NEWS: Influencer Gabby Petito’s story grabs national attention

NEWS: Influencer Gabby Petito’s story grabs national attention

C. Schneider

Social media influencer Gabby Petito’s remains were found on Sept. 21 in the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming after being reported missing on Sept. 11. Her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, is the primary suspect. The case has blown up into a social media and news frenzy as new details continually emerge about the mysterious disappearance and death. 

According to CBS News, Petito and Laundrie left New York in July and began their long, four-month road trip across the country. The two were traveling and staying in a van. Their van got pulled over one Thursday while traveling through Moab, Utah, on Aug. 12. Someone had called 911 reporting domestic abuse against Laundrie. The police officer also said that the driver was showing obscure driving and that he may have been intoxicated, as shown in the YouTube video uploaded by FOX 13 in Tampa Bay. This is when the couple’s eerie story took off.

After pulling them over, the officer found Petito crying in the passenger seat. The officer asked her to step out, and she explained that she and Laundrie had been arguing all morning. Eventually, Laundrie steps out of the vehicle, casually talking to the officers as Petito continued to cry. Petito did take the blame for the argument, however, due to her mental health issues that she struggled with. The officers then suggested that the couple sleep separately that night, sending Laundrie to a hotel room and having Petito sleep in the van. In the end, no charges were filed.

The last time that Petito’s family heard from her was during the last week of August. The family claimed that two texts in particular were considered strange behavior for the 22-year-old. In one of her texts, Petito mentioned her grandfather in a peculiar way, according to News4Jax.

“Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls,” Petito texted. 

Nicole Schmidt, Petito’s mother, said that she never refers to her grandfather by his first name “Stan”, and that this was when she began to worry about her daughter’s safety. She even considered the fact that it might not be Petito sending those messages. Petito then sent a follow up message Aug. 30. 

“No service in Yosemite,” Petito said.

Her mother claims that after this, her phone shut off and she went ghost on social media. This was unusual behavior for Petito as well. Later in September, a woman made a public claim that she had given Laundrie a ride on Aug. 29, and that he claimed he had been camping alone for days and that Petito was back in their van working on her social media.

In regards to Petito’s social media posts, the public has been buzzing about her strange behavior online. People have mentioned strange captions on her posts, differences in her appearance on her posts, and other conspiracies. However, none of these are confirmed to be accurate. 

On Sept. 1, Laundrie returned to his home in North Port, where he and Petito lived together along with his parents. On Sept. 11, Petito’s family reported her missing after not being able to get in touch with her. And yes, this means that Laundrie had in fact never reported Petito missing, even weeks after returning home. 

On Sept. 16, panic in the Petito family started to kick in. They began to beg Laundrie for any information that he may have, in hopes of finding their missing daughter. At this point, Laundrie and both of his parents refused to speak on the situation. 

The latest news is that Laundrie himself has “gone missing,” or rather fled. This has been ongoing since Sept. 17. There have been some potential sightings of him, but no real evidence showing that he has been seen since his disappearance. He remains the primary suspect in this case.

Since Petito and Laundrie were traveling alone and camping out in national parks where her body was found, an arrest warrant has been issued for Brain Laundrie. However, no charges can be pressed if the suspect is unattainable, which is the current situation. Until he is found, the case remains stuck and nothing can further be done when it comes to the homicide of Gabby Petito.