Gabby Petito case: 5 things you MUST know about her mysterious disappearance
Gabby Petito, 22, from Long Island, went missing during a road trip with her boyfriend Brian Laundrie
Gabby Petito, 22, from Long Island, went missing during a road trip with her boyfriend Brian Laundrie. Petito's mother, Nicole Schmidt, said that she set out on a tour of national parks in early July and was last heard from on August 25. The white van that the duo traveled in has been recovered from Brian Laundrie's home. However, Brian has added to the mystery of her disappearance by refusing to cooperate with the police and hiring an attorney.
Petito's family has continued to express their helplessness at Laundrie refusing to open up and cooperate. "(It’s like) drowning with your hands tied behind you. You can't describe it. There's nothing you can do. You can't control anything," Petito's father Joe Petito told Newsday. The missing woman's family has created a Facebook page to track updates, and started a GoFundMe to help fund the search for the 22-year-old.
Here are five things you must know about the Gabby Petito case:
1. Utah police are NOT 'ruling out' potential link between Petito's case and another double murder case.
Utah police are not 'ruling out' the possible connection between the disappearance of Gabby Petito and a double-homicide at a campground near Moab last month. Petito was last seen in Wyoming in August, and just two days later, a newlywed couple was found dead near South Mesa. The couple was shot dead after they were seen at a bar the night before.
2. Police were called after a fight broke out between Gabby and Brian before her disappearance.
As per reports, police in Utah were called after Gabby Petito and her boyfriend Brian Laundrie came to blows in their van. This was just days before the 22-year-old's disappearance. On August 12, a witness called the Moab City Police Department at about 4.45 pm, saying he saw the couple fight and “feared the worst”.
3. Final text message from Gabby Petito's phone might not have been from her.
Gabby Petito's mother, Nicole Schmidt, revealed that she received a message from her daughter on August 30. Petito's last message to her mother was: “No service in Yosemite." However, her mother believes that it was not Petito who sent the text.
4. Gabby Petito's Instagram account was briefly deactivated when she disappeared.
Gabby Petito's family's distress grew as her Instagram account was briefly deactivated on Wednesday, September 15. On Wednesday morning, her account went dark for more than an hour. Until her disappearance, Petito had been actively documenting her cross-country trip with Brian Laundrie on Instagram.
5. Brian Laundrie is a 'person of interest' in Gabby Petito's disappearance.
Police confirmed on Wednesday, September 15, that Gabby Petito's boyfriend Brian Laundrie has been identified as a "person of interest" in her disappearance. Laundrie returned home from the trip without Petito, and has since refused to open up or cooperate with police, and has lawyered up instead. Reports suggest that Petito's mother reached out to Laundrie last week in an effort to track her daughter, but her desperate messages were left unanswered.
“I texted Brian’s mom that I was trying to get in touch with Gabby. I also texted Brian. I got no replies,” Nicole Schmidt told the Daily Mail. “I knew something was wrong. I felt something was off and I needed to get her reported missing immediately,” she added.
As the search for missing Long Island woman, 22-year-old Gabby Petito continues, her family has condemned her boyfriend Brian Laundrie for not revealing to police where he last saw her. Brian continued to stonewall police until he broke his silence hours back, with his lawyer saying that Brian would “remain in the background”. Both of Petito's parents — mother Nicole Schmidt and father Joe Petito – are pleading for her safe return.