Brian Laundrie wrote in a notebook found with his remains that he killed fiancee Gabby Petito, the FBI said Friday, resolving a mystery that has lingered for months around the high-profile case.
Laundrie’s remains were found in Florida in October after a weekslong search. He went missing after returning from a cross-country trip with Petito, in which the pair planned to travel to national parks across the U.S.
Laundrie returned from the trip to Florida without Petito in September. Her body was later discovered in Wyoming in a remote area within the Grand Teton National Park. The FBI said she died of strangulation and blunt-force injuries to the head and neck.
During the nationwide search for Petito, Laundrie went missing after telling his family he was going for a hike in the Carlton Reserve, nearly 25,000 acres of land in southern Sarasota County, Fla.
Weeks later, authorities discovered his remains in the park. Officials also discovered a notebook and backpack.
The FBI said a review of the notebook included “written statements by Mr. Laundrie claiming responsibility for Ms. Petito’s death.”
“The investigation did not identify any other individuals other than Brian Laundrie directly involved in the tragic death of Gabby Petito,” FBI Denver Division Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider said in a written statement.
In the bureau’s investigation, agents also discovered Laundrie sent a series of text messages to Petito after her death in an attempt “to deceive law enforcement by giving the impression that Ms. Petito was still alive,” the FBI said.