The FBI has confirmed that the body of a young female found on the 19th of September 2021 is that of missing twenty two year old Gabby Petito. Gabby's body was found in an undeveloped camping area in Bridger-Teton National Forest on the eastern edge of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, United States.
Her death has been ruled as a homicide but the cause of death has not been released yet.
Gabby was visiting Grand Teton National Park with her fiancé, twenty three year old Brian Laundrie. It was part of their road trip. They were traveling through several Western States and documenting the experience on YouTube.
Brian returned home to Florida on the 1st of September without Gabby. He drove home in the Ford Transit white van they had been traveling in. Concerns were raised when Brian did not inform the police or Gabby's family about her whereabouts. She was reported missing ten days later.
In the weeks leading up to her disappearance, a number of troubling incidents took place. Police were called to follow up on a possible domestic violence incidence that a passer by had witnessed on the 12th of August in Moab in Utah.
Bodycam footage showed Gabby crying and she told police that she was struggling with her mental health. When police asked her why she was crying, she said:
“I’m sorry. We’ve just been fighting this morning. Some personal issues."
Brian told police that it had been a long day and they had been camping the day before.
Brian had scratches on his face and when police asked him about it, he told them that they had been fighting and that Gabby was trying to get the keys from him and her phone, which was in her hand, caused the scratches.
The police report in relation to that incident stated that Brian told police that Gabby struck him during an argument. Police recorded it as more of a mental and emotional break than a domestic incident.
No charges were filed.
On the 27th of August 2021, Gabby's mother, Nichole Schmidt, received a text message which read:
"Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls."
Nichole thought the text was odd. Gabby's grandfather is called Stan but Nichole found it strange as Gabby never called him by his first name.
No further text messages were received apart from one on the 30th of August which read:
"No service in Yosemite."
Her family do not believe Gabby sent that text message. Gabby had frequently posted photos from the trip to social media and that also stopped on the 27th of August.
Police are currently searching for Brian Laundrie. He is considered a "person of interest" in the case.
His family claim he left for a hike on the 14th of September and never returned.
Police are searching a 24,000-acre nature reserve near his home in North Port, Florida. There have also been hundreds of reported sightings of him in Alabama.
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