Now that authorities have completed a search for Brian Laundry, the fiance of Gabby Petito, who has been missing for a month, there are questions about what happened to both of them – and what will happen next.
Human remains were found in a Florida park where search crews were searching for Laundry identified as her, the FBI announced Thursday. Petito’s body was found September 19 near a campground in Wyoming.
The case has attracted nationwide attention and shocked social media users who invested in every step of the investigation. Many of them are wondering if we will ever find the answer to what exactly happened to this couple.
What will happen next in the murder investigation?
Laundry was the only person involved in Petito’s murder, but he was never charged with involvement in his death. Her disappearance was followed by allegations of unauthorized use of debit cards and accounts.
The two were traveling around the country in a white van together, and suspicions were raised after Laundry returned to their home in North Florida in a van without him. A few days later in New York her parents received news of her disappearance and the laundry would not cooperate with law enforcement agencies. Laundry soon disappears, telling his family that he is going to hike to a huge reserve near home.
There has also been widespread speculation about possible intimate partner violence in the relationship, since officers in Moab, Utah, dragged the couple on Aug. 12 from police body camera footage that emerged after a 911 call reported that the “gentleman was slapping the girl.” . “
Petito’s death was caused by suffocation. Corner of the case said he had been there for several weeks before his body was found.
Some experts say Petito’s murder could be the result of a cold case, the only person who was with him before the murder is now dead.
“The investigation could go on indefinitely,” Steven Capriati, a former Hillsborough County prosecutor, told local station WFLA. “If they go and decide that Brian was responsible and they can’t blame anyone else, that’s the end and the family has to stay with it and it’s a tragedy.”
Petito’s great-aunt Jill Hengel said finding Laundry dead would make it harder to find an answer to Petito’s murder.
“I don’t think it’s fair, because parents will never know what happened. And they want to know,” Hengel told local CBS-approved WTSP.
Timeline:When (and where) the tragedy at Brian Laundry, the Gabby Petito story was unveiled
What caused the death of the laundry?
The FBI says laundry remains have been identified using dental records, as only skeletal remains have been found. This will make it more difficult to determine the cause of death.
The wreckage was found in an area that had previously been submerged. Officials say Laundry’s father first saw a bag owned by Laundry and law enforcement officers then found the remains and other items, including a notebook – after a five-week search by law enforcement.
Officials did not say whether an autopsy could determine the cause of death.
“There’s no way to determine how he died,” Jim Clement, a former FBI profiler, told CNN. “For example, if he drowns, there will be no evidence of him in his skeleton.”
Dr Cyril Wecht, who was involved in the high-profile death investigation, said a key part of the investigation would be to determine how long the body had been there.
“If he shoots himself, it will still be clear,” Wecht said. “If he stabs himself, it may be extinct or clearly obscured due to the post-mortem period and being submerged in water.”
Also of interest is what is the content of the notebook available and whether it is tactful enough to read. The content may give clues as to what happened to Petito or whether Laundry wanted to harm himself.
Laundry family attorney Steven Bertolino told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that suicide was “always a matter of concern” when he set off for the bike because of his mental state.
The FBI says investigators will continue to search the area where the laundry remains and items were found, possibly for several days.
Will the attention die?
The laundry and petito case has attracted nationwide attention and sparked speculation through the so-called “social media slit”. They are following every step of the investigation and sometimes sending conspiracy theories out of control.
Even after the laundry remains were identified by law enforcement agencies, conspiracy theories continue.
Some social media users have questioned whether Laundry forged his own death to avoid Petito’s murder case, or whether someone else killed both Petito and Laundry outright. There is no basis for proving both theories.
Internet slits have also questioned the involvement of the laundry family in his disappearance. The laundries did not speak to police at first after Petito’s disappearance, instructing their attorney, raising suspicions about whether they knew anything about Petito’s death. Many have accused Chris and Roberta Laundry of hiding for their son. Their lawyers have firmly shot it down.
More than once during a search for laundry, the lie went viral on social media sites such as Twitter, prompting police to make controversial statements that Laundry had been arrested.
Additional attention, however, was credited for helping other missing persons find the bodies. Petito’s body was also found thanks to travel bloggers who filmed the couple’s van nearby and reported the location.