THE mom of missing road tripper Gabby Petito says the final text she received from her phone was about the lack of signal in a national park – but alleged it was not written by the vlogger.
Worried Nichole Schmidt said she was sent the chilling message on August 30 – weeks after Gabby and her boyfriend Brian Laundrie had started their cross-country road trip across America.
The family said they had last heard from the vlogger on August 25 when she and her boyfriend were visiting Grand Teton national park, Wyoming.
The text, dated August 30, read: "No signal in Yosemite" and Schmidt alleged it was not sent by her daughter.
She told MailOnline: "That text was NOT from Gabby I know it!"
It's not known who sent the text message.
Yosemite is located in the Sierra Nevada mountains in California – around 800 miles from Grand Teton.
It comes as police said that Laundrie is now a “person of interest” in the case.
Officers allege that Gabby’s boyfriend is “hindering their investigation” by not cooperating with them.
Florida's North Port Police Department said in a statement on Wednesday: "Brian Laundrie is a person of interest in this case."
Read our Gabby Petito live blog for the very latest news and updates…
North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison added: "As a father, I can imagine the pain and suffering Gabby's family is going through.
"We are pleading with anyone, including Brian, to share information with us on her whereabouts in the past few weeks."
Garrison said: "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."
Police responded to an alleged “incident” involving Gabby and her boyfriend on August 12, but neither was the reporting party.
Moab Chief of Police Bret Edge told Fox: “Officers conducted an investigation and determined that insufficient evidence existed to justify criminal charges.”
A police report documenting the alleged incident revealed Petito was sitting in the van’s passenger seat “crying uncontrollably” when a cop pulled up to their vehicle.
The document, obtained by The Sun, states: "At no point in my investigation did Gabrielle stop crying, breathing heavily, or compose a sentence without needing to wipe away tears."
Officer Daniel Scott revealed a witness saw Laundrie and Petito "arguing over a phone" before the pair drove away.
Police confirmed that no significant injuries were reported.
Cops have said that they are “not ruling out” a potential link between the missing case and a couple’s murder near where the alleged incident occurred.
Married couple Kylen Schulte and Crystal Turner were found dead by a friend in the La Sal mountain range in Utah days later on August 18.
A spokesman for the Grand County Sheriff’s Office told Fox News: "We're looking at everything.
"I mean, anything and everything that was suspicious around that time, or we're not ruling anything out at this time. So we're just investigating the information as it comes in."
There is no evidence that the two cases are connected.
Schulte held a job at a grocery store called Moonflower – the same location where Gabby and Laundrie reportedly got into an argument.
Cops said Laundrie returned to his parent's house in Florida on September 1 – weeks before Gabby's family reported the vlogger missing.
The white camper van they were traveling in has since been seized and investigators are searching the vehicle for fingerprints and clues.
Gabby and Laundrie lived together in Florida the past two years having met in high school in New York, her family said.
The pair started their road trip on July 2 and planned to visit Portland, Oregon so they could see a friend at Halloween.
They had been documenting their "Van Life" travels on their social media accounts and set up a YouTube channel just three weeks ago to chronicle their adventures through national state parks.
The couple visited Colorado Springs and many national parks in Utah but left the state due to the risk of wildfires.
A map reveals the final movements of Petito and the places that they visited before she vanished.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.
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