Tattoo artist Danny Nostrom owns a business in Venice, Florida and tells DailyMail.com that Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie got matching tattoos last year
Gabby Petito was ‘super excited’ to have get matching finger tattoos with boyfriend Brian Laundrie as a symbol of their love – and designed others herself, the artist who inked the couple has revealed to DailyMail.com.
The ‘bubbly’ 22-year-old also talked animatedly about the fateful cross-country road trip the couple were planning and how they were working flat out to save for a van to live in during the epic journey.
Laundrie and Gabby also told tattoo artist Danny Nostrom they were huge fans of documentary true crime TV series Forensic Files, which ran for more than 400 episodes and detailed how scientists cracked difficult cases.
Gabby was beaming as she sketched a tiny scorpion and a ghost on a skateboard on Laundrie’s consent form – obtained by Dailymail.com – to show the artist exactly what she wanted, he said.
She also had a small Pisces zodiac sign inked on her, as revealed in our exclusive photos of her hands moments after she had the work done.
The couple got their tattoos on October 8 last year, several months before setting off in Gabby’s 2012 white Ford Transit van for a trip that took them to Utah and Wyoming from the home they shared with Laundrie’s parents in North Port, Florida.
And the couple’s demeanor that day gave no hint of the heartbreak to follow, with Gabby’s body being found in Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming, on September 19 and her death declared a homicide.
His and Hers: Gabby and Brian got matching tattoos of a vine on their fingers ‘to represent their love and the fact they were planning this big trip together,’ Nostrom said
In addition to the matching vine tattoo, Gabby got a ghost on a skateboard, which she drew herself, and a Pisces zodiac symbol
Gabby also asked for an image of a scorpion to be tattooed on her finger
Laundrie, 23, remains a fugitive amid an FBI manhunt sparked by his disappearance on September 14, two weeks after driving the van back to Florida alone – and four days after Gabby was officially reported missing by mom Nichole Schmidt.
Danny said Laundrie had only one existing tattoo that he could see, which was three mountain peaks with three X marks in them on his right hand
Tattoo artist Danny, who owns a business in Venice, Florida, said: ‘Gabby and Brian came in super excited about getting new tattoos. They had texted for an appointment and were referred by a friend.
‘They knew exactly what they wanted. They said they wanted a couple of vines around each one of their fingers to represent them and their love and the fact they were planning this big trip together. They said they had been together two years.
‘I said, okay easy enough. And then she added a couple of other things she wanted – a ghost riding a skateboard, a little Pisces zodiac sign and a little scorpion on her other fingers. So we just whipped them together and got it taken care of.’
He added: ‘She actually drew the skateboard and the ghost and then she drew the scorpion as well, to show me what she wanted them to look like. She sketched them on his paperwork, a consent form, so I could get a visual. The vine was something they had seen on Pinterest or something.’
Danny said Laundrie had only one existing tattoo that he could see, which was three mountain peaks with three X marks in them on his right hand.
‘All they talked about was their relationship and how they planned on traveling,’ said the tattoo artist. ‘They were super excited, very eager about their trip. They didn’t specify where they were going or when. They just said they were planning this trip to go live out of a van for a little while.
‘I’m assuming it’s the same trip that Gabby never returned from. I remember them saying they didn’t even have the van yet, they were working in a Publix supermarket and saving up for it.
‘Gabby came across with a very bubbly personality, very happy. She didn’t seem like she was troubled at all, or anything out of the ordinary. She seemed happy to be in the shop, she seemed super, super friendly.
‘He was a little more standoffish, but we had a nice conversation anyway. He wasn’t totally socially awkward or anything. He was just a little more quiet.’
Laundrie talked of his own art work and graphic designs which he turned into stickers and business cards, Danny said.
‘Gabby discussed how she liked horror movies, and they were into the TV show Forensic Files,’ he added. ‘She didn’t say which horror movies.’
Gabby wanted just the outline of a vine on the middle finger of her left hand, extending down way past the knuckle. The ghost on a skateboard was on the middle finger of her other hand.
