The coronavirus has killed over 700k people in the US. But did the pandemic also lead, in a roundabout way, to the ultimate fate suffered by Gabby Petito?
The 22-year-old was on a cross-country road trip with Brian Laundrie when she disappeared. The couple took off in a van on July 2 for a tour of some of the most beautiful spots around the country, something which they were documenting on their social media and in a new #VanLife-centric YouTube channel. As followers of the sad case know, the trip ended with Brian returning home in September with the van, but no Gabby. After a brief, harrowing search, her body was found — and it was officially ruled a homicide. Laundrie, who refused from the start to cooperate with the investigation, is now seemingly on the run from the authorities in one of the most discussed manhunts in recent history.
But apparently all of that almost never happened. Because the trip was not the original plan at all.
Gabby’s parents gave a group TV interview for Fox News on Thursday about their feelings on the case, their hopes for Brian to turn himself in, etc. Not too much more than they had to say in their very candid Dr. Phil conversation.
But at one point, her stepfather Jim Schmidt revealed something really interesting, a sort of sliding doors moment for his late stepdaughter: the couple’s whole #VanLife road trip only happened in the first place as a sort of consolation prize.
Initially, he said, they had planned on getting married. However, even the low-key beach wedding they wanted turned out to be too much of a danger in the age of COVID. So they “kind of put it on hold” and went on a sort of pre-honeymoon trip instead. It should have been a romantic bonding experience, but well, we all know how it turned out.
A post shared by Gabby (@gabspetito)
We can’t help but wonder if, had they been able to have their dream wedding, things might have turned out differently. We still don’t know what happened in the end, obviously. But we do know Gabby and Brian had some serious relationship trouble while on the road, leading to a confrontation violent enough to get the police called on them. We’ve also learned recently there were problems with money during their trip, something that can be extremely stressful.
Would Gabby be alive now if they had never set off on that trip? Would marrying Brian have been safer for her?
It’s all just speculation at this point… but let us know what YOU think in the comments (below).
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