Brian Laundrie manhunt: Gabby Petito reported missing one month ago

Brian Laundrie manhunt: Gabby Petito reported missing one month ago

NORTH PORT, Fla. – It has been one month since Gabby Petito’s mother reported her daughter missing to police on Long Island, New York, where the 22-year-old grew up and later met Brian Laundrie

Authorities have released pieces of information at a time in the month since Petito was reported missing, but much remains unknown. Investigators searching the area in and around Wyoming‘s Grand Teton National Park discovered Petito’s remains on Sept. 19. They later identified her death as a homicide

But officials have not yet said how she died. As of Friday, Petito’s remains were still being held in Wyoming, where authorities have conducted autopsy examinations, a family spokesperson confirmed to Fox News. 

Petito was believed to have been traveling cross-country in a converted white Ford Transit with Laundrie, her fiancé, when she was last heard from. Prior to their trip, she had been living with Laundrie and his parents in their North Port, Florida, home. 

When Petito’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, reported her missing to Suffolk County Police in New York, she said she last spoke to her daughter at approximately 7 a.m. on Aug. 30. She said Petito was last seen in Grand Teton National Park, and listed Laundrie as a possible companion. 

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Schmidt also detailed the specific markings that her daughter had on her body, including the “Let It Be,” tattoo on her arm. 

She later described to authorities how in one of the most recent text exchanges with her daughter, on Aug. 27, Petito sent her mother an “odd” message in which she wrote: “Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls,” according to a search warrant filed in state court in September.

Gabby Petito’s mother reported her daughter missing to Suffolk County Police Department in New York on Sept. 11, 2001
(SCPD)

According to the document: “The reference to ‘Stan’ was regarding her grandfather, but per the mother, she never calls him ‘Stan.’ The mother was concerned that something was wrong with her daughter.”

Schmidt also told authorities Petito began to describe how there “appeared to be more and more tension between her and Laundrie,” according to the search warrant.

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Fox News was first to report that on Aug. 12, police in Moab, Utah responded to a call for a domestic dispute between the young couple. In a 911 call placed at the time, a person can be heard telling a police dispatcher that “the gentleman was slapping the girl.”

The call appears to contradict a police report in which an officer states “no one reported that the male struck the female.”

“The male tried to create distance by telling Gabbie to go take a walk to calm down, she didn’t want to be separated from the male, and began slapping him,” the report continued. “He grabbed her face and pushed her back as she pressed upon him and the van, he tried to lock her out and succeeded except for his driver’s door, she opened that and forced her way over to him and into the vehicle before it drove off.”

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One of the officers on the scene wrote that the incident could be “more accurately categorized as a mental/emotional health ‘break’ than a domestic assault.”

Authorities are now reviewing the police officers’ handling of the call. 

Petito and Laundrie embarked on their trip in mid-June with plans to visit national parks along the way. But Laundrie, 23, returned to his North Port home without his fiancée on Sept. 1 – 10 days before she was ultimately reported missing. 

According to the woman’s family, Brian Laundrie never called them to say that his daughter was not with him. His parents then allegedly ignored phone calls and text messages from the Petito family, including one in which they told the Laundries they were going to call the police. 

When investigators subsequently tried to speak with Brian, his parents allegedly “had papers at the door,” with instructions for police to contact their attorney, according to Joe Petito, Gabby’s father. 

Investigators seized the white van on Sept. 11 and later executed a search warrant at the North Port home. 

The Laundrie family’s attorney announced on Sept. 19 that Brian went missing on Sept. 14 after telling his family he was going to a local reserve. The family has since changed the date that Brian was last seen to Sept. 13. 

Brian’s parents had not been physically involved in the extensive search for their son until Thursday, after law enforcement asked Chris Laundrie to assist in that day’s efforts, their attorney said.

Shortly after he vanished, authorities named Laundrie as a person of interest in connection with what was then Petito’s disappearance. On Sept. 23, the FBI issued an arrest warrant for Laundrie, accusing him of bank card fraud.

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Brian Laundrie is still on the run. He has not been charged directly with Petito’s death.

As the manhunt for continues, authorities have spent days searching the T. Mabry Carlton Reserve in Venice, Florida, as well as Fort De Soto Park in Tierra Verde, where Brian saw his sister and camped with his parents Sept. 6-8. 

Meanwhile, more than a dozen people have reported seeing Brian Laundrie — or someone who matches his description — in other parts of the country, including near the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina.

Fox News’ Michael Ruiz contributed to this report. 

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