Gabby Petito’s Cry for Help


Grace Dockery

As of June in 2021, Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito were a picture perfect couple. They set out on their cross-country trip where they would be living in Gabbys’ van traveling all along the west coast to all the national parks. A month into the trip, Brian proposed and the two posted on their social media accounts sharing their love. Brian and Gabby created a blog and often posted on Instagram to get their message across. The couple lived an organic and earth friendly lifestyle and they would encourage their followers to do so as well. In mid August, during their trip, a bystander called the police to report a domestic dispute between the two. He reported that Brian was slapping her and police officers were sent to the scene. Surprisingly, officers deemed Gabby the main aggressor while Brian walked away free. They called this “a mental health crisis”.

Gabby’s parents said that she was always good about keeping in touch with them during these trips. She would text them often and try to facetime them as much as she could. In late August, Gabby sent the text, “ no service, in Yosemite ”. Her parents knew that there was something wrong so due to their worries they called Brian as well as his parents. Both parties did not answer their phone calls or return any of their messages. Her parents learned that Brian went home to Florida on September 1st with Gabbys van but Gabby was still not heard from. On September 11th, Gabby was reported as a missing person by her parents. There were four police departments searching for her because of the many state lines they had crossed during their trip. The Laundie family did not aid in the search effort at all.

Brian, as well as his family, were silent in the media and to the Petito family. All words that were spoken on their behalf were made by an attorney. The Petito family made a heart retching press release where they begged the Laundrie family to do anything that they can to help. Not long after that, the parents of Brian called the police and asked them to come to their home. Upon arrival, police were informed that Brian left the family home on September 14th to go hiking and never came back. Five days later, police found a body which was identified as

Gabby Petito and the autopsy revealed that her death was a result of a homicide. Once the body was found, the FBI issued a federal arrest warrant on Laundrie. As of now, September 30th, there have been no further updates and Brian has still not been found.

Gabby was a beautiful, young and vibrant soul who lived her life to the fullest. She was a travel blogger who just wanted to share her appreciation and passion for nature. Her friends and family were always so close to her even though she would go away on cross-country road trips often. Gabby’s family has said that all they want to do now is offer support and help for other people in similar situations. They stated in a press release that many police stations have actually reopened missing persons cases due to her disappearance and the nationwide outrage that it caused.

Gabby was trapped in a toxic relationship where she didn’t have the means to get out of it. It’s important for people who are in Gabbys’ situation now to reach out and ask for help. The police were too late in this case, but providing officers with more mental health training would be so beneficial. Police are not entirely at fault, but if they were able to identify what mental health disorders look like and how to aid the public dealing with them, the world would be left with less hate.