Tragic Details About Gabby Petito

The tragic story of the mysterious disappearance of Gabby Petito has captured the nation. The 22-year-old van-life blogger, originally from Long Island, New York, embarked on a road trip across the country with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, in June. The couple, who are residents of North Port, Florida, packed their white transit van and documented much of their trip online. Their last stop was supposed to be Oregon, which they expected to reach by the end of October, based on their posts. Sadly, the two would not make it.

Throughout the couple's road trip, Petito was consistently updating her social media pages and communicating with friends and family. But that all stopped in late August once Petito had reached Wyoming. Her mother, Nicole Schmidt, told police that she last heard from her daughter at the end of the month when the pair were believed to have been in Grand Teton National Park (via ABC New York).

On September 1, Laundrie returned to Florida in the van without Petito (via CBS New York).

Gabby Petito's family reports her missing

Gabby Petito's family reported her missing to Long Island's Suffolk County Police Department on September 11 — close to two weeks after they last heard from her. According to ABC New York, Schmidt had a video chat with her daughter sometime on August 24 or 25, and the last text exchange between them was on August 30. That day would be the last time she had any sign of communication with her daughter, but Schmidt believes there is a possibility that it was not Petito communicating with her in those final text messages (via ABC New York).

In the following days, Schmidt said that she and her family were feeling discouraged and saddened about not hearing from Petito, but continued to stay optimistic in their search to locate her. "We don't eat, we don't sleep, we're just actively looking for her," she said. 

Gabby Petito's fiancé returns and goes silent

Though Brian Laundrie returned home to Florida on September 1, he did not offer any public explanation for why Petito was not with him or why the trip was cut short. It is not known what Laundrie may have told his parents about Petito no longer being with him or whether he offered any explanation at all — despite the fact that the couple had been living with the Laundrie family in Florida before Petito's disappearance.   

Laundrie reportedly declined offers to speak with authorities in Florida and instead obtained a lawyer to handle all communication. During a September 16 news briefing, Petito's family made pleas through a statement read by their attorney, reading (in part), ""Please, if you or your family have any decency left, please, tell us where Gabby is located," (per CNN).

The attorney also stated during the briefing that the Petito family had reached out to the Laundries earlier in the month in the hope of gathering any new information but that the Laundrie family refused to offer any further insight into where Gabby may be. 

The disturbing police cam video of Gabby Petito

Despite the couple's happy presentation on their social media posts, there were previous indications that there may have been deeper issues within the relationship that raised concerns. On August 12, police in Moab, Utah briefly detained the couple after a witness had seen the two having a heated disagreement that allegedly turned physical and contacted police.

In the video, recorded off police body cams, both Laundrie and Petito are seen talking to responding officers about an argument they had that escalated. Petito appears visibly distressed and upset while Laundrie seems comparatively calm. Per, ABC News the pair both agreed to police that Petito was the aggressor and that they both would separate for the night since no charges were going to be filed. Laundrie got a hotel room, and Petito would stay in the van. While initial reports indicated Petito had slapped Laundrie, newly released audio from the 911 call presents a different story (via KSL News Radio). In the audio, the caller actually reports that a man (Laundrie) is seen hitting and slapping a woman (Petito).

Two grieving families at odds

Although Laundrie is often referred to as Petito's fiancé in the media, the title had been dropped a few months ago, according to Gabby Petito's mother, who says Petito called off the engagement just before their trip (via Yahoo News).

Regardless of the status of the couple's engagement in the wake of her disappearance, both families are now seemingly at odds. Laundrie's refusal to speak up about Petito's whereabouts is what sparked the initial family statement from Petito's family. In it, they implied that his silence was selfish and unhelpful in their search, saying, "Brian, your silence is reprehensible! We beg you to do the right thing and help us bring Gabby home," read the statement (via ABC New York).

In response, Laundrie's lawyer released a statement stating that he advised his client to stay silent. It's unclear if the families have since tried to communicate with each other privately or directly, but it's safe to assume based on the statements from their attorneys, they likely have not. While Petito's family begs for answers, Laundrie's sister recently defended her brother and expressed her desire for Petito's safe return (Good Morning America).

As of now, Laundrie's family is claiming to not know where he is. On September 17, Laundrie's parents told police that they believed their son was missing and that they hadn't spoken to him or seen him since September 14. While the FBI has since searched the Laundrie home, ostensibly in an effort to find him, they stress that he is still only considered at this point to be a "person of interest" in the case.

Authorities have focused their search for Laundrie on the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve in Florida, where Laundrie's parents believe he may have gone but, as of publication, his whereabouts remain unknown, per CNN.

A body is found matching Gabby Petito's description

On September 19, the FBI confirmed that they discovered remains inside the Grand Teton National Park that were consistent with Petito's description. While the body found has not yet been confirmed to be the missing blogger, officials strongly believe it is, per CNN.

On September 20, the FBI turned their search to the Laundrie family home (via Orlando Sentinel). Now a full search of the Laundrie home is being conducted, and Laundrie's parents are likely being questioned.

Meanwhile, the timeline of Petito's whereabouts after she last spoke to her mother is also being fleshed out. The couple's van was spotted by a family in the Spread Creek camping area (The Daily Beast) on August 27 at around 6 p.m. Authorities also searched this area based on the new information.

An autopsy will be conducted on the remains found on September 21, which is expected to officially confirm whether they are those of Petito (CNN).