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Timeline: The disappearance and homicide of Gabby Petito

  • September 24, 2021

“Van Life” vlogger Gabby Petito was reported missing on September 11, 2021. What happened between her and her fiancé Brian Laundrie in the days leading up to her death?

July 2021: New adventures

Briian Laundrie and Gabby Petito at the start of their journey on July 4, 2021.

Brian Laundrie/Instagram

Petito and Laundrie leave New York for what was supposed to be a four-month, cross-country trip visiting and camping in national parks. They plan to sleep in their van and document their travels on Instagram and YouTube.

August 12, 2021: Disorderly conduct stop

Gabby Petito is seen talking to a Moab, Utah, police officer after police pulled over the van she was traveling in with fiancé Brian Laundrie near the entrance to Arches National Park on August 12, 2021. 

Moab Police Department

A 911 call is placed by someone who reports seeing a confrontation between Gabby and Brian. The caller said he saw Laundrie hit Petito. Police in Moab, Utah, are dispatched and pull the van over. It is unclear if they knew the details of the 911 call. Police bodycam video shows Petito crying and  upset. The police report says that Petito hit Laundrie, but no arrests were made. The couple is separated for the night – Laundrie checks into a hotel and Petito stays in the van.       

August 19, 2021: “Van Life”

Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie as seen in a video posted to YouTube on August 19, 2021.

Gabby Petito/YouTube

Petito and Laundrie post a video on YouTube called “Van Life:  Beginning Our Van Life Journey.” The images show them laughing and kissing.    

August 24, 2021: Seen in Salt Lake City

Petito and Laundrie are reportedly seen leaving a hotel in Salt Lake City.

August 25, 2021: Gabby’s last post

Gabby Petito’s last post on Instagram was this photo on August 25, 2021.

Gabby Petito/Instagram

The van is spotted at Grand Teton National Park. This is also the last day a post is made to Petito’s Instagram account. 

August 27, 2021: An odd text

Gabby Petito

Find Gabby/Facebook

According to a search warrant, on August 27, Petito’s mother says she receives an odd text from Gabby’s phone. It read, “Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls.”  Stan is Gabby’s grandfather, but her mother says Gabby never referred to him by his first name. Gabby’s mother said it was out of character and concerning.

August 29, 2021: Hitchhiking claims

Miranda Baker posts on her TikTok claiming she picked up Brian Laundrie, who was hitchhiking alone.

August 30, 2021: Another text

Petito’s mom tells CBS News that she received a text from Gabby’s phone. Gabby’s mom wouldn’t comment on what it said but according to some reports it read “no service in yosemite”.

September 1, 2021: Brian returns home

Brian Laundrie

Brian Laundrie/Instagram

According to police, Laundrie returns to North Port, Florida, where he lived with Gabby — but he was alone.

September 11, 2021: Gabby reported missing

On September 11, 2021, Nicole Schmidt, Gabby Petito’s mother, files a missing person’s report with the Suffolk County, New York, Police Department.


Gabby’s mother files a missing person’s report with the Suffolk County, New York, Police Department after not hearing from her since late August.    

September 14, 2021: Families torn apart

Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito

Gabby Petito/YouTube

Brian Laundrie’s family issues a statement through their lawyer saying that they intend to remain in the background while the search for Gabby is underway. Petito’s family issues a statement accusing Laundrie of refusing to tell them where he last saw Gabby.

September 15, 2021: A person of interest

Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie in an Instagram post from March 17, 2020  — their one-year anniversary.

Gabby Petito/Instagram

North Port Police say that Laundrie is refusing to cooperate and name him as a person of  interest in Petito’s disappearance.

September 16, 2021: A plea for help

Joe Petito appeals to the public to come forward with any information that could help investigators. “I’m asking for help from the parents of Brian and I’m asking for the help of the family members and friends of the Laundrie family as well,” he said. “Whatever you can do to make sure my daughter comes home, I’m asking for that help. There is nothing else that matters to me now.”


North Port Police hold a press conference. Gabby’s father asks everyone to help find his daughter.

September 17, 2021: Where is Brian?

Protesters gather outside of the home of Brian Laundrie’s parents in North Port, Florida, on September 20, 2021. Police served a search warrant at the home.


Laundrie’s parents tell police they have not seen Brian in three days. Protesters gather outside the Laundrie house. 

September 18, 2021: The search for Brian

Members of the North Port Police Department gather to search for Brian Laundrie on September 18, 2021.

North Port Police Department

The search for Laundrie begins in the 24,000-acre Carlton Reserve in Sarasota, Florida. His parents say that was where he was headed the last time they saw him.

September 19, 2021: Remains found

Authorities say they found remains near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming where the van was previously spotted.

September 20, 2021: FBI raid

FBI raids Brian Laundrie’s home


Police execute a search warrant on Laundrie’s home, seizing his car and a hard drive that may contain “evidence that a felony has been committed.” 

September 21, 2021: Gabby is identified

Gabby Petito photographed at Bryce Canyon National Park on July 21, 2021.  

Gabby Petito/Instagram

A coroner confirms that the remains found in Wyoming is Gabby Petito and determined the initial manner of death is homicide. The FBI announce they are taking over the criminal investigation, and authorities continue to search for Laundrie in the Carlton Reserve.

September 23, 2021: Arrest warrant issued

An arrest warrant is issued for Laundrie for the unauthorized use of a debit card. The federal grand jury indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Wyoming alleges Brian Laundrie made unauthorized withdrawals worth more than $1,000 during the period in which Petito went missing.

September 24, 2021: A vigil for Gabby

A candlelight vigil will be held for Petito in her hometown of Blue Point, New York.  

“48 Hours” goes inside the disappearance of Gabby Petito and the hunt for Brian Laundrie Saturday at 10/9c on CBS and Paramount+.

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