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22-year-old Gabby Petito vanishes while documenting cross-country trip with boyfriend

A family is desperate for answers after their 22-year-old daughter disappeared while on a cross-country road trip with her boyfriend this summer.

Florida residents Gabby Petito and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, embarked on the journey in July in their white Ford Transit van from New York -- where Petito is originally from, her family told ABC News.

The couple had made stops in Colorado and Utah, with Instagram posts showing them at the Mystic Hot Springs in Utah on July 26 and on a large rock structure at Arches National Park in Grand County, Utah, on Aug. 12.

Petito had planned to document the trip on her YouTube channel "Nomadic Statik." The sole video, posted on Aug. 19, featured an eight-minute compilation of the couple's adventures so far.

Petito was last seen on Aug. 24 checking out of a hotel with Laundrie in Salt Lake City, her family said. She last spoke to her mother, Nichole Schmidt, on Aug. 24, when she informed her that she and Laundrie were on their way to Grand Teton, Wyoming, and Yellowstone National Park, Schmidt told ABC News.

"She sounded good and excited to continue her trip and excited to start her YouTube channel," Schmidt said in tears. "She seemed OK."

Schmidt said she did not think much for the first few days when she had not heard from her daughter. But after those passed, she began to worry.

"A few days is one thing when you’re out camping, but when it starts to become seven, eight, nine, 10 days, that’s a problem," Schmidt said.

Petito's last Instagram post on Aug. 25 showed her holding a miniature pumpkin, captioned "Happy Halloween." The post was not geotagged. Schmidt said she has received two text messages from Petito's phone since they last spoke, but they did not include any photos or details of the trip, so it is not clear whether Petito actually sent those texts.

Petito's family is continuing to plead for help in locating their daughter.

"We don't know where she is," her father, Joseph Petito, told ABC News.

Laundrie has since returned to the couple's home in North Port, Florida, with their van, according to authorities. Petito was reported missing by her family to the Suffolk County Police Department in New York on Saturday.

The North Port Police Department in Florida wrote in a statement on Facebook that while there is "no definitive information that a crime took place here in North Port ... the circumstances are odd." Investigators in Florida are actively gathering evidence and details "to assist in finding needed answers," the police department said. The FBI is also assisting in the investigation.

Laundrie's family said in a statement that the family hopes Petito is found but did not provide any further comment.

"This is understandably an extremely difficult time for both the Petito family and the Laundrie family," the statement, released by Steven P. Bertolino, an attorney for the family, read. "It is our understanding that a search has been organized for Miss Petito in or near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. On behalf of the Laundrie family, it is our hope that the search for Miss Petito is successful and that Miss Petito is re-united with her family. On the advice of counsel, the Laundrie family is remaining in the background at this juncture and will have no further comment."

Petito's family released a statement afterward claiming that "the one person that can help find Gabby refuses to help" and saying they "beg the Laundrie family to not 'remain in the background' but to help find who Brian referred to as the love of his life. How does Brian stay in the background when he is the one person that knows where Gabby is located?"

"Brian is refusing to tell Gabby’s family where he last saw her," the Petito family said. "Brian is also refusing to explain why he left Gabby all alone and drove her van to Florida. These are critical questions that require immediate answers."

Petito's stepmother, Tara Petito, described her as an "amazing artist" who "loved natural beauty."

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by Anonymousreply 15September 17, 2021 3:06 AM

Third thread on this subject, mein Fuhrer.

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by Anonymousreply 1September 15, 2021 12:13 AM

R1 this OP is always so desperate to post anything and everything

by Anonymousreply 2September 15, 2021 12:14 AM

Damn, the boyfriend is hot.

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by Anonymousreply 3September 15, 2021 12:33 AM

respectfully disagree, r4

by Anonymousreply 4September 15, 2021 12:47 AM

You disagree with yourself, R4?

by Anonymousreply 5September 15, 2021 12:48 AM

R4, but you ARE R4!

by Anonymousreply 6September 15, 2021 12:48 AM

meant to say, [r3], my bad—sorry for confusion

by Anonymousreply 7September 15, 2021 12:55 AM

Don't think he's hot, and tend to agree with comments on other threads that this was probably a stupid stunt for instagram and she fell off a cliff while he was filming her, and he freaked out and ran home to mommy & daddy's lawyer—just by way of clarification

by Anonymousreply 8September 15, 2021 12:57 AM

“Gabby Petito and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, embarked on the journey…”

I suspect there’s dirty Laundrie involved here.

by Anonymousreply 9September 15, 2021 1:01 AM

Has Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu been accounted for?

by Anonymousreply 10September 15, 2021 1:07 AM

R8, what kind of idiot would believe that? If it was purely an accident he'd just report it. He'd have no reason to concealer the death.

It's so obvious he killed her

by Anonymousreply 11September 16, 2021 6:31 PM

It takes a hell of a lot of nerve to kill someone, then just drive home to your parents house and acting as though everything was normal.

That's some very bizarre behavior.

by Anonymousreply 12September 16, 2021 9:22 PM

Isnt that exactly what fellow Floridian Casey Anthony did?

by Anonymousreply 13September 16, 2021 9:41 PM

An Italian family? Oh that boy is dead.

by Anonymousreply 14September 16, 2021 9:46 PM

[quote] what kind of idiot would believe that? If it was purely an accident he'd just report it. He'd have no reason to concealer the death

People do dumb, irrational stuff all the time. If he was high on illegal substances he might afraid he'll arrested for drugs. People don't think straight when they're on heroin or cocaine

Men whose wives have been murdered by strangers have actually lied to the police about where they were (with their mistress) at the time of the murder. They didn't want to get caught out as a cheater and instead they become the #1 murder suspect.

People who used to religiously watched, "how to catch a predator" got caught on ""how to catch a predator". Never underestimate the stupidity of people

by Anonymousreply 15September 17, 2021 3:06 AM
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