Tattoo artist Danny Nostrom owns his business in Venice, Florida. He said he didn’t realize he had inked the ill-fated couple until he looked through his portfolio
Gabby was beaming as she sketched a tiny scorpion and a ghost on a skateboard on Laundrie’s consent form paperwork to show the artist exactly what she wanted
Brian’s consent form is pictured. The tattoo artist said Laundrie ‘was a little more standoffish, but we had a nice conversation. He wasn’t totally socially awkward or anything. He was just a little more quiet’
Gabby’s consent form is pictured. ‘Gabby wasn’t nervous about getting tattooed, she seemed pretty comfortable, perfectly content,’ the tattoo artist said
‘Brian had an existing tattoo on the side of his right hand,’ said Danny. ‘It was like three mountains with Xs in each. It was a little faded because of where it was on the hand and he wanted me to touch it up so I did.
‘And then I did the vines on his finger, with the solid leaf work, solid black. But that was it, nothing else. He had no other visible tattoos, nothing I could see. I didn’t even see her other tattoos because she had long sleeves on.’
‘His didn’t come down as far as Gabby’s, just past the knuckle instead of way down. He had no issue with the needle, he sat like a champ.
‘Gabby wasn’t nervous about getting tattooed, she seemed pretty comfortable, perfectly content.
‘The vines were for them, showing themselves as together. The Pisces logo was for her, the ghost on a skateboard was because she liked Halloween and she long boarded as a hobby. I can’t remember the significance of the scorpion.’
The work cost $50 for each of them and took around 90 minutes to complete for the pair and Brian paid.
Despite the massive publicity around the case – first with Gabby reported missing and then Brian vanishing – Danny did not at first realize he had inked them both.
‘I had seen them on Facebook and Instagram numerous times in connection with the news, but I couldn’t put a finger on where I knew them from,’ he said.
‘I just knew they were familiar. One night I was with my girlfriend and it just clicked. I said, I think I have tattooed them.
‘My girlfriend said, no you didn’t. I was like, I’m pretty sure I have. I think I have the tattoos right here. So I started scrolling through my portfolio on my phone and there they were. I checked through social media and there it was, my work.’
He continued: ‘I was just mind blown that what had happened was this close to home. It made it that much more real.
‘This crazy story came out and I spoke to those people, touched those people, did tattoos for them.
‘It had me in awe for a couple of days. It’s a big deal as a tattoo artist, we become a part of these people’s lives. We have put a piece of us into them. Because they forever look at those tattoos.’
Gabby’s stepfather Jim Schmidt and mom Nichole Schmidt displayed their brand new tattoos at a press conference in Long Island, that say ‘Let it be’. Gabby had the same tattoo on her arm
Over the weekend, Gabby’s mother Nichole tweeted ‘Mama bear is getting angry! Turn yourself in!’
Schmidt’s tattoo was inspired by her daughter’s own ‘Let it be’ tattoo on her right forearm
Brian Laundrie’s parents Roberta and Chris have remained tight-lipped. They claim they have no idea where their son Brian is
Danny shared the paperwork the couple signed in order to have the tattoos.
Both contain their signatures, with Laundrie’s scrawled underneath a description of the tattoo he wanted as a ‘leaf drawing’.
Gabby did have another tattoo, not done by Danny. It was ‘Let It Be’ on her right arm, a tribute to the Beatles hit. Close family members have had the same tattoo inked on their rights arms in her memory.
Police and FBI were still hunting for Laundrie in alligator and snake-infested swampland near his home over the weekend.
The scaled-down search in the menacing 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve started on September 18 – a day after Laundrie’s parents Christopher, 62, and Roberta, 55, told police he had vanished from their home.
The couple said their son left the house on September 14, saying he was heading to the reserve in his silver Ford Mustang convertible, which did pick up a police ticket there that night.
One swampland search and rescue expert has told DailyMail.com that Laundrie would be lucky to survive three days in the terrifying ‘Jurassic Park’ wilderness.
