The Merry Piglets was the location of one of the last sightings of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie together, witnesses told investigators, recalling a “commotion” at the restaurant August 27.
The FBI and police are searching for Laundrie, 23, who is wanted in the death and disappearance of his 22-year-old fiancée. Petito was reported missing September 11, 2021, 10 days after Laundrie returned home alone from a cross-country trip. Petito’s body was found Sunday, September 19, 2021, in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
Law enforcement are combing the Florida swampland for Laundrie after receiving a tip from his parents, Christopher and Roberta Laundrie. His older sister, Cassie Laundrie, has been the only member of the Laundrie family to speak publicly about the case, and said Petito was “like a sister” and was a loving aunt to her boys.
Here’s what you need to know:
Witnesses Said Petito Was in Tears Leaving The Merry Piglets & Laundrie Was Angry & Hostile
A witness, Nina Angelo, told CNN that she and her boyfriend, Matt England, saw a “commotion” at The Merry Piglets between Petito and Laundrie as the couple was leaving the Tex-Mex restaurant August 27. Angelo told CNN Petito was crying and Laundrie was “visibly angry,” walking in and out of the restaurant and “continuing to show anger toward the staff around the hostess stand.”
While Angelo said she did not observe any physical violence, the incident was enough to cause the couples’ waitress to appear “visibly shaken.”
The Merry Piglets posted on their Facebook page, saying Petito and Laundrie were spotted there. The post said they relayed information to the FBI.
“Yes, we can confirm Gabby and Brian were in Merry Piglets. We have not deleted any comments or messages on social media. The screen shots you see were direct messages to our account and not public. We have already notified the FBI and they are aware. We are letting them do their jobs and we are respecting Gabby’s family and have nothing further to comment,” the post said.
A restaurant manager also confirmed “an incident” at The Merry Piglets, but declined to give a name or elaborate to CNN. The incident was not captured on surveillance, the manager told CNN. An FBI spokesperson declined to give information.
“To protect privacy, we do not comment on contacts that FBI has or has not had with any individuals,” the FBI spokesperson told CNN.
The Merry Piglets Sighting Occurred on the Last Day Petito Communicated With Her Family or Posted on Social Media
Petito’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, told investigators that the last text she received from her daughter’s phone drew suspicions, according to WFLA. Schmidt told authorities that the text on August 27, 2021, was the last communication she received. That was also the day witnesses said they spotted Petito and Laundrie in an argument at The Merry Piglets.
“Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls,” the text said, according to a search warrant reviewed by WFLA.
Schmidt said that Stan is Gabby Petito’s grandfather, but that Petito never referred to her grandpa by his first name.
The van life blogger’s last Instagram post was August 25, 2021. In the photo, Petito was holding a fabric pumpkin and laughing in front of a butterfly mural.
“Happy Halloween!” the caption said.