GABBY Petito’s mom wants fugitive fiance Brian Laundrie jailed for the rest of his life after initially believing her daughter would have been safe with him.
In a heartbreaking interview that laid bare her devastation and anger, mom Nichole Schmidt slammed Laundrie as a “coward” who “knows what he is doing”.
The young couple had been on a cross-country road trip in their camper van when Laundrie suddenly returned home to Florida in the vehicle but without Gabby[/caption]
Vlogger Gabby, 22, went on the adventure of a lifetime across the country with her 23-year-old Laundrie, but only he returned home.
After hiring a lawyer and refusing to talk, he then vanished too — five days before Gabby’s remains were found in a shallow grave in Bridger–Teton National Forest in Wyoming.
He is now wanted by police with a manhunt launched in Florida where he was known to camp in the past.
Now, in an interview with 60 minutes, Gabby’s mom Nichole said: “He is a coward. “I just want to get him in a cell for the rest of his life
“I don’t want to say he is insane or anything, he went home, he’s hiding, he used her credit card.
“I mean, that’s not someone who has gone crazy. He knows what he is doing.”
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Before Gabby set off on her intrepid road trip across the United States, she had warned her to keep safe.
But she said: “I felt safe because she was with Brian and felt she would be OK. I thought he would take care of her.”
Almost every day, Nichole said Gabby would text, Facetime, or send her pictures to her parents.
She said: “I loved getting the updates and was in awe with what she was doing. It was just amazing.”
Indeed, they appeared to be having an amazing time in the videos and pictures they posted on Instagram and YouTube just weeks ago.
But Gabby’s family now believe all was not what it seemed.
Barely a month into their adventure of a lifetime, the couple were pulled over in Utah following a 911 call about a domestic dispute.
In bodycam footage, Gabby seemed upset.
I hope she did not suffer and she was not in any pain
Mon Nichole Schmidt
Yet after questioning the couple, they decided to split them up for a night
Nichole said: “It is just hard to watch. I just wanted to jump through the screen and rescue her.
“I saw a young girl who needed someone to just hug her and keep her safe. I just felt so bad for her. I wished she would have reached out to me.”
The next day the pair continued on their trip and a week later posted a YouTube video which they called Van Life: Beginning Our Van Life Journey, showing them laughing and kissing.
On August 24 they were seen leaving a hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah.
It was the last time Gabby was seen alive.
Nichole said: “I hope she did not suffer and she was not in any pain. That she was in a place she wanted to be, looking at the beautiful mountains.”
She was visibly sobbing in the video[/caption]
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.
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