Peacock's Gabby Petito documentary details a family's tragic heartbreak

'It was every parent's worst nightmare in a flash of a second'

Gabby Petito memorial in North Port, Florida
(Image credit: Octavio Jones/Getty Images)

Peacock is slated to release a Gabby Petito documentary, which recounts one of summer 2021's most horrific stories from the family who lived it.  

The Murder of Gabby Petito: Truth, Lies, and Social Media serves as a platform for her parents and stepparents to speak about their daughter's tragedy. It is their first sit-down interview since her disappearance in August.

"It was like every parent's nightmare, like in a flash of a second," Petito's stepfather, Jim Schmidt, said on camera. 

In a trailer for the documentary, viewers witness Petito's family talk about their distraught search for the 22-year-old. There are never-before-seen photos and anecdotes, a discussion about the world's involvement in the case and suggestions that her relationship with financé, Brian Laundrie, was not what it appeared to be on social media. 

A look inside the Gabby Petito documentary

Earlier this year, Petito and her fiancé, Laundrie, embarked on a van tour across the USA to visit various national parks. They planned to document their journey on social media. However, when Laundrie returned home to Florida without his fiancée, red flags went up. 

Petito's mother, Nicole Schmidt, filed her daughter as missing on September 11, 2021. Weeks later, her daughter's remains were discovered in Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park. Her death was ruled a homicide and her cause of death was strangulation. 

Laundrie, a person of interest in the case, went missing shortly after word got out of Petito's disappearance. Weeks after the world learned of Petito's horrible fate, news broke that Laundrie's remains were discovered near Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in North Port, Florida. He had died from a gunshot wound to the head, which was ruled a suicide. 

The heartbreaking story captured the world's attention for weeks and increased awareness for missing persons cases across the US. 

"Everyone deserves to be found that is missing—everyone," Petito's father, Joe, said in the film's trailer. 

The Murder of Gabby Petito: Truth, Lies, and Social Media will stream on Peacock starting Friday, December 17. 

Danielle Valente

Danielle is a writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life, covering all-things news, lifestyle and entertainment. 

The heart of her time at Future has been devoted to My Imperfect Life, where she's been attuned to the cosmos, new TV shows and relationship trends.  

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids and a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, amNewYork and Newsday, among other outlets. 

When Danielle is not working, you can usually find her reading a book, coffee at hand, or attempting a new recipe. (Recommendations always welcome!)