Timeline of missing Gabby Petito’s case
- July 1: Gabby Petito and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie left Blue Point, New York for a cross-country road trip
- August 12: Police in Moab, Utah respond to a domestic incident involving the couple
- Aug. 21: Petito’s father, Joseph Petito, has his last FaceTime video call with his daughter who was in Salt Lake City, Utah
- Aug. 24: Petito is last seen at a hotel in Salt Lake City with Laundrie
- Aug. 25: Petito makes final call to her mother, Nicole Schmidt, saying she was in Grand Teton National Park
- Aug. 25 or 26: The couple chats with the owner of a shop called ‘Rustic Row’ in Victor, Utah for about 20 minutes
- Aug. 27: Video of Petito’s van was taken by blogger Jenn Bethune, of Red White & Bethune, around 6.30 pm at the Spread Creek Campground
- Aug. 29: The day that Wisconsin TikToker Miranda Baker claimed that she and her boyfriend were approached by Laundrie at Grand Teton National Park and asked them for a ride at 5.30pm; Schmidt says she is not entertaining this claim and believes it possibly factual
- Aug. 30: Schmidt receives the last text from Petito: ‘No service in Yosemite’
- Sept. 1: Laundrie returns to his parents’ home in North Port, Florida in a van without Petito
- Sept. 6-7: Laundrie and his parents visit Fort De Soto campsite in Florida
- Sept. 11: Schmidt reports Petito missing to authorities in New York; Petito and Laundrie’s van was impounded by police in Florida that same day
- Sept. 12: Grand Teton National Park rangers search for Petito
- Sept. 14: Laundrie issues a statement about Petito’s disappearance through his lawyer; Also on this day, Laundrie allegedly left his parents’ home for a hike
- Sept. 15: Laundrie is officially named a person of interest in Petito’s case
- Sept. 17: Laundrie family attorney confirms his whereabouts are unknown
- Sept. 18: North Port police and the FBI start searching the Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County for missing Brian Laundrie
- Sept. 19: Bethune realizes she has video of Petito’s van around 12am and submits the FBI with the footage 10 minutes later; Officials announce a body was found near Grand Teton National Park that matched Petito’s description in the afternoon
- Sept. 21: Coroner confirms remains found in Grand Tetons belong to Petito. Her death is ruled a homicide but her cause of death is still under invesetigation
- Sept. 20 – 22: FBI and North Port police continue search for Laundrie in Carton Reserve
- Sept. 22: Neighbors say they saw the Laudrie family pack up their detached camper on the day Gabby was reported missing. DailyMail.com photos show the camper was back in the driveway two days later, on September 13
- Sept. 23: FBI issues an arrest warrant for Laundrie for ‘use of unauthorized access device’ for fraudulently using a Capitol One Bank debit card that was not his between August 30 and September 1 to spend $1,000; A probe is launched into the police handling of the Utah police incident on Aug. 12; Laundrie’s parents visit their attorney in Orlando
- Sept. 25: Dog the Bounty Hunter joins the search for Laundrie
- Sept. 26: A funeral is held for Petito in Holbrook, New York, and her family launch a charity to help parents find missing children
- Sept. 27: Manhunt for Laundrie in the Carlton Reserve is scaled back after 10 day search doesn’t find him. Dog the Bounty Hunter says Laundrie and his parents stayed at Fort De Soto Park from September 1-3 and September 6-8 – and that on the latter visit only the parents left
- Sept. 28: Laundrie’s mom is accused of using a burner phone to contact her son Sept. 29: Documents reveal Laundrie’s mom canceled a reservation for the Fort De Soto Park campsite for two from September 1 to 3 and booked for three from September 6 to 8; FBI seizes surveillance footage from site; FBI investigates lead Laundrie bought a burner phone on September 14; Dog the Bounty Hunter searches the area near Fort De Soto finding a recently drunk can of Monster Energy at a makeshift campsite deep in the woods
- Sept. 30: Bodycam footage from a second officer at the August 12 incident is released showing a distressed Petito admitting Laundrie hit her; FBI agents collect more evidence from the Laundrie home
- Oct. 1: It emerges Laundrie’s sister had contact with him after she said she did