The former Australian Olympic swimming team member has been accused of lying about her murder, but where else could she have laid her story out?
With Brian Laundrie dead, here’s where else authorities could look for answers on what happened to Gabby Petito
After the sudden death of Australia’s longest-serving solicitor Brian Laundrie, Australia faces a new raft of unanswered questions as to why he was found dead at the bottom of a flight of stairs at his house in Melbourne on Friday.
The issue is a raft of allegations involving the death of Gabby Petito, a former Australian Olympic swimming team member who was formally accused by Laundrie of lying about her involvement in an attempted robbery.
• Petito was mentioned at the inquest into Scott Scantlebury’s death earlier this year. It found that the police had no evidence of a crime in Scantlebury’s death, but it did not find any evidence that Petito had invented her previous statement of being injured. Petito had described a robbery in which she said that $60 was stolen from her.
• Police later determined that Petito gave false statements to police. In court, she maintained that she hadn’t made any false statements. Petito has also alleged that the two were set up by her then-boyfriend, Connor Prude.
• Shortly after Laundrie’s death, Petito said she had agreed with Laundrie to turn her statement over to Victoria police “unless a case is developed against me and I can no longer defend myself legally”.
• In a statement to Guardian Australia, Petito said: “I completely refute the allegation that I am lying.”
She continued: “If I was to plead guilty to lying to police, there would be no way out of it … The police would have to charge me with perjury.
• Last month Petito’s attorney, Trevor Rawnsley, told Guardian Australia: “There is no additional information that proves his [Laundrie’s] involvement.”
• Coroner John Olle’s recommendations to avoid future failures by police of those figures linked to the Scantlebury and Petito investigations included: a review of the police forensic team’s evidence base; an inquiry into the failures of the forensic evidence in the case; a review of the Police Tactics and Procedures manual. The recommendations have now been approved by Victoria’s minister for police, Lisa Neville.
Laundrie’s death may answer some questions, but it is not the only inquiry that still needs to be answered.