The frantic search for missing 22-year-old Gabby Petito, a US blogger who mysteriously vanished on a cross-country trip with her 23-year-old fiancé Brian Laundrie, came to an end on Monday. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced that they discovered a body on the scene of Moran Vista camping area of the Wyoming park “consistent” with the girl’s description. However, the FBI said that the investigation was still continuing and officials had not yet acquired the identity.
Saddened and heartbroken to learn that Gabby has been found deceased. Our focus from the start, along with the FBI, and national partners, has been to bring her home. We will continue to work with the FBI in the search for more answers.
— North Port Police (@NorthPortPolice) September 19, 2021
Petito was last seen in late August at Grand Teton National Park, where she had recorded her road journey with Laundrie. According to several accounts, she talked with her mother, Nicole Schmidt, on August 25. The family subsequently filed a missing person’s report on September 11. Petitio’s fiancée, Laundrie, had also gone missing in one of the most complicated and unusual missing person cases. He returned home alone, driving her van after the couple’s week-long vacation on September 11.
Gabby Petito, a 22-year-old YouTuber and Instagram influencer from Suffolk County, New York, went missing in late August while on a van road trip to the West Coast with her fiancé Brian Laundrie to tour state national parks. Petito and Laundrie were engaged in July 2020. However, the relationship was called off. On August 24, she went missing. Petito, a native of North Port, Florida, had left on their cross-country road trip from New York City on July 2 in his Ford Transit van, and had chosen to stop at a friend’s house in Portland, Oregon.
#UPDATE: #FBIDenver, @NatlParkService & our law enforcement partners will provide an update in the investigation into Gabrielle "Gabby" Petito's disappearance at 4:00 PM MDT at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center in Grand Teton National Park. @GrandTetonNPS pic.twitter.com/hmTxBfxrYo
— FBI Denver (@FBIDenver) September 19, 2021
Gabby Petito’s Disappearance: A Timeline
The Moab City Police Department revealed surveillance video from August 12, little over a month before Petito’s family reported her missing. Officers pulled the van over near a grocery store in the city, about 140 miles southeast of Provo. Petito was seen crying as she told the responding officer. On a police body camera footage obtained by Fox8, Laundrie confessed to pushing her. Petito confessed to hitting Laundrie to the police.
Gabby Petito’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, last talked with her daughter on August 24. Petito FaceTimed with her mother on August 24, informing her that she would be leaving Utah for the Teton region in Wyoming.
Petito’s last Instagram picture, dated August 25, showed her standing in front of a mural of monarch butterflies in Ogden, Utah. She was last seen in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park. Petito exchanged messages with her mother at the time, and the family assumed she was in the Tetons.
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Gabby Petito disappeared in the final days of August, and her fiancé was named a “person of interest” in the investigation. At a news conference, authorities stated her last known location was Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. In a statement, Petito family attorney Richard Stafford stated the family’s last contact with Petito occurred on August 30 when they got a farewell message. However, according to the police statement, the mother doubts that the message was typed by Petito herself.
Petito’s fiancée, Launderie, drove her white van back to the couple’s North Port residence on September 1. At a press conference, North Port police spokesman Josh Taylor stated that his parents shared a house and that the reason he returned alone was unknown. But that investigators discovered some items in Petito’s vehicle.
Gabby Petito’s family in New York reported their daughter missing to the Suffolk County, New York, Police Department on September 11, after failing to reach her. Police went to Laundrie’s house and demanded to talk with him and his family, but the family refused.
Petito’s family attorney asked Laundrie’s family to assist in the search for Petito and return her home on September 16. Petito’s fiancée, Launderie, went missing on September 17, prompting local and federal authorities to hunt. He is a person of interest in Gabby’s abduction, but he is not sought for the crime, according to the police.
On September 18, 50 personnel from five local agencies and the FBI were enlisted in the inquiry, and K9 dogs were sent for ground surveys in Grand Teton National Park, where Gabby Petito was last seen.
At a press conference on September 19, the FBI announced the discovery of human remains in Teton County, Wyoming, which agents say are “matching” the description of the missing 22-year-old Petito.