The FBI has now joined the search for a missing social media influencer and travel blogger after reports surfaced that Gabby Petito was last heard from when she was camping with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, in Grant Teton National Park.
Investigators are also reportedly looking into any connection between Petito’s disappearance and a grisly double homicide that shocked the laid-back city of Moab, Utah, last month.
“FBI Denver also confirms they are working with the Teton County Sheriff’s office, Jackson Police Department, and the National Park Service to help find Gabby,” a local Denver network noted Friday.
Petito was last heard from in late August, and her family reported her missing on September 11th, after Laundrie appeared at his family’s home in Florida in the couple’s shared camper — but without Petito.
The two had been living with Laundrie’s family in Florida before deciding to embark on a cross-country trip that they were planning to document on social media.
“After our first cross country trip in a little Nissan Sentra, we both decided we wanted to downsize our lives and travel full time,” the pair said in a YouTube video from earlier this summer announcing their plans. They called their project “van life” and chronicled the details of their cross-country camping trip online.
At the end of August, around August 27th, Fox News noted Friday, Petito stopped communicating with her family and the pair stopped posting to social media. When Laundrie returned from the trip alone, Petito’s family reported Gabby as missing to local authorities.
“Investigators say Gabby Petito, 22, was last in contact with her family in late August when the couple was visiting Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park. Much of their trip was documented on social media accounts that abruptly ceased. The woman’s family has been critical of Brian Laundrie and his family for allegedly not cooperating in the investigation,” Fox News noted.
Laundrie has not commented and investigators have not said whether Laundrie is a suspect in Petito’s disappearance — or even whether they suspect foul play. On Friday, however, Utah investigators announced that because Petito last communicated from a national park, and the case has crossed state lines, the FBI is involved — and investigators have refreshed a case from last month involving the murder of two women, just outside Moab, near where Petito was last seen.
“The Grand County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday that it is “actively looking into any connection” between a double homicide of newlyweds at a campground outside Moab last month and the recent disappearance of Gabby Petito,” the outlet noted. The newlyweds were found shot to death and partially undressed in separate locations near their campsite.
The pair complained to family members that a man had been making them “uncomfortable” for several days and that they planned to move their campsite, but they never got a chance.
“The Sheriff’s Office is not ruling anything out at this time and appreciate the concerns of the public and their willingness to contact this office with those concerns and information,” the Grand County Sheriff’s Office told media Friday.
Laundrie’s family has made only sporadic comments. His sister reportedly told NewsNation that Gabby is “like a sister and my children love her, and all I want is for her to come home safe and found and this to be just a big misunderstanding,”
Investigators have not said officially whether Petito’s boyfriend is under suspicion, but they did note that it appears the pair were involved in a domestic dispute just two weeks before Petito disappeared, according to a police report obtained by USA Today. The police spoke to both, separated the pair for the night, and suggested that the disturbance was more akin to a “mental health” issue than domestic violence.