One Month Since Gabby Petito Was Reported Missing, Multiple Questions Remain Unanswered

One month ago, Gabby Petito's mother reported her daughter as missing in Suffolk County, New York. As the hunt for her daughter's killer continues, multiple questions remain unanswered.

Petito's partner Brian Laundrie is missing and has been named as a person of interest in her death. She was declared missing on September 11, 10 days after not returning from a cross-country tour of national parks with Laundrie. She was found dead in a national park in Wyoming on September 19.

Petito was last seen alive in Grand Teto, Wyoming, on a cross-country road trip with Laundrie, on August 25. She was found dead in Grand Teto National Park on September 19, and officials have ruled that her death was a homicide.

Where is Brian Laundrie?

In the third week of the manhunt for Laundrie, there is much speculation about where he might be.

Laundrie's parents, who live in North Fort, Florida, initially said they last saw their son on September 14, telling authorities at the time they believed he was heading to the Carlton Reserve nearby to hike or camp. They later changed that date to September 13.

Josh Taylor, the North Port Police spokesperson, told CNN on October 8 that "no physical signs" of Laundrie had been found in the Carlton Reserve.

However, investigators have extended the search to North Carolina, after a hiker said he thought he had spoken with Laundrie along the border of Tennessee and North Carolina on the Appalachian Trail at around 12.30 am on October 2.

Is Brian Laundrie still alive?

Police on Sunday said there was a 50/50 chance Laundrie was still alive.

One expert said it is "highly unlikely" Laundrie is still alive if he was still in the Carlton Reserve. Robert Urban, founder and instructor of Urban Survival Academy, told CNN that it was highly unlikely Laundrie was alive without the use of professional survival tactics, as Florida's climate is difficult to survive in. However, he may be hiding in another state.

How and when did Gabby Petito die?

Although officials have ruled her death to be a homicide, the cause of death has not been confirmed as the results of the autopsy are still pending.

A former chief forensic pathologist for New York State Police said that it was "very unusual" that the FBI decided not to share the cause of Petito's death before the cause. Dr. Michael Baden spoke with Fox News on Tuesday. Baden previously served as chief medical examiner in New York City and chief forensic pathologist for the New York State Police, said that divulging the information this way was the "reverse" of what agencies typically do in releasing the manner of death before the cause.

We don't know exactly when Petito died, but her mother Nichole Schmidt, said the last text message she received from her daughter came on August 30.

Where is Brian Laundrie's phone?

An attorney for the Laundries said that after Brian returned to North Port, Florida, without Petito, "a phone was purchased on September 4, 2021, and he opened an account with AT&T for that phone."

Laundrie was spotted "with an older woman" inside one of the cell phone stores, though the woman was not identified, TMZ reported.

Laundrie's lawyer has said the phone is not a burner, a cheap mobile phone designed for temporary use, which can easily be discarded.

Why did Laundrie's parents change their story about when they last saw their son?

On October 5, the Laundrie family attorney said that they now believe they last saw their son on September 13, changing the timeline from what they previously told investigators to a day earlier.

It is not known why Laundrie's parents changed the date of when they last saw their son, whether saying a different date initially was accidental or intentional.

However, North Port Police spokesperson Josh Taylor, who is searching for Laundrie, told NewsNation on Saturday: "What the family has told us is that he drove out to the park and walked out into the woods."

"I don't necessarily know what to believe anymore. I think it's certainly possible that they're expressing what they know, but we'll see. This is an ongoing investigation that will continue to evolve."

The interviewer mentioned that Laundrie reportedly drove his Mustang to the Carlton reserve and his parents reportedly drove it back.

"We've said from the beginning there's a lot of oddness here, a lot of things that just didn't make sense," Taylor said.

"I mean your son walks out there, now they're saying on a Monday, you know, to report that on a Friday, and then be confused on what day that was. I mean there are a lot of things that are odd there," he added.

However, Laundrie's father Chris Laundrie joined the search for his son on October 7, suggesting the family could be cooperating with law enforcement.

Why did the Laundries go camping, ignoring several requests for help by the Petitos?

In an interview on the Today show that aired on October 6, Petito's parents said when they stopped hearing from Gabby, their first calls and texts were to Brian Laundrie's parents. They said the Laundries never replied.

It has been reported that the Laundries had gone camping on September 6 and September 7, but questions can be raised about why they allegedly did not respond to desperate phone calls and text messages from the Petitos.

Will Laundrie be charged in connection to Petito's death?

Laundrie has an active warrant out for his arrest on fraud charges for allegedly using someone's bank card and PIN around the time his fiancée disappeared. The FBI did not say who the card belonged to or did not reveal the nature of the charges made on the card.

If he is found alive, Laundrie will be charged with fraud. Law enforcement has not charged him in connection with Petito's murder.

Gabby Petito Bodycam (For Video)
A body cam photo of Gabby Petito from August 12. As the hunt for her killer continues, multiple questions remain unaswered. Associated Press