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Mystery as woman documenting cross-country road trip on YouTube goes missing

A 22-year-old woman who was on a road trip with her partner in a camper van across the US for two months has been reported missing by her family members.

Gabriella Petito, also referred to as Gabby, last spoke to her mother on 25 August, when she was in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, Fox News reported.

“I don’t know if she left Grand Teton or not,” Ms Petito’s mother Nicole Schmidt said. “I did receive a text from her on the 27th and the 30th, but I don’t know if it was technically her or not, because it was just a text. I didn’t verbally speak to her.”

Ms Petito and her boyfriend Brian Laundrie had set out in early July to visit national parks across the country, starting from Florida, Ms Schmidt said. Ms Petito and Mr Laundrie then went to New York and after that went to Salt Lake City in Utah in August but had to leave the city due to heavy wildfire smoke, according to Fox News.

They travelled in a 2012 Ford white van converted into a camper and customised to the couple’s needs. The van was recovered after Ms Petito went missing.

A video titled ‘VAN LIFE | Beginning Our Van Life Journey’ was shared by the couple on YouTube, where they documented their road trip

(YouTube/ Nomadic Statik)

The couple shared photos from their 2,328-mile road journey on social media throughout their trip. They also shared a video of their journey on YouTube.

“Downsizing our life to fit into this itty bitty van was the best decision we’ve ever made,” Mr Laundrie said in a post on Instagram. “With the limited space we wanted to take advantage of every inch, while also keeping everything minimalist.”

In a post shared on 10 July, Ms Petito said: “After going on our first road trip across the country in my tiny car, we felt like there was just so much we missed. Turning this Ford transit essentially into a camper was such an adventure in itself, but I couldn’t love the way it turned out more!”

“All the places it’s brought us so far have been amazing! As soon as we got to the Great Sand Dunes I didn’t want to leave, there was so much to hike!” she said.

The couple shared pictures from Colorado Springs, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Mystic Hot Springs and the Arches National Park.

After a complaint from Ms Petito’s family on Saturday, the Suffolk County Police started an investigation.

“Gabrielle Petito was traveling in a white, 2012 Ford Transit van with Florida license plate QFTG03 with a companion when she stopped communicating with friends and family,” the police said in a statement. “According to family, they were last in contact with her during the last week of August. Prior to the last communication, Petito is believed to have been in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.”

Sharing details of the missing woman, the police said that the 22-year-old is a white female, approximately 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighed 110 pounds.

“She has blonde hair and blue eyes, and several tattoos, including one on her finger and one on her forearm that reads “let it be”. The van she was traveling in has been recovered,” a release by Suffolk Police Country said, asking people to share any information they have on Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.

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