MOAB CITY, Utah (NewsNation Now) — Blogger Gabby Petito, who vanished while on a cross-country road trip with her boyfriend in a converted camper van, is now at the center of a nationwide search.
Investigators say Petito, 22, was last in contact with her family in late August when the couple was visiting Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park.
The trip was well-documented on social media until it abruptly ceased allegedly somewhere in Wyoming. The couple documented most of their trip, which started in July, on a YouTube Vlog called “VAN LIFE”. The last posts to both their Instagram accounts were from Grand Teton National Park.
Petito’s boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, is now a person of interest in the case and has refused to talk with authorities.
Here is a timeline of what we know in the disappearance and subsequent search for Gabby Petito:
July 2: Petito, Laundrie leave for road trip
Petito and Laundrie leave New York for a cross-country road trip to national parks out west in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.
The couple documents their travels on both their personal Instagrams and a travel account under the name “Nomadic Statik.”
Moab City Police in Utah respond to reports of an alleged physical interaction between Petito and Laundrie. Hour-long body camera footage from the investigation shows officers responding to the 911 call with Petito crying “uncontrollably,” saying the pair had been having “little arguments” that day. Authorities said Laundrie told officers the couple had been traveling for four to five months, which “created emotional strain between them and increased the number of arguments.”
Petito and Laundrie reportedly separated for the night, with Petito keeping the van and Laundrie getting lodging assistance from police. In the report, Laundrie is listed as the victim, but Chief Bret Edge said there was not enough evidence to move forward with any charges.
Aug. 21: Petito’s father last speaks with her
Joseph Petito, Gabby Petito’s father, Facetimes with his daughter for the last time. He said he helped her order food in Salt Lake City.
“No red flags that popped out,” Joseph Petito said in a Zoom interview to NewsNation affiliate WFLA. “I’m trying to wrap my brain – Monday morning quarterback it, you know what I mean – still nothing is popping in my head.”
Aug. 25: Petito’s mother last speaks with her
Gabby Petito’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, says she last spoke with her daughter on Aug. 25. She said the couple was near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming when she last spoke with her.
Aug. 30: Schmidt receives last text from Petito’s phone
Schmidt says she received her last text from Gabby Petito’s phone that day.
“The last text I got from her was on Aug. 30,” Schmidt added. “I don’t know if that was her texting me or not.”
She has not heard anything since.
Sept. 1: LAUNDRIE RETURNS TO FLORIDA WITH THE VAN
Florida authorities say Laundrie returned to his parents’ home in Florida with Petito’s van.
Sept. 11: pETITO IS REPORTED MISSING
Family members report Petito missing to Suffolk County Police in New York. Later that day, North Port Police in Florida confirm they recovered the van at Laundrie’s parents’ home. Police say the couple also lived there.
Florida authorities say Laundrie is now a person of interest in the case after Petito disappeared while on a cross-country road trip together. While Laundrie was identified as a person of interest, police said he “has not made himself available to be interviewed by investigators or has provided any helpful details.”
Sept. 16: Petito’s family pens letter to Laundrie family, potential case connection
Attorneys for Petito’s family read a letter on behalf of the family, pleading with Laundrie’s family to help the investigation.
“If you or your family have any decency left please tell us where Gabby is located,” the letter said. “Please tell us if we’re even looking in the right place.”
That same day, Brian Laundrie’s sister became the first family member to speak on Petito’s disappearance.
“Obviously, me and my family want Gabby to be found safe,” Cassie Laundrie, Brian Laundrie’s sister, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” in a clip. “She’s like a sister and my children love her, and all I want is for her to come home safe and found and this to be just a big misunderstanding.”
Authorities in Utah also said they are “not ruling anything out” in a potential connection between Petito and Laundrie, who were in Moab a day before a newlywed couple were last seen. The alleged domestic dispute between Laundrie and Petito happened outside Moab on Aug. 13. The next day, Kylen Schulte and Crystal Turner were seen for the last time at a bar in Moab. Days later, Schulte and Turner were found dead at a campsite near Moab.
The search for Petito is still underway. She is 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs about 110 pounds. She has blonde hair, blue eyes and several tattoos, including one on her finger and forearm that reads “let it be.”
The FBI has set up a national hotline to receive tips: 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324).
This story will be updated as more details are confirmed.
NewsNation affiliates WFLA, KTXL and the Associated Press contributed to this report.