— 20/20 (@ABC2020) October 29, 2021
SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida, Oct. 29, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — ABC will air a “20/20” special entitled “Life on Line: The Last Days of Gabby Petito” Friday night.
The program is set to air at 8 p.m. MT. “Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie captured national attention when the two left for a cross-country adventure, but only Laundrie returned,” the 20/20 website says. “Throughout their travels, the couple let others into their seemingly happy world via social media, but behind the cameras, a much darker story played out. Laundrie returned to his family’s Florida residence, without his fiancé, and Petito’s family demanded answers about her whereabouts. When Laundrie vanished, the attention intensified as internet sleuths who helped crack the case wide open investigated and theorized, garnering over one billion views on TikTok for #GabbyPetito.”
The two-hour “20/20” reports on the details leading to the discovery of Laundrie’s remains last week, and poses questions about what’s next, the website says.
“Through interviews with Jim Winder, who is the former Moab, Utah, police chief, experts on body language, and legal analysts, the program breaks down the viral body camera footage from the couple’s police stop in Moab, days before Petito disappeared,” the website goes on. “’20/20′ features interviews with Miranda Baker, a young woman who gave a hitchhiking Laundrie a ride in Wyoming; Jenn Bethune, who found the couple’s missing van and called the FBI; Jason Jensen, a private investigator and co-founder of the Cold Case Coalition who searched Grand Teton National Park with his cadaver dog; and Mykel Hawke, a retired special forces combat veteran and survival expert who takes ’20/20′ cameras through the dangerous swamps of the Carlton Reserve in Florida.”
Remains found in Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in Florida Oct. 20 were confirmed as Laundrie’s and were sent to an anthropologist “for further evaluation” after autopsy results came back inconclusive, the family’s attorney Steven Bertolino said Monday. The entrance to Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park is about five miles north of the Laundrie family home.
“No manner or cause of death was determined,” Bertolino, said a statement to NBC News.
Bertolino said he was not given a timeline for when the anthropologist will conclude the evaluation of the remains.
North Port, Florida, police said that the remains found were skeletal; senior law enforcement officials also said the remains included a portion of a human skull.
The FBI said Laundrie’s remains had been under 2 to 3 feet of water up until recently.
FBI Tampa gave a statement to the media concerning the developments in the search for Laundrie, 23, on Oct. 20.
FBI Tampa Division Special Agent in Charge Michael McPherson said: “Earlier today, investigators found what appears to be human remains, along with personal items such as a backpack and notebook belonging to Brian Laundrie. These items were found in an area that up until recently had been under water. Our evidence response team is on scene using all available forensic resources to process the area.”
Immediately after McPherson gave his statement, a crowd of individuals gathered at the site of the press conference chanted: “Justice for Gabby…”
On Friday, Sept. 17, Laundrie’s parents told the FBI that their son went to the Carlton Reserve near the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park that Tuesday, Sept. 14, but never returned home. They later said that, in fact, they last saw their son Sept. 13.
The North Port Police Department and the FBI then conducted an exhaustive search in the 24,565-acre nature reserve for Laundrie.
Laundrie was the only person of interest in the disappearance of 22-year-old Gabby Petito. The couple, who shared a home with Laundrie’s parents in Florida, had been traveling across the western U.S., including stops in Utah, before Petito’s disappearance near the end of August.
On Tuesday, Oct. 12, it was determined that Petito died of strangulation, Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue announced.
“We find the cause of death by strangulation, and the manner is homicide,” Blue said at a news conference.
Blue said his estimate is that Petito, 22, died three to four weeks before her body was found. Three to four weeks before Petito’s body was discovered would have been in the approximate time period of Aug. 21 through 28.
Laundrie returned home on Sept. 1, driving Petito’s van, but without her. Petito was reported missing on Sept. 11.
On Sept. 19, FBI agents found the remains believed to be Petito’s in an area where the couple had been camping in Grand Teton National Park.
Officials confirmed on Sept. 21 the human remains found in the national park were those of the missing woman.
Though authorities have not explicitly connected Laundrie to Petito’s death, they had been looking for him, in part over a federal arrest warrant accusing him of illegally using another person’s debit card. That card belonged to Petito, investigators say.
Anyone who may have any information regarding the case is asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI.
Gephardt Daily will have more on this story as information is made available.