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FBI Ends Petito Murder Case; It Began As 1 of 40K Missing Women

Brian Laundrie claimed responsibility for killing his fiancée, Gabby Petito, in a notebook that was found near his body, the FBI said. The statement marks the end of a murder investigation that attracted national attention.

“The investigation did not identify any other individuals other than Brian Laundrie directly involved in the tragic death of Gabby Petito,” said agent Michael Schneider in Denver, the Wall Street Journal reports. Petito, a 22-year-old and New York native, was reported missing by her family in September after Laundrie returned home from the couple’s cross-country road trip without her. Her body was found in a remote part of the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming; a coroner determined she was strangled. Laundrie committed suicide in a Florida nature reserve. The FBI said Laundrie sent several text messages to Petito’s telephone after her death, apparently to give the impression she was alive. The widespread attention on Petito’s missing-person’s case and death was debated as many advocates said missing-person cases involving people of color often don’t receive the same consideration. There were more than 40,000 missing women in the U.S. at the end of 2020, according to National Crime Information Center statistics. Nearly 21,000 missing women were categorized as white, which includes both Hispanic and non-Hispanic white women. Around 14,000 were Black, 927 were Asian and 578 Native Americans. The statistics but don’t represent all missing persons because local law-enforcement officials aren’t required to submit missing persons reports for people above age.

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