Family of Gabby Petito Speaks Out in New Documentary Airing Friday

Gabby Petito
Gabby Petito in police body cam footage from a traffic stop before she was killed.Handout

"The Murder of Gabby Petito: Truth, Lies and Social Media," will begin streaming on Peacock Friday.

The family of Gabby Petito speaks about her disappearance and death in an upcoming documentary.

"The Murder of Gabby Petito: Truth, Lies and Social Media," will begin streaming Friday on Peacock.

Petito's parents and step-parents are seen reflecting on her life and sharing childhood memories of the 22-year-old's upbringing.

The young woman vanished while on a cross-country road trip with 23-year-old fiancé, Brian Laundrie. She chronicled the couple's journey on social media as the couple traveled western states in her white camper van. Her mother reported her missing on Sept. 11, after not being able to reach her on the phone.

The case quickly became an international obsession, with armchair detectives bombarding social media with opinions and theories about what happened to her. 

On Sept. 21, Petito's body was found in Wyoming. An autopsy determined her cause of death was strangulation.

Fueling that internet fire was the strange behavior of Laundrie, who returned alone in Petito's van to his parents' home in Florida, where he was then reported missing. After a monthlong search, his remains were found Oct. 20 in a nature preserve. A coroner ruled his cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

"It's still unbelievable," Petito's mother, Nichole Schmidt, says in the documentary. "I don't understand it."

The film also includes interviews with journalists who covered the story and social media posters who spent hours dissecting the case.

"It was like every parents' nightmare," Gabby's stepfather, Jim Schimdt, says onscreen. "Just like, in a flash of second. She's gone, she's missing."

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