Petito went missing while on a cross-country trip with her boyfriend who returned home without her on Sept. 1.
Long Island native Gabby Petito was first reported missing on Sept. 11. The 22-year-old influencer disappeared while on a cross-country trip with her boyfriend who she had been seeing for two years, The pair set out in early July, leaving from Florida before heading to New York and eventually making their way out west. Petito had been documenting her travels on YouTube. She last had contact with her mom on Aug. 24. Petito's boyfriend returned to his parents' home in Florida on Sept. 1 without her, reports HuffPost.
Body of Missing Woman Gabby Petito, 22, Believed to Be Found at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, FBI Says https://t.co/Li145Q6soz— People (@people) September 19, 2021
Now the FBI announced a tragic discovery regarding Petito during a press conference on Sunday. “On behalf of the FBI personnel and our partners, I would like to extend sincere and heartfelt condolences to Gabby’s family,” FBI agent Charles Jones said. “As every parent can imagine, this is an incredibly difficult time for the family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.” Human remains discovered near Grand Teton National Park reportedly match the description of Gabby Petito. “Full forensic identification has not been completed to confirm 100 percent that we found Gabby. The cause of death has not been determined at this time. We appreciate your continued support and patience as we work through this process,” Jones said.
According to PEOPLE, Petito and her boyfriend Brian Laundrie, 23, lived with his parents in Florida, prior to the trip. Laundrie’s family released a statement later Sunday, calling the news “heartbreaking.” Petito's father, Joseph Petito, described his daughter as "amazing" to the outlet. "She's so artistic. She's an amazing artist. She loves to draw," he said. "She has a great eye with decorating ... She's that flower child type of personality. The old soul, you know?" "If Woodstock was still going on, she'd still be there, man," Joseph added. "She's a hippie from the '60s, all right? She's a Beatles fan, round glasses ... a free spirit."
As for Laundrie, he has been identified as a person of interest in the case. Body camera footage of cops questioning the pair for over an hour was released on Sept. 15. They were pulled over in Utah on August 12. "I just quit my job to travel across the country, and I'm trying to start a blog, a travel blog, so I've been building my website," Petito can be heard saying in the recording that was released by Utah police, as per Insider. "I've been really stressed, and he doesn't really believe that I can do any of it." On August 12 Petito said that she slapped Laundrie during an argument and hit him again while they were getting pulled over. "I was trying to get him to stop telling me to calm down," she said in the footage. After she told officers that she had no intention to physically hurt Laundrie, officers decided not to charge her. They described the incident as a "mental health crisis" and opted to have the couple separate for a night. Laundrie is himself missing after his parents reported to the authorities that they had not seen him since Sept. 14. Days after he returned home on Sept. 1 he refused to speak with investigators about the whereabouts of Petito, reports The New York Times.
Cover Image Source: Instagram | @gabspetito