Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie were traveling in a van across the U.S. and documenting their experience. Gabby was found murdered in Wyoming and as of 26 September 2021, Brian went went missing after returning home to Florida. Two weeks before Gabby’s last photo post on Instagram, the couple were stopped by a Moab, Utah, police officer after being alerted they were involved in a domestic violence incident. The one hour and seventeen minute bodycam footage is available, as is a transcript of the footage. We will live code the transcript while watching parts of the video.
As we code in this DMM Coffee House session, we will look at footage clues to each of their self-protective attachment strategies, and discuss the significance for law enforcement, and legal and domestic violence professionals.
The full bodycam video footage by the Moab, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCGsW41aQEw
Here is a full transcript of the bodycam foootage, https://www.rev.com/blog/transcripts/gabby-petito-brian-laundrie-utah-bodycam-footage-transcript-before-disappearance.
Here is a story by 60 Minutes Australia, with an analysis by Laura Richards, a UK psychologist and criminal profiler, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4DeSl8QGD4.
A full timelines with relevant photos or videos are available at https://www.cbsnews.com/news/gabby-petito-brian-laundrie-timeline/, and https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/16/us/gabby-petito-timeline-missing-case/index.html.
Basic timeline of events (so far)
- June 2021, 22 year old Gabby and 23 year old Brian, engaged to marriage, leave her parent’s home in New York for a four-month van trip. They plan to document their travels on various social media outlets under the name Nomadic Statik.
- 12 August 2021, In Moab, Utah, a passerby calls 911 to report a potential domestic violence situation with the couple. Their van is pulled over after their vehicle swerves across the center line and then hits a curb. Several law enforcement officers arrive to interview the couple. Gabby describes Brian’s efforts to control her, and also admits to pulling on the steering wheel (although she retracts the statement and says she hit Brian’s arm), and she admits to hitting him. Brian admits to pushing her (in relation to the 911 report), but blames her for being out of control. Brian has apparently fresh scratch marks on him. Brian is oddly calm and Gabby is quite upset. After consulting with the other officers, the lead investigator determines Brian is the victim, but decides not to arrest either. Instead, he issues a no contact order and requires them to separate for the night. The full encounter by law enforcement is captured on bodycam video which is transcribed (links above).
- 19 August, 2021, they post their only video on YouTube titled “Van Life: Beginning Our Van Life Journey.” It’s 7:59 long, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYsNejhbT40.
- 24 August 2021, they are seen at a hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah.
- 25 August 2021, Gabby makes her last social media post, a photograph on Instagram in front of monarch butterfly wall mural.
- 27 August 2021, witnesses saw the couple arguing at a restaurant in Jackson, Wyoming. Gabby was in tears, Brian was visibly angry and went in and out of the restaurant several times while showing anger toward the staff. Her parents got an odd text message from Gabby’s phone, unusually referring to her grandfather by his first name.
- 29 August 2021, Brian hitches a ride from Norma Jean Jalovec and her boyfriend to the Spread Creek dispersed campground (where Gabby’s remains were later found), and told them Gabby was at the campground working on her blog and that he had been hiking along the Snake River for a few days. He is picked up in the Spread Creek campground area by Miranda Baker who posted on TikTok about the ride she gave Brian back to the city of Jackson. Sometime thereafter, Brian starts driving the van back to Florida.
- 30 August 2021, another text message was sent from Gabby’s phone to her mom.
- 1 September 2021, Brian returns to his parent’s home in North Port, Florida, alone.
- 11 September 2021, Gabby’s parents report her missing. North Port police go to his parent’s home to speak with Brian who declines, and provides police with the name of his attorney.
- 14 September 2021, is the last day Brian’s parents saw him. They tell police he said he was going for a hike in the Carlton Reserve in Sarasota, Florida. It’s high water season there, many trails are flooded and it is filled with snakes and alligators.
- 18 September 2021, dozens of law enforcement personnel begin a thorough search of the Carlton Reserve.
- 19 September 2021, remains are found, Gabby’s body is identified on 21 September 2021, and a coroner determined the initial manner of death was homicide.
- 23 September 2021, an arrest warrant is issued for Brian in Wyoming, not for murder but for the unauthorized use of a debit card. By now, this case is a major news story across the world.
Date: Tuesday, 28 September 2021 (live, not recorded)
Length: 90+ minutes
Host/Facilitator: No host, open discussion and sharing, video watching
Platform: Zoom meeting
Sponsor: Conflict Science Institute
Session times: (US/EU/Africa/India): Tuesday, 9:00 a.m. Seattle (UTC -7) (11:00 a.m. in Dallas; noon in Miami; 5:00 p.m. in London; 7:00 p.m. in Cape Town; 9:00 p.m. in New Delhi; midnight in Bangkok.)