• Go here for the last on The disappearance of Gabrielle Petito.
Authorities are investigating the disappearance of Gabrielle Petito, who left Long Island, New York in July on a van trip with her fiance, Brian Laundrie.
In September, Mr. Laundrie returned home to Florida without Ms. Petito, 22, and police opened a missing persons file after her family came to see them.
North Port, Florida police, working with federal and local investigators, described Mr. Laundrie, 23, as a “person of interest,” a loose term often used by law enforcement to identify a person. no one they believe could have been involved. in a crime. Mr. Laundrie was not named as a suspect or arrested. Through his lawyer, he refused to speak to investigators, police said.
Here is a timeline of the case.
The couple left New York City for what was supposed to be a four-month trip across the country to visit and camp in national parks, Ms. Petito’s stepfather Jim Schmidt said.
They documented their travels on their Instagram accounts and on YouTube.
Ms Petito posted a photo of herself on Instagram, taken Aug. 9, sitting under an archway in Arches National Park in Utah.
The same day she posted the photo, police in Moab, Utah, responded to a report of a “domestic problem” after Mr. Laundrie had “some sort of argument” with Ms. Petito. , according to a police report.
Mr Laundrie and Ms Petito told police they were in love, engaged and “desperately didn’t want to see anyone charged with a crime.” According to the police report, Mr Laundrie told an officer that “the problems between the two have built up over the past few days.”
The couple released an eight minute video on YouTube titled “Van Life: Beginning Our Van Life Journey”. He showed them kissing, climbing rocks and laughing at the way the Utah sun had melted the chocolate in Mr. Laundrie’s granola. “I love the van,” said Ms. Petito, smiling at Mr. Laundrie.
Around August 23 to August 24
Mr Schmidt said he and Ms Petito’s mother Nichole Schmidt last spoke to Ms Petito on a FaceTime call around this time. He said Ms Petito told them that she and Mr Laundrie were leaving Utah and heading to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Mr Schmidt said Ms Petito texted her mother several times after that.
The last post on his Instagram account was released on August 25.
Nichole Schmidt said he received a text from his daughter’s phone, according to the New York Post. The text read: “No service in Yosemite”, Ms Schmidt told the Post.
Mr Laundrie returned to his home in North Port, Fla., In the white Ford van the couple had used for the trip and which had been registered in Ms Petito’s name. He was alone.
Ms Petito’s family reported her missing, the North Port Police Department said.
Police described Mr. Laundrie as a “person of interest”, saying he was the last person known to have been with Ms. Petito before she disappeared. North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison posted a plea on Twitter addressed to Steven Bertolino, Mr. Laundrie’s lawyer, asking him to set up a conversation with Mr. Laundrie.
Mr Bertolino said he advised Mr Laundrie not to speak to authorities.
Officials at Grand Teton National Park noted Rangers were working with investigators from the National Park Service, the FBI and other local authorities to locate Ms. Petito.
Chief Garrison told a news conference Mr Laundrie was exercising his constitutional right not to speak to authorities and investigators still treated the search as a missing persons case.
Joseph Petito, Ms Petito’s father, appeared at the press conference and asked for advice and help from the community to find his daughter. Ms Petito’s parents and in-laws have also launched a public appeal directly to Mr Laundrie’s parents, begging them to reveal where “Brian left Gabby”.
“We ask you to put yourself in our shoes,” they said in the letter, which was read by their lawyer, Richard Stafford. “We couldn’t sleep or eat. And our lives are collapsing.