Early this morning, Chattanooga Police reported to Road and Track that Brian Laundrie was released from jail. Mr. Laundrie is the last person we know of being with Gabrielle Petito on the night of her murder. He was found sleeping in his girlfriend’s truck outside her home on Druid Avenue at 2:00 AM this morning.
News has come in that Mr. Laundrie was staying at his girlfriend’s home when she found her friend missing. Police found her bank card open and that she had left her purse in his girlfriend’s bed. Mr. Laundrie did not know anything was wrong, so he drove to a bar called the Grog Spot on East Brainerd Road. At this time, police are not sure if Mr. Laundrie acted alone.
Chattanooga Police believe that Mr. Laundrie has left the Chattanooga area. They are following a multi-agency investigation now that has also come to involve both Muskogee County, Oklahoma and the Cherokee County, Oklahoma Police Departments. When we spoke with the team of Choo-Choo Crime Stoppers at this time, they told us they were starting up a suspect canvass in Muskogee County and had some people in their system who had some pretty substantial leads. News has also come in that police in Muskogee County have begun to take a closer look at a man they had initially described as a “person of interest.”
Officer Patterson updated reporters this morning that the body of Gabrielle Petito was found in a river. Sadly, she appears to have drowned and it was ruled a homicide.
Police Chief Eddie Keene also updated reporters this morning that he was continuing to serve an arrest warrant for Mr. Laundrie for stealing his girlfriend’s car. The car was found after her disappearance in Manilla, and the police believed that Mr. Laundrie could be somewhere there in Mexico. When we spoke with the police we were told that man would be extradited to the United States.
A few hours ago, Chief Keene gave an update from Muskogee County on the investigation into Gabrielle Petito’s murder. He said they now believe that Brian Laundrie is no longer in the area. During this morning’s conference, the police provided a breakdown of the cell phone records between Petito and Laundrie. Here are some highlights:
First, Petito checked into Davenport’s hotel at 9:40 PM, but Laundrie checked into hers, the home of Petito’s boyfriend, about 45 minutes later.
Laundrie made some purchases at a Speedway near West Brainerd Road and Pincus Avenue at 12:45 AM, and again at 4:30 AM.
A week prior to Gabrielle Petito’s disappearance, she called the police to report Laundrie had kidnapped her and kidnapped her mom from the home. Laundrie had left the area, and the police chased him. The department also put him on probation at the time and they said it was common knowledge that he stole their vehicles and that he is a violent offender.
Laundrie also sent a text at about 2:30 AM to Gabrielle Petito saying he was very sorry and that he had to go to prison for a long time. He had threatened to kill Petito’s mom and had placed her in a chokehold. Laundrie also changed her Facebook profile picture to a large picture of him and Petito.
“We believe that that person we’re looking for, Brian Laundrie, is considered a person of interest,” Chief Keene stated.
Chattanooga Police reports that their priority is to locate Mr. Laundrie. The police continue to post flyers in the area that Mr. Laundrie frequents. The chief said they are working on getting a warrant charging Mr. Laundrie with aggravated robbery, which is the charge that they believe is the most likely at this time.
You can contact the Chattanooga Police at 423-756-7111, the Crimes against Women Unit at 423-756-6713, Crime Stoppers at 423-756-7996 or the International Missing Persons Network at (888) 777-6284.