True Crime News Roundup: Gabby Petito’s Body Found, Boyfriend Remains Missing

A 16-year-old boy pleads guilty to murdering NYC college student Tessa Majors; Britney Spears gets closer to ending her conservatorship; and the Elizabeth Holmes federal Theranos fraud trial continues.

September 24, 2021
Gabby Petito

Gabby Petito

Gabby Petito

Photo by: Instagram


Gabby Petito

By: Aaron Rasmussen

A look at the week’s true crime headlines:

Gabby Petito’s body is found in Wyoming.

An autopsy conducted on remains found in Wyoming on Sept. 19 were confirmed to be those of 22-year-old Long Island native Gabby Petito. Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue’s “initial determination for the manner of death is homicide,” the FBI field office in Denver said, adding the cause of death remains pending. Petito’s family reported her missing on Sept. 11 — 10 days after her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, 23, returned from their cross-country trip to the home they shared in Florida without her. Authorities launched a massive manhunt for Laundrie after he disappeared on Sept. 14. Laundrie, who was named a person of interest in the case, remains missing.

A New York City teenager pleads guilty in connection to the stabbing death of college student Tessa Majors.

On Sept. 21, Luchiano Lewis, 16, pleaded guilty in Manhattan Criminal Court to second-degree murder and first-degree murder for the December 2019 stabbing death of 18-year-old Barnard College student Tessa Majors, according to The New York Times. Lewis was charged as an adult and faces up to life in prison for the murder charge when he is sentenced on October 14. A second 16-year-old suspect, Rashaun Weaver, has pleaded not guilty in the case. Police charged a third boy, who was 13 when he participated in the crime, with robbery as a minor and he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 18 months in custody in June 2020. “We remain resolute in our belief that all parties who bear responsibility for Tess’s senseless death will be held accountable, and we are deeply grateful to the many people who continue to pursue that goal,” the victim’s family said in a statement after Lewis’ plea was entered.

Britney Spears takes steps to end her conservatorship in a new court filing.

In a Sept. 22 Los Angeles Superior Court filing, 39-year-old Britney Spears, through her lawyer, said she “fully consents” to “expeditiously” terminate the conservatorship her father, Jamie Spears, 69, has controlled for well over a decade, NPR reported. The filing calls suspending Jamie Spears from managing her finances and life “a necessary first — and substantial — step towards Ms. Spears's freedom and ending the Kafkaesque nightmare imposed upon her by her father, so that her dignity and basic liberties can be restored.” A hearing in the case is set for Sept. 29.

Elizabeth Holmes’s federal Theranos fraud trial continues.

The trial against Elizabeth Holmes, the 37-year-old founder of the failed blood-testing company Theranos, resumed on Sept. 21 in a federal court in San Jose, California. She faces a total of ten counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Holmes denies the allegations against her. Former U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis sat on the Theranos board between 2013 and 2016, and he took the stand on Sept. 22. Mattis, who invested $85,000 in the company, told the court that while he was at first “rather taken” with the company and its purportedly groundbreaking technology, “there came a point where I didn't know what to believe about Theranos anymore,” the BBC reported.

Nicki Minaj and her husband face a lawsuit alleging they harassed a sexual assault victim.

Jennifer Hough spoke out against Nicki Minaj and the performer’s husband, Kenneth Petty, in a Sept. 22 interview on The Real. “I’m tired of being afraid,” said Hough, who filed a lawsuit against the couple in August accusing them of “witness intimidation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, harassment, assault, battery, sexual assault, and sexual harassment.” The lawsuit alleges Petty, 43, “intimidated” and “harassed” her “not to speak out concerning the rape she experienced at the hands of Defendant Petty” in Queens, New York, in 1994 (Petty pleaded guilty to attempted rape and was sentenced to serve between 18 and 54 months in prison and register as a sex offender). In the lawsuit, Hough claimed 38-year-old Minaj, who has been married to Petty for nearly two years, “threatened” her “to recant her legitimate claim that Defendant Petty raped her.”

Next Up

True Crime News Roundup: Prince Andrew Stripped Of Military Titles After Judge Allows Sex Abuse Case To Proceed

Plus: A Chicago mother is arrested in connection to the murder of her 6-year-old son; the convicted killer Robert Durst dies at age 78; Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes’ sentencing date is set; and an LGBTQ+ rights movement hero is found dead in a Florida landfill.

True Crime News Roundup: Pregnant Woman Fatally Shot Two Weeks Before Her Due Date

Plus: Brian Laundrie’s father joins the search for his fugitive son; a group of investigators believe they’ve identified the Zodiac Killer; and a convicted con man on the run for decades is possibly spotted at a Dodgers game.

True Crime News Roundup: George Floyd’s 4-Year-Old Grandniece Shot While Sleeping In Bed

Plus: Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes is found guilty of fraud; investigators crack the 1995 cold case murder of a Georgia schoolgirl; police name a suspect in the shooting death of Memphis rapper Young Dolph; and a judge overturns a Pennsylvania man’s murder conviction after 37 years.

True Crime News Roundup: Arrest Made In Fatal Shooting Of A Military Mother Visiting Her Son’s Grave

Plus: Woman accused of using kiss to pass drugs to inmate boyfriend who overdosed; authorities limit search for California teen who went missing after graduation party; Salman Rushdie attacker pleads not guilty; and ex-cop in Kansas suspected of 10-year sex-assault spree, police say.

True Crime News Roundup: Father Fatally Shoots Ex-Football Player Son During Dog Bite Argument

Plus: The remains of Wisconsin mother Ashley Carlson were found in Minnesota; An arrest has been made in connection to the deadly home invasion of music legend Clarence Avant’s California home; and a Las Vegas college student died from injuries he sustained during a “school-sanctioned amateur fight.”

True Crime News Roundup: ‘Considerable Doubt’ Remains In Emmett Till Murder Case Despite DOJ Closing File

Plus: The body of a missing Florida woman is found near her boyfriend’s home; Scott Peterson is resentenced for his wife Laci Peterson’s 2002 murder; and former Empire actor Jussie Smollett found guilty for falsely reporting a hate crime.

True Crime News Roundup: Florida Toddler Shoots Mom Dead, Dad Arrested For Manslaughter

Plus: Gabby Petito’s autopsy results are revealed; the search for a missing woman turns up human remains in the California desert; the rapper Tyga is accused of felony domestic violence in L.A.; and an Indiana cop allegedly kicks a handcuffed man in the head.

Gabby Petito Investigation: New Details Emerge In Manhunt For Fugitive Brian Laundrie

“He's somewhere where he's probably being taken care of,” a former FBI agent says.

Unlicensed Mother, Daughter Accused Of Murder After Botched Butt Lift

Libby Adame and Alicia Galaz allegedly recruited new clients on Instagram and charged $14,000 for three sessions, police say.

True Crime News Roundup: Nurse Attacked At Bus Stop Dies In L.A. Hospital Where She Worked For Nearly 4 Decades

Plus: Police arrest the alleged killer of a furniture store employee; a gunman holds four people hostage at a Texas synagogue; the last of three NYC teens is sentenced for an 18-year-old student’s stabbing death; and Miami rapper Wavy Navy Pooh is murdered in a drive-by shooting.