The mystery of missing ‘van-life girl’ Gabby Petito has deepened with the disappearance of her fiancé Brian Laundrie.
Petito and Laundrie, YouTubers, set out from their Florida home in June to go on a cross-country journey to visit several national parks across America.
North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison said that Petito, 22, “maintained regular contact with her family members during her travels, however that communication abruptly stopped around the end of August”.
On August 12, police in Utah reported that they had had to intervene in “some sort of altercation” involving the couple.
Utah cop Eric Pratt reported at the time: “Both the male and female reported they are in love and engaged to be married and desperately didn’t wish to see anyone charged with a crime”.
His colleague Daniel Robbins described Petito as “confused and emotional.”
“After evaluating the totality of the circumstances, I do not believe the situation escalated to the level of a domestic assault as much as that of a mental health crisis,” he added.
Petito FaceTimed his mother on August 24 and stated that they were leaving Utah for the Teton Mountains in Wyoming.
After that, the only messages Petito’s mother received were via text. She claims that she doesn’t believe her daughter sent any of the messages.
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Laundrie returned to his parents’ home in North Port, Florida, where he lived with Petito, on September 1, according to police. He was driving Petito’s Ford van.
On September 11, Petito’s family reported her missing and police went to the home she shared with Laundrie.
Officers were “essentially handed the information for their attorney,” North Port police spokesperson Josh Taylor said.
Laundrie’s attorney confirmed that Petito, 23, was missing on Friday and that the FBI is currently searching for Laundrie.
Police have named Laundrie a ‘person of interest’ in their inquiry into Petito’s disappearance, but say that as yet there is no hard evidence any crime has been committed.