The FBI has said that information written in the notebook found near Brian Laundrie’s body in a remote Florida nature preserve reveals that he admits responsibility for Gabby Petito’s death.
While not pointing to anything specific that he had written, the FBI’s final update on the investigation said that they discovered “written statements by Mr. Laundrie claiming responsibility for Ms. Petito’s death” in the notebook recovered near his remains in the Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County, Florida.
No one else appeared to have been involved in the death of Petito, the agency said in what it called its final investigative update into Petito’s disappearance and death, which sparked national headlines and a massive social media following after the 22-year-old went missing in September.
The final report also indicated that investigators believe Laundrie used Petito’s cellphone multiple times after her death, sending text messages between her phone and his in order to try to deceive law enforcement and give the impression that she was still alive.
According to the FBI, investigators also believe Laundrie used Petito’s debit card on his trip back from Wyoming to his family’s home in Florida.
Calling this their “final update,” FBI officials said they did not expect to release any more information about the case.
“All logical investigative steps have been concluded in this case,” Michael Schneider, FBI Denver Division special agent in charge, said in a statement. “The FBI’s primary focus throughout the investigation was to bring justice to Gabby and her family.”
Meanwhile, in a related story, Laundrie and Petito were cleared of any involvement in the double murder of two campers found dead in the same area where Petito and Laundrie were last seen alive together and fighting.
Kylen Schulte, 24, and her 38-year-old wife, Crystal Turner, were found shot to death at a campsite in the city of Moab on Aug. 18 after complaining about a “weirdo” and “creep” who had been camping near them.
Investigators in September revealed they were “actively looking” into possible connections between the double slay and the disappearance of Laundrie, 23, and his Long Island girlfriend Gabby Petito, 22, who were both still missing at the time.
However, recently, the FBI has officially ruled out Brian Laundrie as the killer and says it has identified unrelated “persons of interest” in the double slaying of the newlywed couple.
Neither the FBI nor Steven White, the local sheriff investigating the double-murder, would elaborate on what evidence ruled out a connection between the Petito case and this one but warned that continuing to spread those kinds of rumors can be “unhelpful to the criminal investigation, if not dangerous.”
White said the double-homicide investigation is “active and ongoing,” with ongoing help from federal agents.