be focused primarily on brian. >> i think when they use the word "homicide," they wanted to make it clear that there was no ambiguity about what had happened to gabby. gabby had been killed by someone else. she had not walked off and been eaten by an animal. she hadn't drowned. she'd been killed. >> as the weeks grew on, outside brian's parents' house, protesters and neighbors from surrounding areas started to
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gather. and they started shouting, "what do you know about gabby?yone tco to authorities." >> but where is brian? we would have the answers if we had this guy. and so we need him because we need to know what happened. and it just has lit this fire of justice needs to be done. the young woman who shared her life so openly needs to share one more detail to help investigators understand how she died. i want that. eliquis. eliquis reduces stroke risk better than warfarin. and has less major bleeding than warfarin. eliquis has both. don't stop taking eliquis without talking to your doctor as this may increase your risk of stroke. eliquis can cause serious and in rare cases fatal bleeding. don't take eliquis if you have an artificial heart valve
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>> tonight, breaking news in the gabby petito case. what the coroner in wyoming has now determined. >> in the manner of death of gabrielle venora petito, we find the cause and manner to be cause, death by strangulation and manner, is homicide. >> the cause of death with gabby petito, with this being throttling, manual strangulation? these are real up-close crimes. >> strangulation is a very personal, way to kill, right? you're feeling the life being snuffed out of a person. >> that's a whole 'nother level of -- of anger. >> and why that's important is that when you start to look at domestic homicides that have inp
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>> where did he hit you? don't worry. just, be honest. >> he, like, grabbed my face, like, like this. >> so, is that any history in gabby and brian's relationship? obviously, we don't know the answer to that question. but it might be there. >> now, numerous questions were asked. they were asking dr. blue, what state of decomposition was gabby's body found in. did dr. blue believe the body was moved or if gabby was killed in that location. dr. brent blue was very clear that under wyoming law, he could not comment on those details. >> i don't know when we'll see the autopsy report for gabby petito, but for now, all we know is that she was strangled. it's a homicide. she was not pregnant. and the coroner referred to domestic violence. >> unfortunately, this is only one of, of many deaths around the country, of people who are involved in domestic violence. >> her body was placed on the creek bed out exposed in the
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open. critters go to the water to reasha a wild animal will encounter a body and devours enough of the body that you cannot see what the crime was. >> we do know that dna was collected from the body. if they collected dna underneath the fingerprint impressions on the neck, that might give us information as to whose hands were on her neck at the time of her death. that might be very crucial to understanding the case. >> we will not know whether the dna is useful or not until we get a report back from the fbi. we may never find out if that dna is useful dna or not. in other words, we may never have an answer to why gabby petito was murdered. >> this was a vicious death, by
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every interpretation. and now, all of the energy that the public had poured into finding gabby petito is directed at finding brian laundrie. >> the nationwide manhunt for laundrie, still the only named person of interest in petito's murder after he returned from their cross-country road trip without her. >> brian laundrie's notebook was found near his remains. it was wet for a while, but once it dries out, if his words are legible and he was writing his thoughts and what had happened dear ms, from day one you've tried to define me.
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for brian laundrie and i get a call. "they probably found brian laundrie." >> his parents decide that they're going to actually go out and help with the search. and they go to an area in the park that they had told the police to search and had been looked at, but had been underwater. >> once were there we see cadaver dogs are back out at the scene. te medical examiner has arrived at carlton reserve. you start to think that this is likely the case that brian laundrie was in the swamp as suspected a month before. >> almost every time that we hear of a medical examiner arriving at a scene there's a reason that the medical examiner is there. they go because they are being called to a specific location to deal with remains or a body. >> all of the media is now rushing over to the entrance,
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trying to get the best spot there, and crowding around as they wait for this announcement. >> earlier today, investigators found what appear to be human remains along with personal items such a backpack and notebook belonging to brian laundrie. >> and they were able to quickly confirm that it was him because of a comparison of dental records. >> we received confirmation from the fbi that the remains in florida that were found yesterday are that indeed of brian laundrie. >> about 5% of the time, you cannot determine a cause of death, and that seems to be the case here. the medical examiner declared that there was no cause of death and no manner of death. we don't even know if it's an accident or it's a suicide or it's a homicide. we just don't know. >> brian laundrie's notebook was found near his remains. it was wet for a while, but once it dries out, if his words are legible and he was writing his thoughts and what had happened
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in the past weeks, that could break the case open and give us the answers we're all waiting for. >> it's unsatisfying because two young people are dead. they died with the story of what happened. they died with the knowledge that people want to know. and we're probably never will know. >> i think that gabby petito's case will push these creators to dig into those files that police have put in their cold case bins. they're going to help solve cases of these forgotten people. >> joe petito has told me that it is gonna be the mission for the rest of his life to make sure that anyone that's in a relationship that is bad for them gets out of it. >> the family recently and supporters of the family recently held a fundraiser for the gabby petito foundation. they raised $13,700. and their goal is gonna be to help women involved in domestic violence. >> gabby wanted to be an influencer. >> she wanted a chance to be internet famous. ask kids what do you wanna be when you grow up these days, "i
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wanna be on youtube. i wanna be on twitch. so this is what a lot of kids want. >> in a way, think about it. gabby was an influencer because we all care about her, because we saw her from her posts. >> she really wanted people to go to her instagram page and say, hey, that's a really cool place. >> she's an absolutely beautiful, beautiful soul inside and out. >> gabby's parents have set up a legacy for her, but i would argue she set it up for herself with just her spirit of adventure and wide-eyed wonder at the world and believing in all things good. a case that is ever evolving and of course, we'll stay on top of all the developments involving the gabby petito and brian laundrie case.
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>> from all of us here at abc "20/20 news" goodnight.
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