Brian Laundrie fraud charges for spending $1,000 on Gabby Petito's bank card following her murder are to be dropped
A WYOMING district court has dropped Brian Laundrie's fraud charges after allegedly spending $1,000 on Gabby Petito's bank card following her murder.
The news comes less than a week after the FBI revealed Laundrie, 23, admitted to killing Gabby, 22, in his notebook.
Assistant US Attorney Stephanie Sprecher filed a motion on Tuesday seeking the court's permission to drop the case against Laundrie because he is deceased.
Chief Judge Scott Skadahl granted the motion to dismiss the charges for the "reason that the defendant is deceased."
Laundrie was the only person of interest in Gabby's murder – whom authorities found in September strangled and beaten at a campsite in Wyoming.
The 23-year-old had been wanted on a federal warrant for allegedly using Gabby's debit cards after her death, when he drove from Wyoming to Florida and then went camping with his parents, sister and her kids.
The young couple had stayed in the Wyoming campground just days before Laundrie returned to his parents’ house alone with Gabby's van.
The FBI issued their final statement in the Laundrie and Gabby case on Friday.
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In the statement, the FBI claimed that "a review of the notebook revealed written statements by Mr. Laundrie claiming responsibility for Ms. Petito’s death."
It also revealed that after Gabby died, several messages were exchanged between her and Brian's phone.
"The timing and content of these messages are indicative of Mr. Laundrie attempting to deceive law enforcement by giving the impression that Ms. Petito was still alive," the statement read.
It was also confirmed that Laundrie's parents, Chris and Roberta, will not be charged over Gabby's murder as her family attorney said there's "no doubt" the fiance killed the vlogger.
The FBI said that their investigation "did not identify any other individuals other than Brian Laundrie directly involved in the tragic death of Gabby Petito."
Roberta and Chris had been criticized by Gabby's family for failing to assist the FBI's investigation into her disappearance.
The Laundrie family attorney, Steven Bertolino, said: "Gabby and Brian are no longer with their families and this tragedy has caused enormous emotional pain and suffering to all who loved either or both of them.
"We can only hope that with today's closure of the case each family can begin to heal and move forward and find peace in and with the memories of their children. May Gabby and Brian both rest in peace."
In a statement before the FBI released the comment, Gabby's family attorney said: "We truly appreciate the FBI’s diligent and painstaking efforts in this extremely complicated case.
"The quality and quantity of the facts and information collected by the FBI leave no doubt that Brian Laundrie murdered Gabby."
The public hopes the notebook could shed some light on the final weeks before Laundrie, 23, died by suicide in Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Reserve, Florida.
Laundrie was pictured with notebooks while traveling with Gabby.
In one photo, Brian was tucked under some blankets next to a stream and appeared to be relaxing in a hammock while they explored the Appalachian Trail in Georgia.
A green spiraled notebook was seen stacked on top of a paperback edition of Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk with a handful of fine point ink pens.
And, during their ill-fated cross-country road trip, an orange notebook can be seen inside a tent while the young couple was camping at Zion National Park, Utah.
Other notebooks appear to be shelved inside Gabby's immaculately decorated 2012 Ford Transit Connect van's interior.
Laundrie's skeletal remains were found in Florida's Carlton Reserve on October 20.
His death was ruled a suicide via a self-inflicted gunshot to the head.
Gabby Petito timeline
Gabby Petito, 22, was last seen on August 24, leaving a hotel in Utah. Here is a timeline of Gabby Petito’s disappearance:
- June 2021 – Gabby Petito and her fiancé Brian Laundrie set off on a cross-country trip across the US.
- July 4 – Gabby posts photos of herself barefoot in Gove County, Kansas.
- July 8 – Gabby posts photos of herself at the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado.
- July 18 – Gabby and Brian post photos of themselves at Utah's Zion National Park.
- August 12 – Body camera footage was released in September showing an encounter Brian and Gabby had with police in Utah. Police confirmed that no significant injuries were reported.
- August 19 – Gabby and Brian post a video on their YouTube channel chronicling their trip.
- August 24 – Gabby is spotted leaving a hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah.
- August 25 – Gabby Facetimes her mom, Nichole Schmidt, for the final time. In a later police report, Schmidt said her conversations with her daughter revealed "more and more tension" between her and Brian.
- August 25 – Gabby also posts her last Instagram. No location is given.
- August 27 – Gabby is seen for what's believed to be the final time. Witnesses claim they saw Brian in an explosive argument with staff at a restaurant in Jackson Hole, leaving Gabby in tears.
- August 27 – Four hours later, travel bloggers driving through Grand Teton National Park drive past the couple's van "abandoned" on a dirt road.
- September 1 – Brian returns home to Florida without Gabby.
- September 11 – Gabby's parents report her missing to Suffolk County police.
- September 14 – Brian's family issues a statement saying he has retained an attorney and will not be cooperating with investigators.
- September 14 – Brian is allegedly last seen by his family. He reportedly told them he was going hiking in Cartlon Reserve but failed to return.
- September 15 – Florida's North Port police announce Brian is a person of interest in the case. He is not charged with any crime.
- September 16 – Utah police release body camera footage of the police encounter with Brian and Gabby.
- September 17 – Brian's parents say they have not seen their son in a couple of days and report him missing.
- September 18 – Police announce they were searching Carlton Reserve in Florida for Brian. Police announce they have not found anything.
- September 19 – Authorities in Wyoming say they found a body in Grand Teton National Park. The FBI announces the body was believed to be Gabby's but a full forensic identification needs to be completed first to confirm.
- September 20 – Police execute a search warrant on Laundrie's home, seizing his silver Mustang and a hard drive that may contain "evidence relevant to proving that a felony has been committed."
- September 21 – Officials announce they will be conducting an autopsy on the remains found in Wyoming to confirm whether or not they belong to Gabby. Police also resumed their search for Laundrie, this time on the Venice side of Carlton Reserve.
- September 21 – The FBI announced the body found in Wyoming was identified as Gabby's. The cause of death was not yet revealed.
- September 21 – The Teton County Coroner's office said Gabby's official cause of death was still pending but the initial manner of death is homicide.
- September 22 – Police continue to scour Carlton Reserve for a trace of Laundrie but yield no leads. A specialist dive team is called in to assist with the hunt.
- September 23 – Officials announced a federal arrest warrant for Brian was issued.
- September 26 – Gabby's funeral was held on Long Island, New York.
- October 12: Gabby's autopsy results were made public. Teton County Coroner Dr Brent Blue confirmed Gabby died by strangulation.
- October 20: Laundrie's personal items were found at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park. A medical examiner was called to the scene.
- October 21: The FBI confirmed the remains found have been identified as Laundrie's.
- November 23: Laundrie's autopsy reveals he died from a gunshot wound to the head
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