Front Burner

The mystery surrounding Gabby Petito

Katie Rosman of the New York Times discusses the internet’s obsession with the murder of Gabby Petito and the online sleuths trying to crack the case.
This police camera video provided by Utah police shows Gabby Petito talking to a police officer on Aug. 12, 2021, after they pulled over the van she was travelling in with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, near the entrance to Arches National Park. (The Moab Police Department via AP)

Back in July, 22-year-old Gabby Petito and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, set off from Long Island, New York, on a planned months-long journey across the United States in a camper van, sharing their adventures on social media. Earlier this month, Laundrie returned to his home in Florida — alone. This week, Petito's body was found in Wyoming, and her death was ruled a homicide. Police have turned their attention to the search for Laundrie, who's also now missing. 

Today on Front Burner, we talk to Katie Rosman of the New York Times about why this particular case has triggered hundreds of amateur online sleuths to try to get to the bottom of it.