MOOSE, Wyo. — Authorities say a body discovered Sunday in Wyoming is believed to be Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito. The FBI said the body was found by law enforcement agents who had spent the past two days searching campgrounds.
An FBI agent said the cause of death not yet been determined. Petito and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, left in July on a cross-country trek in a converted van to visit national parks in the U.S. West.
Police said Laundrie was alone when he drove the van back to his parents’ home in North Port, Florida, on Sept. 1. Laundrie has been identified as a person of interest in the case.
He was last seen Tuesday and investigators have been searching for him.
This is a timeline of what we know about the disappearance of and search for Gabby Petito:
July 2: Petito and Laundrie start road trip
Petito and Laundrie left Blue Point, New York on Long Island on July 2 for a cross-country road trip to national parks out west in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.
They documented their travels every step of the way in photos and videos posted to YouTube and Instagram under the name “Nomadic Statik.”
Aug. 12: Argument in Utah
On Aug. 12, Petito posted photos twice on Instagram from a visit to Arches National Park in Moab, Utah.
That same day, 8 On Your Side learned Moab City police responded to a witness report of an argument and physical altercation involving the couple.
“Officers conducted an investigation and determined that insufficient evidence existed to justify criminal charges,” Chief Bret Edge said in an email.
Moab police decided the fight didn’t rise to the level of “domestic assault as much as that of a mental health crisis.”
Police recommended the couple spend the night apart. Petito stayed with the van. Police helped Laundrie get a hotel room at a family crisis center in Moab.
Aug. 21: Petito’s last FaceTime with her father
Nine days after the reported incident in Moab, on Aug. 21, Joseph Petito said he had his last FaceTime call with his daughter. He said he helped order her food in Salt Lake City.
“No red flags that popped out,” Mr. Petito said in a Zoom interview Tuesday from his home in Vero Beach. “I’m trying to wrap my brain – Monday morning quarterback it, you know what I mean – still nothing is popping in my head.”
Aug. 25: Petito’s last phone conversation with mother
Petito’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, said during an emotional news conference Monday she last spoke with her daughter on Aug. 25 while she was near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
“I wasn’t getting responses,” Schmidt said. “I believe she was in a place with no service. It was like day eight and nine I became really concerned. I figured she couldn’t be off the grid that long.”
Aug. 30: Petito’s mom receives final text from her
“The last text I got from her was on Aug. 30,” Schmidt said. “I don’t know if that was her texting me or not.”
Sept. 1: Laundrie returns home to Florida
North Port police, who are now the lead agency in the missing person investigation, say Laundrie returned to his parent’s home with the van on Sept. 1.
Sept. 11: Petito reported missing
Ten days later, on Sept. 11, concerned family members reported Petito missing to Suffolk County Police in New York.
Later that night, North Port Police confirmed they recovered the van at Laundrie’s parents’ home. Police said the young couple also lived there.
Sept. 15: Laundrie named person of interest
Laundrie was officially named a “person of interest” in Petito’s disappearance by North Port police on Wednesday as he refuses to cooperate with the investigation.
“As a father, I can imagine the pain and suffering Gabby’s family is going through,” North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison said. “We are pleading with anyone, including Brian, to share information with us on her whereabouts in the past few weeks. The lack of information from Brian is hindering this investigation. The answers will eventually come out. We will help find Gabby and we will help find anyone who may be involved in her disappearance.”
The Laundrie family attorney did not respond to 8 On Your Side’s request for comment Wednesday about police naming Brian a person of interest.
“This is understandably an extremely difficult time for both the Petito family and the Laundrie family. It is our understanding that a search has been organized for Miss Petito in or near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming,” Attorney Steven Bertolino said in a statement Tuesday. “On behalf of the Laundrie family it is our hope that the search for Miss Petito is successful and that Miss Petito is re-united with her family. On the advice of counsel the Laundrie family is remaining in the background at this juncture and will have no further comment.”
“I don’t know about you, but their child is home,” Mr. Petito said. “My child is somewhere in the continental United States with no phone, no car. It’s not as hard on them as it is on us.”
Sept. 16: Petito’s family begs for help
During a North Port police news conference on Sept. 16, Chief Todd Garrison voiced his frustration with the lack of answers on Petito’s disappearance.
“Two people went on a trip. One person returned. And that person that returned isn’t providing us any information,” he said.
Garrison added that there is no criminality suspected in the case at this time and police are only investigating a missing person case with the sole focus of finding Gabby Petito.
Petito’s father spoke during the news conference, begging ayone with information to come forward.
“I’m asking for help from everyone here, I’m asking for help from everyone at home. I’m asking for help from the parents of Brian. I’m asking for help from the family members and friends of the Laundrie family as well,” Joe Petito said. “Whatever you can do to make sure my daughter comes home, I’m asking for that help. There is nothing else that matters to me now.”
Later in the day, a family attorney in New York read a letter from Petito’s family to Laundrie’s parents that called on them for help.
“As a parent, how could you let us go through this pain and not help us? As a parent, how could you put Gabby’s younger brothers and sisters through this?” they said. “Gabby lived with you for over a year. She’s going to be your daughter-in-law. How can you keep her location hidden?”
Sept. 17: Laundrie reported missing
A family attorney confirmed Friday night that the whereabouts of Brian Laundrie were unknown.
“The FBI is currently at the Laundrie residence removing property to assist in locating Brian. As of now, the FBI is now looking for both Gabby and Brian,” the attorney said in a statement.
That statement came after police spent more than two hours at the Laundrie family home, at the family’s request.
Sept. 19: Body found in Teton Park
FBI Denver confirmed Sunday that remains found in Wyoming fit the description of missing 22-year-old Gabby Petito. The body was found in Teton Park.