Who was Gabby Petito meeting at Yellowstone National Park? 'She wouldn't blow me off'
The shocking disappearance of Gabby Petito has taken another twist after a friend revealed the two were to meet at Yellowstone national park in September. The friend, who wishes to remain anonymous confirmed Petito's mother's suspicions that her daughter's last texts were not from her, saying, "She'd call as soon as she had service." The friend's testimony further deepens the mystery that has now captured the nation's attention.
Over the past few days, we've learnt an increasingly surprising amount about Petito, and the events leading up to her disappearance. Sometime before Petito set off on her trip, she broke up with Brian Laundrie, we learnt on September 16. The same day, we learnt that Petito and Laundrie got into a fight in Wyoming, with bodycam footage showing her crying as the duo was stopped by cops. That stop also revealed both Petito and Laundrie were battling mental health issues, after the release of a redacted report from the Moab Police Department.
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'No service in Yosemite': Gabby Petito's mom claims last text may not have been sent by her
August 30 was the last time anyone heard from Petito after she texted her mom, "no service in Yosemite." Petito's mother Nicole Schmidt believes that the text wasn't from her daughter, a claim now backed up by a friend. That text puts Petito well away from where she was last seen, as well as far away from where she was supposed to be, according to her friend.
Petito, friend planned to meet at Yellowstone
Petito's friend told The Sun, "(The) last time I talked to Gabby was the beginning of August when we were planning for me to meet her in Yellowstone after my birthday." The person believes the park, located mostly in Wyoming was supposed to be Petito's next stop "at least when we planned it." A date for the meeting was not planned, but the friend said Petito was due to call her on August 29 to finalize plans and meet sometime in September. Until her disappearance, the trip to Yellowstone seemed more or less decided, with Petito telling another friend on August 27 via Snapchat she was heading for Yellowstone.
The friend has also cast suspicion on Petito's final text to her mother. "She wouldn’t wander off and not contact her family. I know that for a fact. She wouldn't blow me off either. She's my person," she told The Sun. The friend added, "The whole thing is odd. My birthday is the 29th. I don't know why she’d send that text and not message me." She also said, "I also don't think she'd text her mom 'no service'. She'd call as soon as she had service, in my opinion."
At first, the fact that Petito had not called her didn't worry the friend. "I just assumed she was busy and I had a lot go on with crashing my car and I was struggling with my own life." When she found out that Petito was missing though, the friend was shocked and called it "heartbreaking". Petito was last seen at Grand Teton national park, Wyoming on August 25, where she was heading from Salt Lake City. Although her parents could not confirm where exactly she was heading, Wyoming would indicate a trip to Yellowstone, where she would have met her friend. Instead, Petito's text puts her 800 miles away in California, which while not impossible certainly seems improbable.
The friend has not yet talked to the police, before revealing the information to The Sun. She concluded her statement by saying, "Gabby made sure I kept going when I didn't want to. She shines light on every situation and was always talking about her family. This is so hard on me and especially the family so keep the focus on finding Gabby. Please." Given there is no record of Petito since August 26, it is hard to say if she was actually heading towards Yellowstone or Yosemite.