Forensic Evidence: The Case of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie


Madelyn Miel, Staff Writer

*Warning: Sensitive content

Recently, the case of Gabby Petito was officially closed by the FBI as of January 2022. The FBI was able to close the case because of the notebook that was found near Brian Laundrie’s remains. The book was recovered amongst other items on October 20, 2021.  If you haven’t heard of this case, check out Joseph Romano’s coverage of it!

When the FBI managed to recover Laundrie’s journal, they uncovered his suicide note. In this note, Laundrie admitted and claimed responsibility for killing his late partner, Gabby Petito. This was a huge finding as it finally gave both families closure and the ability for the FBI to close the case. The statement that the FBI released in regards to the findings in the notebook was, “a review of the notebook revealed written statements by Laundrie claiming responsibility for Ms. Petito’s death.”

In order to make the claim, the FBI had to use many forensic science techniques to make sense of his journal due to the weather conditions where the evidence was discovered. Even though the conditions were terrible, the notebook had some protection as pages stuck together and preserved the handwriting. From there, forensic scientists could recover the pages. This process can take many weeks to months, as seen in this case. As a result, the official findings and claim of his note wasn’t available until recently. Other forensic science processes were used throughout the case such as identifying Ms. Petito and Laundrie’s remains. It was also used to identify the cause of death. 


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