Gabby Petito body believed to be found in Wyoming national park
Former D.C. homicide detective Ted Williams and forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden discuss next steps in the investigation.
Investigators on Sunday discovered a body consistent with the description of Gabby Petito but stopped short of confirming a positive ID of her remains. The 22-year-old’s family had reported her missing the previous week, after a monthslong cross-country road trip.
Below is a timeline of Petito’s travels across the country in the months before she vanished.
June-July 2021: Petito posts first pictures of road trip from Kansas
Petito and fiancé Brian Laundrie left New York in a white 2012 Ford Transit Connect van, making it to their first big stop on July 4 at Monument Rocks in western Kansas.
Petito in Kansas at Monument Rocks
(Fox News Instagram screenshot)
“There’s no place like the tiny home we built,” she wrote in an Instagram post from the location.
July 8-11, 2021: Colorado Springs and Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colo.
Petito at Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado
Petito made it to Colorado the second week of July, first to Colorado Springs and then on to Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.
“Turning this Ford transit essentially into a camper was such an adventure in itself, but I couldn’t love the way it turned out more! All the places it’s brought us so far have been amazing! As soon as we got to the Great Sand Dunes I didn’t want to leave, there was so much to hike!” Petito wrote on July 11.
“I’m so grateful we got such an awesome spot to spend the night and surf the dunes! And the night sky here was insane! never seen so many stars!”
July 16, 2021: Petito posts photo to Instagram from Zion National Park in Utah
Gabby Petito in Zion National Park
Petito visited the sprawling park for a few days, according to an Instagram post she shared.
“The past two nights camping in Zion have been so cool, literally,” she wrote. “We hiked up here in about 100° and it was so nice coming back to our campsite, watching the sky fill with dark clouds, and view the lightning storm in the nice cool air of the light rain.”
July 21-22, 2021: Petito posts photos from Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Gabby Petito poses for a photo at Bryce Canyon.
(Gabby Petito / Instagram)
Days later, she traveled to Bryce Canyon National Park, which is known for its beautiful rock formations.
“Such a beautiful drive here シ Zion → Cedar Breaks → Bryce After the rain the canyons are visibility a deeper orange,” Petito wrote.
July 26, 2021: Petito shares images from Mystic Hot Springs in Monroe, Utah
Gabby Petito shares an image from Mystic Hot Springs.
(Gabby Petito / Instagram)
Petito shared several images of her soaking in what appears to be a tub in Mystic Hot Springs. “I took a very relaxing nap here,” she wrote.
Another photo showed her kissing Laundrie.
Aug. 12, 2021: Police encounter outside Arches National Park, Utah
Police in Moab, Utah, said they responded to an incident involving Petito and Laundrie outside Arches National Park. Bodycam video showed Petito in tears, saying the couple had been fighting. Laundrie said she’d hit him with her phone and grabbed the van’s steering wheel to make him pull over as police followed them. Investigators said neither Petito nor Laundrie had made the initial incident call, and nobody filed charges.
Aug. 19, 2021: Video uploaded to YouTube featuring ‘Van Life Journey’
A video posted to the YouTube channel Van Life showed Petito enjoying herself on a series of adventures in their white van.
“After our first cross country trip in a little Nissan Sentra, we both decided we to wanted downsize our lives and travel full time, but trying to fit everything for two people into the tiny little trunk of the car, also spending way too much on gas, food, and airbnb, was not the road to take,” the channel description reads.
“We quickly realized we had to come up with a solution if we wanted to continue traveling and living nomadically, so that’s why we handcrafted our own tiny van, a simple 2012 Ford transit connect, utilizing space with unique designs and features,” the post continued. “Creating a space for both artistic expression and distance hiking. Thank you so much for watching, and we hope you tag along on our journey wherever the van takes us!”
Aug. 25, 2021: Final Instagram photo, phone call to family
Petito posted her last Instagram photo, which appears to be from Utah. Her mother, Nicole Schmidt, said her daughter called her from Grand Teton National Park, and it would be the young woman’s last call to her family.
Aug. 27, 2021: Bound for Yellowstone?
Petito reportedly told a friend on Snapchat she was headed to Yellowstone National Park. Separately, an unnamed friend told The Sun she and Petito were planning to speak on Aug. 29 about meeting up there, saying, “She was supposed to call on my birthday and we were going to figure it all out then because her trip wasn’t on schedule.” That friend said she didn’t hear from Petito again.
Aug. 30, 2021: Petito’s mother receives strange text message
Schmidt said she received a text from her daughter that read, “No signal in Yosemite,” referring to Yosemite National Park in Northern California.
The mother later told Fox News she did not believe the text was from her daughter. On Aug. 27, Petito told a friend she was headed to Yellowstone but it was unclear if she made it there.
Sept. 1, 2021: Laundrie returns to Florida
Police said Laundrie returned in the van to North Port, Fla., where the couple had been living with his parents.
Sept. 11, 2021: Petito’s mother reports her missing to NY authorities
Nicole Schmidt reported her daughter missing to the Suffolk County Police Department in New York after not being able to get in touch with her.
Sept. 19, 2021: FBI says body found at Grand Teton National Park matches Petito’s description
The FBI announced that a body found near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming matched the description of Petito.
The investigation was still ongoing, officials added, noting that they still have not 100% positively identified the body.
“The FBI and our partners extend our heartfelt condolences to Gabby’s family and loved ones,” the FBI said in a statement.
A cause of death was yet to be determined.
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