Family members and police are searching for a New York woman who was traveling across the United States with her partner before she went missing. His companion returned home without him and no one heard from him in weeks.
Gabby Pettito, 22, of Blue Point, Long Island, was last seen on August 24, when she checked out of a Salt Lake City hotel with her partner of two and a half years, Brian Laundry. Police said his family had informed him about his disappearance on the evening of September 11.
Ms Petito and Mr Laundry were documenting their travel experiences as ‘van-lifers’ on a YouTube channel across the US.nomadic static‘. She regularly FaceTimed her mother, but her mother became concerned when she did not hear from him for several days and informed the authorities.
Here’s everything we know about the case:
In a press release, the Suffolk County Police Department reported that Gabby’s family was in contact with her in late August. According to her mother, Gabby used to FaceTime about three times a week. Her mother received text messages from her daughter’s phone on August 26 and 27, but said she could not believe they were from her daughter. “I don’t know if it was technically her or not, because it was just a text. I didn’t speak to her verbally,” she said in an interview with CBS News.
Prior to the last communication, Ms Petito is believed to have been at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Ms Petito’s mother Nicole Schmidt told Fox News The pair were on their way to Yellowstone National Park next, but Ms. Petito did not come. “The first few days when I was not getting a response, I believed she was in a place where there was no service. It was like on the eighth and ninth day that I got really worried,” said Ms. Schmidt. Gabrielle Pettito was reported missing by her family on September 11 at approximately 6.55 p.m. to the Suffolk County Police Department.
Mr Laundry has since returned to his Florida home without Gabby. Police have recovered the couple’s 2012 Ford Transit van.
Police in Florida, where the couple had previously lived, said the circumstances of her disappearance “looked strange”.
“The North Port Police Department is actively assisting with this case in collaboration with the Suffolk County Police Department, where he was reported missing,” the department said in a statement. “The Suffolk County Police Department is investigating the disappearance of a Blue Point woman who went missing during the journey.”
Ms. Petito’s family continues to look for her. Gabby’s mother, Nicole Schmidt, held a news conference on September 13. “As a mom, I was worried about a daughter going on a road trip in general,” Ms. Schmidt said. “But I felt safe … they had a plan, an itinerary, and we were excited for them.”
Addressing Gabby directly, her father Joseph Petito said: “Gabby, we want you to come home,” he urged. “Call us. Tell us you’re fine. Please come home.”
his father told newsday That the family was suffering terribly since his disappearance: “It’s like drowning with your hands tied behind you. You can’t describe it. you can not do anything. You cannot control anything,” he said.
“Pride is not an issue right now. My only daughter is missing,” he said. “I’m going to do, family, Gabby’s mom, we’re going to do anything to find her.”
Ms Schmidt’s husband and son have put up two missing person posters on their Instagram account as well as a photo of Ms Petito to help her search. Both said they were “unable to comment further as there is an active investigation”.
a gofundme The page has been set up to help the family in their search, and to pay for investigators and travel costs. It has contributed over $23,000 to date.
social media post
The couple had saved their money and quit their jobs to travel across America. Her Instagram account documented parts of her journey with the first post on July 2. He posted about Monument Rocks in Kansas, Colorado Springs, Great Sand Dunes National Park, Zion National Park, and Bryce National Park and Canyonlands National Park in Utah.
“The best decision was to shorten our lives to fit in this tiny van,” Mr Laundry wrote on Instagram that month. “Sacrificing a place in nature to wake up every day is no sacrifice.”
Ms Petito is described as a white woman, about 5 feet 5 inches tall and 110 pounds. She has blonde hair and blue eyes, and has a triangle tattoo on her left arm, two finger tattoos, and one on her forearm that reads “Let it be.” She also has a belly button piercing.
Detectives are asking anyone who has information about Petito’s disappearance to informally contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk / missing woman