Gabby Petito’s family reflected on her life and disappearance in a chilling new teaser for the upcoming Peacock documentary streaming on December 17.
“It was like every parent’s nightmare,” Gabby’s stepfather, Jim Schimdt, said in a sneak peek clip of The Murder of Gabby Petito: Truth, Lies and Social Media released by E! News on Monday, December 13. “Just like, in a flash of second. She’s gone, she’s missing.”
“It’s still unbelievable,” Gabby’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, added later in the video with teary eyes. “I don’t understand it.”
The Murder of Gabby Petito: Truth, Lies and Social Media explores what happened in the months leading up to the case, showing the tense relationship between Gabby and her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, leading up to her disappearance. The engaged couple had been on a cross-country road trip before she went missing, chronicling their travels together in a “van life” blog on social media while driving around in a converted 2012 Ford Transit since July 2021.
Questions arose when he returned to the home he and Gabby shared with his parents in North Port, Florida, without his fiancée on September 1.
Brian, who became a person of interest in her disappearance on September 15, had last been seen on September 13 on a hike near his family’s property after they got back from a camping trip together. Brian’s parents reported their son missing on September 17.
The case came to a tragic end when authorities later discovered human remains that were consistent with the description of Gabby on September 19 near Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park.
On September 23, an arrest warrant was issued for Brian by the U.S. District Court of Wyoming in relation to his “activities following the death of Gabrielle Petito,” according to a press release tweeted by the official Twitter account of FBI Denver, referring to his use of a bank card belonging to Gabby.
After a weeks-long manhunt, the case took yet another turn when Brian’s remains were found at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park.
“The FBI and NPPD were informed last night of Brian’s parents’ intentions, and they met Chris and Roberta there this morning,” Laundrie family attorney Steve Bertolino told In Touch on October 20. “After a brief search off a trail that Brian frequented, some articles belonging to Brian were found. As of now, law enforcement is conducting a more thorough investigation of that area.”
The Pasco Sheriff’s Office later confirmed to In Touch that K9 dogs were “requested” by the North Port police to conduct a search of the area. A medical examiner and cadaver dog also showed up to the site that afternoon before FBI confirmed in a press conference that what appears to be human remains were found on the premises.
In November, it was announced that Brian died from a gunshot wound to the head and his manner of death was suicide, according to his family’s attorney.
Now, Gabby’s parents are still working through and mourning the tragic loss of their 22-year-old daughter, who died at least three weeks before her remains were found on September 19.
Gabby’s father, Joe Petito, reminisced on the past few months of his life in the teaser clip, revealing, “That time when we were looking for Gabby was a blur.” In the same interview, Gabby’s stepmother, Tara Petito, added that it was “horrific.”
The Murder of Gabby Petito: Truth, Lies and Social Media will be available to stream starting December 17.
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