Newly released surveillance footage shows Gabby Petito walking around a Whole Foods supermarket with her would-be killer, Brian Laundrie, just hours before he strangled her and dumped her body in the woods.
It picks up shortly after the couple left the Merry Piglets Tex-Mex restaurant nearby following a public argument between Laundrie, 23, and three female staffers, which Petito ultimately apologized for.
They could be seen parking Petito’s white Ford Transit van in the parking lot at around 2.11pm, sitting in the car for a minute, before Laundrie gets out of the driver’s side and slams the door. He then approaches the rear of the van, grabbing a baseball cap from the back compartment.
At that point, Petito steps into view from around the passenger’s side, apparently still upset at Laundrie over the scene he caused at the restaurant earlier, with her arms crossed in front of her.
Laundrie meanwhile, has his hands in his pocket, with his face hidden under the hat and obscured behind sunglasses.
Footage from inside the supermarket, meanwhile, shows the couple perusing the aisles as they made their way through the store for about 15 minutes.
Petito could be seen grabbing some items as she wandered the store, and putting them into a white duffel bag.
Once their shopping is completed about 40 minutes later, the couple could be seen returning to their van and heading onto Highway 89, which leads directly to the Bridger-Teton National Forest Campsite — where Petito’s remains would be found three weeks later.
Gabby Petito, 22, and Brian Laundrie, 23, were caught on surveillance footage entering a Jackson, Wyoming Whole Foods store on August 27, 2021 — the day Petito was last seen alive
Once their shopping trip was complete about 40 minutes later, they got back in Petito’s Ford Transit van and headed onto Highway 89, which leads directly to the Bridger-Teton National Forest Campsite — where Petito’s remains would be found three weeks later
The outing came as the couple made their way through the country in Petito’s Ford Transit, getting stopped along the way by police who thought Laundrie may be abusive and causing a scene at a Jackson Tex-Mex restaurant.
Witnesses say Laundrie berated wait staff at the Merry Piglets restaurant during an argument over the bill, before he angrily left the restaurant, only to return four times.
Petito eventually went back into the restaurant to apologize for his behavior.
Merry Piglets officials later posted on Instagram: ‘Yes, we can confirm Gabby and Brian were in Merry Piglets.
‘We have already notified the FBI and they are aware,’ the restaurateurs wrote while Petito was still considered a missing person. ‘We are letting them do their jobs and we are respecting Gabby’s family and have nothing further to comment.’
Footage from inside the supermarket shows the couple perusing the aisles as they made their way through the store for about 15 minutes
Petito, 22, could be seen grabbing various items and putting them in a reusable duffle bag
After about 40 minutes, the couple left the store to return to Petito’s van
Another witness came forward over the summer to claim he saw Laundrie ‘swing’ at Petito with a ‘closed fist’ during a fight in Wyoming just days before her death.
Chandler, 26, who asked to go only by his first name, told The Sun he was stopped at a red light when he noticed Laundrie striking Petito outside of Moonflower Community Cooperative in Wyoming on August 12, 2021.
He insisted that Laundrie was the aggressive one and hit Petito with ‘a closed fist.’
‘It was kind of like a slapping motion, but with a closed fist,’ he told The Sun. ‘They were kind of yelling and then Brian swung at her, I believe it was his left hand.’
He also recalled seeing the couple fighting near the back passenger-side tire when Laundrie lightly swung at Petito, striking her in the face and causing her to fall back against the white van.
‘She definitely felt it [the hit],’ Chandler told The Sun. ‘When she hit into the van, she pretty much hit her back and probably the back of her head.’
From there, the pair started reportedly yelling at each other before Laundrie walked away and his girlfriend followed.
Chandler, who was ‘very much’ shocked by the encounter he witnessed, kept driving after he saw other locals approach the couple.
A third witness then called 911 and reported they saw Laundrie slap Petito before they both climbed into the van and took off.
It was also reported that Laundrie had attempted to prevent Petito from getting back into the van.
‘They were talking aggressively [at] each other [and] something definitely seemed off,’ the witness, identified only as Christopher in a statement, obtained by Fox News, wrote.
‘At one point, they were sort of fighting over a phone – I think the male took the female’s phone. It appeared that he didn’t want her in the white van.’
