Friends of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie are coming out of the woodwork and claiming that the couple's relationship history was toxic from the start. Petito's tragic story has captured the nation and the internet after she was found dead in the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area in Wyoming after she was initially reported missing on a cross-country van trip with her boyfriend Brian Laundrie.
An initial autopsy report has ruled her death as a homicide. Authorities are currently searching for Laundrie, who went missing last week. Laundrie has been named a person of interest in the case.
Many followers of this case suspect that Laundrie was Petito's killer due to his behavior before and after she was reported missing. In a 911 call made on Aug. 12, a witness claimed to report a domestic dispute between Laundrie and Petito. The caller reported to 911 that they had seen Laundrie slapping Petito.
An hour-long bodycam video from the Moab police department was captured of the Aug. 12 police stop of Laundrie and Petito. The footage has been another piece of the Petito case that has been widely scrutinized online. Petito appears to be upset and anxious for the duration of the bodycam video and can be seen apologizing and crying to the cop speaking to her. Petito states in the video that she has OCD and that she and Laundrie had been "fighting all morning."
Laundrie appears to joke with one of the other cops on the scene that Petito is "crazy." The Moab police come to the conclusion that Petito is the aggressor in the incident because she admits to slapping Laundrie. However, Petito does not mention to the police whether Laundrie had slapped her before the police pulled the couple over. No charges were filed.
Laundrie's behavior in the bodycam footage — including the fact that he initially lied to the police on the scene about having a cell phone only to pull a phone out of his pocket in the same video — and the 911 call led many viewers to assume that Laundrie may have been abusing and gaslighting Petito.
At what point during Petito's and Laundrie's relationship did things start to deteriorate?
Friends of the couple have recently provided a vital clue to the couple's relationship history.
Petito's close friend says Laundrie stole Petito's ID at one point in the couple's relationship history.
Rose Davis was a close friend of Petito's in Florida. She recalled in an interview with The Daily Mail how Laundrie allegedly stole Petito's ID on a night the two women had planned to go out line-dancing. Davis also said that Laundrie had "jealousy issues," and that Petito would frequently stay over at her house so she didn't have to deal with one of Laundrie's "episodes," during which he would "hear things and hear voices and wouldn't sleep."
Davis said that she and Petito would frequently share their locations with each other via an iPhone app for safety's sake. She also said that when Laundrie found out about the app, he made Petito delete it.
Davis and Petito had reportedly planned to meet this year on Davis's birthday (Aug. 29) at Yellowstone National Park. Davis says she never heard from Petito. The incident correlates to the suspected three-day window from Aug. 27–30 during which investigators suspect Petito was murdered.
"He was always worried she was going to leave him," Davis stated in the interview. "It was a constant thing to try to get us to stop hanging out."
Another friend of Laundrie's revealed that the couple's relationship wasn't healthy, even when they were teenagers.
Ben Matula, a friend of Laundrie's, spoke to People about how the couple's relationship was never near as idyllic as it appeared on social media. Matula knew Laundrie and Petito when they were all teenagers living in Long Island, NY. Although Matula said the couple "always had some drama," as teenagers, he said that the Laundrie being portrayed in the media isn't "the guy [he] knew."
Matula agreed that Laundrie's behavior after Petito was initially reported missing was "shady."
When Matula did interact with Laundrie and Petito in New York, he said: "One minute, they'd be all over each other, the next minute, [Laundrie would] be like, 'We're fighting.'"
Alyssa Chen, another friend of Petito's, spoke out in the same interview with People about the toxicity and inconsistency of the relationship between Laundrie and Petito.
"They had times they were toxic and times where everything seemed a lot more healthy. They had very low lows and very high highs."
Police and investigators are still searching for Laundrie. An alleged suspect has yet to be named for Petito's death.
If you have information about Brian Laundrie's disappearance, you can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS, the North Port Police Department at 941-429-7382, or the FBI Tampa Field Office at 1-800-CALL-FBI