What is inside Gabby Petito's hard drive? Cryptic texts on her phone alarms police
A Florida court granted permission to investigators to access a hard drive that was recovered from the van during a search on September 14
The last text blogger Gabby Petito sent before she went missing while road-tripping across the US with her fiance set off alarm bells for her mother, who became fearful for her daughter's safety after receiving “odd” text messages.
The police have now gained access to a hard drive found in the van belonging to Petito as details have emerged of the "odd" last texts sent to her mother from her phone. A Florida court granted permission to investigators to access a hard drive that was recovered from the van during a search on September 14.
According to the Investigators who are working on the case, the hard drive could have information crucial to the disappearance. The search warrant filing also includes the text of the last message Petito's mother received from her phone, which reads: "Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls." Petito's mother said "Stan" was meant to refer to Petito's grandfather, but since she rarely calls him by that name, she found the text "odd." Petito's phone was turned off later that day after the text was sent.
According to the filing, the hard drive may also contain "evidence relevant to proving that a felony has been committed," WNYC reports. The hard drive was recovered from the same van that Brian Laundrie drove back to Florida alone from Wyoming 10 days before Petito was reported missing. The search warrant was granted based upon new information suggesting Petito was "unable to care for herself due to her increased anxiety," including footage of police stopping Petito and Laundrie on a Utah highway after they received a 911 call about the couple. In the video, Petito appears visibly upset and anxious as she describes a recent fight with Laundrie.
On Monday, September 20, the FBI and local authorities searched Laundrie's home in North Port, Florida after declaring it a "crime scene." Laundrie's parents were led away from the property for some hours. It comes after human remains were found in Grand Teton National Park that were "consistent with the description" of Petito. "Full forensic identification has not been completed to confirm 100% that we found Gabby, but her family has been notified of this discovery," FBI agent Charles Jones said in a press conference. The search continues for Petito's fiance Brian Laundrie, who was named an early "person of interest" in the case.