A witness claims he saw Brain Laundrie ‘swing’ at Gabby Petito with a ‘closed fist’ during a fight outside of Moonflower in Wyoming on August 12, 2021. Petito (pictured then) told officers he had ‘grabbed’ her face and she had slapped him a ‘couple of times’
The witness, Chandler, who only went by his first name, 26, said he saw Laundrie (pictured on August 12, 2021) hit her, but admitted it wasn’t a hard hit, but she ‘definitely felt it’
Moab Police – which is facing a $50million lawsuit from Petito’s family – caught up with the van life couple shortly after and separated the two to ask what happened.
In body-cam footage, Petito was seen telling officers that Laundrie had ‘grabbed’ her, but insisted that she ‘slapped’ him first.
An officer could be seen gently pointing to the young woman’s cheek and asking if he could ‘see the other side of your face,’ which appeared slightly bruised.
She claimed the ‘backpack got me’ as she had climbed back into the van, but when the officer insisted ‘two independent witnesses’ had claimed Laundrie had hit her and that there was a domestic dispute, she changed her story.
Petito stated: ‘Well, to be honest, I hit him first.’
She admitted to slapping him a ‘couple of times’ because he ‘told me to shut up.’
Petito then told officers back in August 2021 that she ‘guessed he hit her,’ but again insisted she hit him first.
‘He grabbed my face,’ she admitted. ‘He didn’t, like, hit me, he didn’t, like, punch me in the face.’
When asked if Laundrie had slapped her, she replied: ‘He grabbed my face with his nail. I definitely have a cut right now, I can feel it.’
Petito’s family is now planning to sue the Moab Police Department for wrongful death after the cops who pulled the couple over failed to see she was in a dangerous situation.
The $50 million notice of claim contends police in the tourist town of Moab missed signs that Petito was the victim of domestic violence at the hands of Laundrie.
‘If the officers had been properly trained and followed the law, Gabby would still be alive today,’ said attorney James McConkie in a statement announcing the filing of the notice of claim.
Notices of claims are required before people can sue government entities and the family’s claim said that the lawsuit will seek $50 million in damages.
Gabby’s remains were ultimately discovered on September 19, 2021, in an isolated spot in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming.
The couple embarked on a cross-country road trip from Laundrie’s parents home in Florida
Gabby’s remains were ultimately discovered on September 19, 2021, in an isolated spot in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming
The pair had been traveling on a cross-country trip together, starting on July 2, when they left New York. Petito was reported missing on September 11
The young couple set off on an adventure from New York State, where her mother lives, in early July and headed West.
However, on September 1, Laundrie arrived back at the his family home in Florida on his own in Gabby’s white Ford van. Eleven days later Gabby’s mother reported her missing after last having contact in a phone call on August 25.
Hours after Gabby’s mom raised the alarm, North Port Police hauled the white van out of the Laundrie’s driveway and took it off for forensic examination.
Officers asked to speak to Laundrie at the house, but were told by his parents he wasn’t available. It is not known if the killer was inside at the time.
Laundrie then went missing in Carlton Reserve, sparking a massive hunt involving local police, the FBI and at least two sheriff’s departments.
His parents initially told police he vanished on September 14 to go hiking in the reserve, but later changed this to a day earlier.
His body was eventually found in the swamp on October 20 after his parents joined law enforcement there.
After Petito was reported missing, Brian Laundrie went missing himself
Laundrie’s waterlogged journal, where he confessed to the murder of Petito
Laundrie left behind a notebook that authorities said contained a confession.
He apparently admitted in the journal that he strangled Petito as the result of an ‘unexpected tragedy’ in Grand Teton National Park, in which Gabby fell into a creek and injured herself on their road trip last summer.
He even began the notebook with a personal message addressed to Gabby, in which he claimed: ‘I wish I could be at your side, I wish I could be talking to you right now.’
Laundrie claimed he battled to comfort Gabby, who was deteriorating, crying in pain and shivering from constant cold.
But eventually he killed her, writing: ‘I don’t know the extent of Gabby’s injuries, only that she was in extreme pain.
‘I ended her life. I thought it was merciful, that it is what she wanted, but I see now all the mistake that I made. I panicked. I was in shock. But from the moment I decided, took away her pain.’
His notebook was found in a dry bag beside his body on October 20 last year after he fled to the alligator-infested Carlton Reserve near North Port, Florida.