Parents of missing woman make emotional plea for daughter’s return
Missing YouTuber Gabby Petito and her fiance were reportedly arguing and hitting each other, according to a police report from Utah. The couple, who were on a road trip in Ms Petito’s van, were spotted having an argument in Moab City, Utah on 12 August. The police determined the incident was a “mental health break” rather than a domestic assault situation and separated the couple for the night.
On Wednesday, the North Port Police Department in Florida announced they were treating Ms Petito’s fiance as a person of interest in their investigation. Ms Petito’s family released a statement begging him to assist police in their search for the woman.
Ms Petito disappeared while on a road trip with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, who returned without her, prompting a frantic search for the 22-year-old woman that began on 11 September.
Mr Laundrie, who lived with Ms Petito in North Port, Florida, has thus far refused to cooperate with authorities. The North Port police will hold a press conference today at 11:30am EST to discuss the latest developments in their search for Ms Petito.
Nicole Schmidt, Ms Petito’s mother, said the last time she spoke with her daughter was 30 August, but because it was a text she cannot be sure that she was actually speaking with the woman. Before that the mother and daughter video chatted on 23 or 24 August. Ms Schmidt said it was normal for her and her daughter to video chat multiple times a week. When her daughter did not check in after Mr Laundrie returned early from their road trip, she grew concerned and eventually the family alerted the police.
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Everything we know about the ‘incident’ between Petito and Laundrie
Utah police officers were called to an “incident” involving Gabby Petito and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, just two weeks before she was last seen or heard from.
According to the police report, Ms Petito and Mr Laundrie were arguing and hitting each other, but no charges were filed. Police characterized the event as a “mental health break.”
“Our officers did respond to an incident involving Brian Laundrie and Gabrielle Petito on 12 August 2021. However, neither Brian or Gabrielle were the reporting party,” Moab police chief Bret Edge told Fox News. “Officers conducted an investigation and determined that insufficient evidence existed to justify criminal charges.”
Here’s everything we know about the altercation:
Nathan Place15 September 2021 23:59
Read the full statement from police naming Laundrie as ‘person of interest’
Police named Gabby Petito’s boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, as a “person of interest” in its investigation on Wednesday.
“We know Brian returned here to North Port on September 1st – 10 days before her family reported her missing on September 11th,” the North Port Police said in a statement. “We have no information that a crime occurred here in North Port. Brian Laundrie is a person of interest in this case.”
Read the full statement here:
Nathan Place15 September 2021 23:47
Gabby Petito: Everything we know so far
There are many details to the missing person case of Gabby Petito, 22. From the dates when she was last heard from to the fight police witnessed between her and her boyfriend, here’s a look at what we know so far:
Nathan Place15 September 2021 23:22
Petito’s family starts GoFundMe to help with search
The family of Gabby Petito has launched a GoFundMe page to help fund the ongoing search for the 22-year-old.
The page has set a goal amount of $50,000, and has already raised more than $36,400 as of Wednesday night.
“The family would like to thank everyone who has been following our story, sending tips through our Facebook page or directly to the authorities,” family friend Gary Rider, who organized the GoFundMe, wrote in a post. “The best thing everyone can do right now to help is to continue to share this story. We intend to keep this story fresh and current while maintaining our hopes and prays of bringing Gabby home to her family.”
Nathan Place15 September 2021 22:52
North Port police chief tweets call for Brian Laundrie’s lawyer to assist in the search for Gabby Petito
North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison tweeted out a call for Brian Laundrie’s lawyer, Steve Bertolino, to convince his client to assist them in the search for Mr Laundrie’s fiance, Gabby Petito.
“Mr. Steven Bertolino, esq. the @NorthPortPolice needs your help in finding Gabby Petito,” Mr Garrison wrote. “Two people left on a trip and one person returned!”
Graig Graziosi15 September 2021 21:59
Gabby Petito’s stepfather spotted hanging missing person flyers in Wyoming
Gabby Petito’s stepfather, James Schmidt, has been spotted in Jackson, Wyoming hanging missing person flyers.
Mr Schmidt flew to Utah with a family friend to search for his missing stepdaughter.
Graig Graziosi15 September 2021 21:40
Gabby Petito fiance Brain Laundrie’s lawyer releases statement saying he will “remain silent”
Brian Laundrie, the fiance of Gabby Petito, will “remain silent,” according to his lawyer.
In the statement, Mr Laundrie’s lawyer, Steve Bertolino, said that “in my experience, intimate partners are often the first person law enforcement focuses their attention on in cases like this and the warning that “any statement made will be used against you” is true, regardless of whether my client had anything to do with Ms Petito’s disappearance.”
“As such, on the advice of counsel Mr Laundrie is not speaking on this matter,” he said.
Mr Bertolino acknowledged that Mr Laundrie has been named as a “person of interest” in the investigation, but that that “has not really changed” his advice for his client to “remain silent.”
Graig Graziosi15 September 2021 21:22
Instagram says Gabby Petito’s account was deleted accidentally
Facebook, which owns Instagram, has explained the mystery behind Gabby Petito’s temporarily deleted account.
According to Facebook, the account was temporarily disabled by Instagram while the company was working to delete fraudulent accounts claiming to be Ms Petito’s.
The woman’s account was offline for approximately four hours before it was restored.
Graig Graziosi15 September 2021 21:09
Gabby Petito’s final text to her mother is revealed
The last text Gabby Petito sent to her mother came on 30 August and simply stated that there was no service where she was travelling.
“No service in Yosemite,” the text said.
Nicole Schmidt, Ms Petito’s mother, said she does not believe that her daughter sent the text. Prior to that text, the last time Ms Schmidt spoke with her daughter was on 25 August, when they participated in a video call.
Graig Graziosi15 September 2021 20:40
Gabby Petito’s family accuses fiance of leaving her in wilderness with “grizzly bears and wolves”
The family of Gabby Petito released a statement on Wednesday through the family’s lawyer pleading with her fiance, Brian Laundrie, to assist the search for their daughter.
“Brian left Gabby in the wilderness with grizzly bears and wolves while he sits in the comfort of his home,” the statement says.
The statement calls Mr Laundrie’s refusal to cooperate with police “reprehensible” and asks for the family to “help bring Gabby home.”
Graig Graziosi15 September 2021 20:22