Gabby Petito: Police Condemned For Letting Brian Laundrie ‘Slip Through Their Fingers’

by : Hannah Smith on : 20 Sep 2021 16:36

Police involved in investigating Gabby Petito’s disappearance are being criticised for failing to monitor her partner’s whereabouts, after it was confirmed yesterday that a body believed to be that of the YouTuber has been found.

Social media has reacted with shock and sadness at news of the discovery, and frustration at the failure to keep tabs on her boyfriend Brian Laundrie, who has been missing since Tuesday, September 14.

Gabby Petito (Gabby Petito/Instagram)Gabby Petito/Instagram

Laundrie is understood to have returned to Florida on September 1 with the van he and Petito had been travelling in, roughly a week after Petito last spoke with her family and 10 days before she was formally reported missing.

He was reported missing by his attorney last week after refusing to speak with police officers or Petito’s family about her disappearance, and in recent days a search effort for Laundrie has been ongoing in a nature reserve nearby his family home.

The handling of the case so far has come under fire from a number of experts who have claimed Laundrie should have been ‘immediately’ surveilled, with former acting chief of the New York City Administration for Children’s Services Ed Gavin telling the New York Post, ‘They should’ve been all over him. The fact that they let him out of their sight, that’s a no-no. Time is of the essence with these investigations.’

Gabby Petito and boyfriend Brian Laundrie (Gabby Petito/Instagram)Gabby Petito/Instagram

People have also pointed to law enforcement’s handling of a call made about a possible domestic violence incident involving the couple in Utah shortly before her disappearance, suggesting they failed to properly protect Petito and sided with Laundrie after separating the couple for a night.

The 23-year-old currently remains a ‘person of interest’ in the investigation, and has not been arrested or charged with a crime.

Following the news of the discovery in Wyoming, officers involved in the search for Laundrie announced this morning, September 20, that they had ‘suspended’ their search of the Carlton Reserve in Florida after having ‘exhausted all avenues’ in the area.


On Sunday, a spokesperson for North Port Police hit back at criticism of their handling of the investigation, telling the Post, ‘These guys are full of s**t, we have a missing person case and we don’t have anyone to talk to and we don’t have any evidence of a crime on a case that’s outside our jurisdiction.’

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Hannah Smith

Hannah is a London-based journalist covering news and features for UNILAD. She's especially interested in social and political activism.

Topics: News, Brian Laundrie, Gabby Petito


New York Post
  1. New York Post

    Handling of Gabby Petito case under scrutiny as hunt for Brian Laundrie continues