You’ve probably heard the name Gabby Petito in recent days.
The 22-year-old blogger has documented her country-wide travels on Instagram and TikTok for the last two years.
However, on a recent cross-country journey with her significant other Brian Laundrie, Petito disappeared.
Recent reports revealed that about a month before her parents filed a missing persons report, Petito and Laundrie, who live in Florida, were pulled over by the Moab Police Department in Utah near the entrance to Arches National Park.
Police video shows the couple getting into a minor scuffle that began when Laundrie climbed into the van with dirty feet.
The body camera video shows Petito visibly upset when an officer approached them.
“We’ve just been fighting this morning. Some personal issues,” Petito says, adding that she suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder that affects her behavior.
Police determined Petito was the aggressor, but Laundrie called it a squabble, and ultimately said he did not want to press charges.
After her last known contact with family in late August, Petito vanished from the area of the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, authorities said.
Laundrie returned to the couple’s home on Sept. 1 alone.
Who is Petito?
Petito is originally from Blue Point, New York, according to her private Facebook page and published reports, and attended Bayport-Blue Point High School.
Petito and Laundrie were childhood sweethearts on Long Island before moving from Blue Point in 2019 to live with his parents in North Port, about 34 miles south of Sarasota, Florida.
Her Instagram account officially revealed that the two were an item in 2019.
The couple’s first cross-country trip was in a Nissan Sentra, but when that journey was done, they decided to downsize their lives and travel full time. That’s when they made the decision that a van would be perfect for their #VanLife, which she’s known to use as a tag on social media.
“We handcrafted our own tiny van, a simple 2012 Ford Transit Connect, utilizing space with unique designs and features,” Petito wrote as a caption for a YouTube video the couple posted. “Creating a space for both artistic expression and distance hiking. Thank you so much for watching, and we hope you tag along on our journey wherever the van takes us!”
The couple began their #VanLife in 2021.
While more public details about Petito are scarce, her family has been open about their desperation to locate their daughter.
Gabby Petito’s parents told KSL-TV that the couple left Salt Lake City on Aug. 24, headed toward Grand Teton National Park, where they believe the couple spent no more than two days.
Petito’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, said that was the last time she spoke to her daughter over FaceTime.
“She seemed OK to me at the time, other than I don’t know where the relationship was going with the boyfriend,” Schmidt said of the couple possibly going through a rough patch.
Petito’s last post on Instagram was Aug. 25.
North Port Police said at a news conference Thursday that the investigation remains a missing persons case, not a murder probe, and that no intensive searches have begun because it’s unclear exactly where authorities might look.
“We’re still trying to nail down geographic areas,” Chief Todd Garrison said. “There’s a lot of information we are going through. Our focus is to find Gabby.”
The missing woman’s father, Joe Petito, also appeared at the news conference to urge anyone with knowledge about his daughter to come forward.
“What I want from everybody here is help. Whatever you can do to make sure my daughter comes home. I’m asking you to help. Nothing else matters right now,” Joe Petito said.
Gabby Petito is 5 feet 5 inches tall and about 110 pounds, with blonde hair and blue eyes, police said. She has several tattoos, including one on a forearm that reads, “let it be.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.