Family of missing YouTuber Gabby Petito accuse boyfriend Brian Laundrie of refusing to help find her
15 September 2021, 15:03 | Updated: 17 September 2021, 11:47
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A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Gabby's family cover the costs of the search.
YouTuber Gabby Petitio has gone missing while travelling across the United States with her fiancé Brian Laundrie and police are frantically searching for her.
Gabby and Brian, who got engaged in July, saved up and quit their jobs in order to travel across the US in a camper van. The couple left New York in July and documented their travels on Instagram and YouTube. Their joint YouTube channel – Nomadic Statik – has 6,200 subscribers.
It's believed Gabby was in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, when she went missing. The couple were headed to Yellowstone National Park next, but Gabby never reached the destination.
What happened to Gabby Petito?
The 22-year-old from Blue Point, Long Island, was last seen on August 11, checking out of a hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her fiancé Brian. She was reported missing by her family on September 11 after her mother, Nicole Schmidt, grew worried that she had not heard from Gabby, who would usually FaceTime her three times a week.
Nicole received text messages sent from Gabby's phone on August 26 and August 30, however, she is unsure if the messages were actually sent by her daughter because she "didn’t verbally speak to her".
"The first couple of days when I wasn’t getting responses, I believed she was in a place with no service. It was like day eight and nine that I really became concerned," Nicole told Fox News.
Gabby is described as being 5 feet 5 inches tall and has blonde hair and blue eyes. She also has a noticeable tattoos: a triangle tattoo with flowers on her left arm and "Let it be" on her right arm.
Who is Gabby Petito's boyfriend Brian Laundrie?
Brian, 23, has offered up little details since Gabby's disappearance. He returned to his home in Florida, where Gabby had been living with him before their travels, alone.
Police in Flordia have now seized the couple's 2012 Ford Transit van. North Point Police spokesperson Josh Taylor told The Independent that Brian's parents would not allow police officers to speak with him.
When asked if police had found Brian's parents refusal for him to speak with them suspicious, Taylor said: "There’s common sense at play. We don’t even have any evidence that a crime has been committed, other than concern and things not adding up that would leave you to potentially assume that.
"It’s possible that something very bad has happened here, she hasn’t been seen for weeks and now he’s back here with the vehicle and we’ve been told to speak to the family attorney."
An attorney for the Laundrie family has now issued an official statement about the incident: "This is an extremely difficult time for both the Petito family and the Laundrie family. I understand 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."
Gabby's family have now accused Brian of "refusing" help them in their search for their daughter. In a statement, the family said: "Their beautiful 22-year-old daughter is missing and the one person that can help find Gabby refuses to help.
"Brian is refusing to tell Gabby’s family where he last saw her. Brian is also refusing to explain why he left Gabby all alone and drove her van to Florida."
The Suffolk County Police Department in New York, Gabby's hometown, are currently investigating her disappearance with a particular focus on Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. In the meantime, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help the Gabby's family fund their search. At the time of writing, just over $31,000 had been raised.
Are Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie on Instagram?
At the time of writing, Gabby Petito's Instagram account (@gabspetito) has been deleted. Before it was deleted, her page featured images of her travels with Brian.
However, at the time of writing, Brian Laundrie's Instagram page (@bizarre_design_) is still active and photos of him and Gabby are still up.