A friend of both Gabby Petito, 22, and Brian Laundrie, 23, told the New York Post “They were different. Not necessarily bad, but not like everyone else. Because of that they sort of clicked.”
The ill-fated couple met each other when they both went to Bayport Blue Point High School in Long Island. At the time Petito was still a sophomore and Laundrie was a junior.
The friend said they found their connection as both were “loners” who sometimes would struggle to fit in.
They lived only two miles away from each other. But the Laundries later moved to North Port, Florida somewhere in 2017. Petito left her homeland and joined the Laundries in their 10,000-square-foot home two years later.
Nichole Schmidt, Petito’s mother, remembered her daughter as “a free spirit” who would barely go anywhere alone without her family or friends.
Rose Davis, Petito’s best friend said that Laundrie, on the other hand, did not have friends and instead spent his time reading books.
As of July 2, 2020, Petito announced their engagement on Instagram. They would have been married if it were not for the pandemic that disrupted their beach celebration.
Mrs. Schmidt believed the unexpected postponement gave the pair a slight review of their decision.
“I think they kind of put that on hold just because they felt it was a little fast,” she told the Daily Mail in an interview. “They were excited at first, but then they were like, let’s just wait, we’re very young. So they were really just boyfriend and girlfriend.”
Exactly one year after their announced engagement, Petito and Laundrie embarked on the cross-country trip together, with the 22-year-old aspiring to become a travel influencer.
The happy couple met their tragic endpoint soon.
Petito was found dead of manual strangulation at least three weeks before officials could locate her body in a Wyoming park on Sept. 19. Laundrie’s skeletal remains were found on Oct. 20, five weeks after he disappeared to the Carlton Reserve before his fiance’s corpse was discovered.
It was known that the couple had a conflict on Aug. 12 when they were in Moab, Utah. The dispute called the attention of the local police.
It was when Petito said they were fighting because Laundrie did not believe she could make it as a van-blogger.
With neither of them alive to recount what had stepped in between them during the weeks away from home, all that was left were speculations and pain for their families.