Approximately five months after Gabby Petito's murder, the killer has officially been identified as Brian Laundrie.

On Friday (Jan. 21), the FBI confirmed that Brian confessed to murdering Gabby in a journal entry. Brian killed Gabby during the couple's cross-country road trip this past summer.

It is not known what exactly Brian wrote in the journal, however, according to the FBI's report, the notebook “revealed written statements by Mr. Laundrie claiming responsibility for Ms. Petito’s death.”

The notebook was discovered in Florida's Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in October. It was found near Laundrie's remains and a revolver. Brian's death was previously ruled a suicide, according to the Laundrie family's lawyer.

The FBI also confirmed that it was Brian who sent text messages between his and Gabby's cell phones in the days after Gabby was strangled to death, in an attempt to "deceive law enforcement by giving the impression Ms. Petito was still alive."

FBI Denver Division Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider said in a statement that "the investigation did not identify any other individuals other than Brian Laundrie directly involved in the tragic death of Gabby Petito."

"The FBI’s primary focus throughout the investigation was to bring justice to Gabby and her family," he continued. "The public’s role in helping us in this endeavor was invaluable as the investigation was covered in the media around the world."

The Petito and Laundrie families have reached an agreement regarding how Gabby and Brian's belongings will be distributed among them.

Steven Bertolino, attorney for the Laundrie family, issued a public statement following the FBI's release of their report.

"Gabby and Brian are no longer with their families and this tragedy has caused enormous emotional pain and suffering to all who loved either or both of them," Bertolino said. "We can only hope that with today’s closure of the case each family can begin to heal and move forward and find peace in and with the memories of their children. May Gabby and Brian both rest in peace."

Gabby went missing in August while on a road trip across the country with Brian. She was reported missing by her family on Sept. 11 after neither Brian nor the Laundrie family responded to multiple text messages and phone calls from Gabby's mother, Nicole Schmidt, who could not reach her daughter.

Brian returned to his parents' home on Sept. 1 without Gabby. He became the sole person of interest in the case before he disappeared. His remains were discovered in the local nature preserve on Oct. 20.

Stars We Lost in 2021

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