Just days after she went missing, authorities have now confirmed that they have found what they believe to be the remains of Gabby Petito during a thorough search across Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, according to multiple news outlets.
And now, the young influencer’s family has released a statement on the matter…
It all started when influencer, Gabby Petito, was reported missing to police by her mother on September 11th.
Petito had not been in touch with her family since late August when she and her fiancé Brian Laundrie, were in Wyoming.
Laundrie returned to Florida on September 1st, without Petito.
He’s now been named as a person of interest in the case by the authorities.
The pair had been documenting their travels on social media.
But, Petito has not shared a post to her Instagram account for over 3 weeks now.
As the search for her whereabouts continued, North Port police chief, Todd Garrison, issued a statement.
“We are pleading with anyone, including Brian, to share information with us on her whereabouts in the past few weeks,” said Garrison, as per the BBC. “The lack of information from Brian is hindering this investigation. The answers will eventually come out.”
The van the pair had been sharing had been seized and searched for clues.
“Brian is also refusing to explain why he left Gabby all alone and drove her van to Florida. These are critical questions that require immediate answers,” the Petito family said in a statement.
Petito’s mom revealed the final text she received from her missing daughter.
Nichole Schmidt said she received a message from her daughter’s phone on August 30th reading “No service in Yosemite.”
However, Schmidt does not believe this text was actually written by Petito. “The van was in Florida on the 1st [of September]. I think I can do the math,” she explained to the New York Post.
Schmidt refused to comment on who she did believe had sent the message.
Police officers have also released bodycam footage from a month before Petito’s disappearance.
The footage shows officers, in Utah, talking to Petito and Laundrie after they responded to a 911 call of a domestic incident.
The hour-long bodycam footage from August 12th was released by Moab City Police Department.
It shows officers interaction with the couple when they pulled over their white van outside Arches National Park in Moab.
The footage, obtained by ABC7, shows the officer separate the couple and begin to question them about what led to the 911 call.
During her conversation with the officer, Petito can be heard saying: “I have really bad OCD. I was apologizing to him saying I’m sorry I’m so mean.
“We’ve been fighting all morning. He wouldn’t let me in the car before… He told me I needed to calm down.”
The officer then sat Petito in the back of his patrol car before moving to talk to Laundrie.
Speaking with the officer, Laundrie said: “She just gets worked up sometimes, I try to distance myself from her. I locked the car.
“I said, ‘Let’s just take a breather.’ She had her phone. I was trying to push her away to say, ‘Let’s just take a step back,'” he said while adding that Petito hit him with her phone.
As per ABC7, the incident was reportedly categorized by police as a “mental/emotional health break” rather than a domestic assault.
The couple reportedly agreed to spend the night separately instead of charges being filed with the police helping Laundrie to sort a hotel room while Petito remained with the van.
Despite the pleas made by Petito’s family, Laundrie’s relatives remained quiet…
Until his sister spoke out.
Cassie Laundrie, opened up Petito’s disappearance after her family was accused of withholding valuable information.
But, people weren’t convinced by what she had to say…
Opening up in an exclusive interview with GMA, Cassie Laundrie insisted that she and her family “want Gabby to be found safe,” ABC7 NY reports.
“Obviously me and my family want Gabby to be found safe,” Laundrie said. “She’s 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.”
But just days on from the interview, authorities stumbled across the worst-case scenario.
On Sunday, it was announced that they had discovered what they believed to be “human remains” while conducting a thorough search of the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming – and those remains are said to “be consistent” with the twenty-two-year-old.
FBI Supervisory, Special Agent Charles Jones, said:
“Full forensic identification has not been completed to confirm 100% that we found Gabby, but her family has been notified of this discovery.”
He also added this during the conference: “As every parent can imagine this is an incredibly difficult time for the family, and friends, our thoughts and prayers are with them.
“We ask that you all respect their privacy as they mourn the loss of their daughter.”
Richard Benson Stafford, the family lawyer has released a statement on behalf of the family:
“I am making a personal request to members of the press and news media to refrain from contacting the Schmidt and Petito family,” Stafford said. “Due to today’s developments, we are asking the press and news media to have some decorum and sensitivity for Gabby’s family and allow them to grieve.
“I will be in contact with you when Gabby’s family is ready to make a public statement.”
On social media, Petito’s father, Joseph, has posted a tribute to his daughter, telling everyone “she touched the world.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Petito family during this incredibly difficult time.