Brian Laundrie may have had a psychotic break or been 'on drugs when he flew into a rage at Gabby,' psychologist says

BRIAN Laundrie's behavior may have been a result of a "psychotic break" that led him to “fly into a deadly rage at Gabby Petito,” a psychologist has suggested.

Laundrie’s alleged “impulsive-ridden” actions could have also been triggered by drugs, according to Dr Orna Guralnik, a Clinical Psychologist and Psychoanalyst from New York who spoke exclusively told The Sun.

Guralnik, was featured on Showtime’s documentary series Couples Therapy earlier this year, where she worked with various couples in their troubled relationships.

Whether Laundrie had been on drugs is unknown but when the couple was pulled aside by Moab police on August 12, the fugitive revealed he suffers from an anxiety disorder.

He said he was prescribed medicine for the mental illness but did not take it.

Guralnik said that if Laundrie murdered his girlfriend, he is either "extremely sociopathic or mentally ill."

“But there are many, many mentally ill people that don't murder their partners," the psychological expert explained.

“Sounds like he was in a rage, impulsive-ridden rage which could have been in the throes of something psychotic or drugs.”

Guralnik said she saw “sociopathic behavior” in Landrie’s interaction with Moab police as he “knew how to play well with the cops and was “charming.”

“He knew how to be charming with the cops," she said. “Sociopaths are good at reading a certain aspect of their environment and creating a certain kind of ease.

Read our Brian Laundrie live blog for the very latest news and updates…

“They create a certain vibe that helps them get away with whatever they need to get away with.”

On September 21, 2021, the Teton County Coroner Dr Brent Blue confirmed that Petito died as a result of a homicide.

On October 12, 2021, the official autopsy report was released by Teton County revealing that Gabby's cause of death was strangulation.

Dr Dan Field, an expert witness in strangulation and homicide cases, said killing someone by strangulation is a "long, deliberate" process.

He said it takes roughly between 62 and 157 seconds.


Field said victims can lose consciousness within the first five to 10 seconds while being strangled – from a combination of lack of oxygen, reflexes, and the obstruction of blood flow.

Seizures can occur between 11 and 17 seconds, and by 30 seconds, they lose control of other organs.

"It is surprisingly quick, but it's not a moment," Field told Fox News. "It's not a flap. It's not the pulling of a trigger."

Blue said Gabby was killed three to four weeks before her body was found and was outside "in the wilderness" for this time.

But Field said some clues would have remained on Gabby's body.

He said there would be a broken hyoid bone in the victim’s neck, bleeding within the muscles of the neck, or damage to the carotid artery or jugular.


Laundrie vanished from his parents’ home on September 13, the family’s lawyer confirmed. Gabby’s remains were discovered in rural Wyoming on September 19.

On Thursday, September 23, the FBI issued a warrant for Laundrie’s arrest, claiming he “used unauthorized debit cards after Gabby Petito’s death.”

His whereabouts remain unknown.

On October 12, 2021, Blue confirmed that Gabby’s cause of death was due to strangulation.

She died as a result of homicide.

Blue added that Gabby’s predicted death was three to four weeks before her body was found.

The body was outside “in the wilderness” for this time.

Brian Laundrie timeline

Brian Laundrie has not been seen since the morning of September 13. Here is a timeline of Laundrie’s latest whereabouts:

  • July 2021: Brian Laundrie and his fiancé Gabby Petito leave for a grip across the country. The couple visit numerous national parks across the way.
  • August 12: Police in Utah respond to an incident involving the couple. The bodycam footage is not released for another month but it shows a visibly upset Gabby talking to police after reports of a domestic violence incident outside a grocery store.
  • August 24: Gabby is seen leaving a hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah, with Laundrie.
  • September 1: Laundrie returns to his home in North Port, Florida without Gabby.
  • September 6: Laundrie joins his family on a camping trip about 75 miles from their home in North Port.
  • September 11: Gabby's family reports her missing.
  • September 13: Laundrie leaves home to go hiking in Carlton Reserve, Florida. His family had initially said he departed on September 14, but revised their timeline weeks later.
  • September 15: Laundrie is named a person of interest in the case of Gabby.
  • September 16: Bodycam footage is released regarding the incident between Gabby and Laundrie.
  • September 19: The FBI announces a body found at a Wyoming national park is believed to be that of Gabby's.
  • September 23: The FBI issued a warrant for Laundrie's arrest claiming he "used unauthorized debit cards after Gabby Petito's death."
  • September 26: A funeral is held for Gabby in New York.
  • September 27: Dog the Bounty Hunter announces he will lend a hand and help search for Laundrie.
  • September 28: Gabby's family held an emotional press conference as the search for Laundrie continued.
  • October 5: Laundrie's sister, Cassie, appeared on Good Morning America and urged her brother to come forward.
  • October 7: Laundrie's father, Chris Laundrie, assisted law enforcement in the search to find his son.
  • October 12: Gabby's autopsy results were made public. Teton County Coroner Dr Brent Blue confirmed Gabby died by strangulation.  

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