EXCLUSIVE: Stones arranged in a cross are left as an apparent memorial at Wyoming campsite where body believed to be 22-year-old ‘van life’ woman Gabby Petito was found

  • The makeshift memorial was spotted Monday evening just east of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming
  • Police markers were also spotted in the area, where authorities found a body that could be Petito’s Sunday
  • An autopsy is set for Tuesday to confirm if the body is hers and to determine the cause of death  
  • Petito’s hard drive is now the subject of intense scrutiny from police after her body was found 
  • The 22-year-old set out on a road trip earlier in the summer, and was last seen alive in Utah on August 24 
  • Boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, 23, returned to Florida on September 1 and was at his parents house in North Port
  • Petito’s computer was in her white Ford Transit van that was taken away by police on September 11 
  • Laundrie’s parents have reported him missing, saying they have not seen him since September 14  

An area in Bridger-Teton National Forest where authorities found remains believed to be 22-year-old Gabby Petito now has a makeshift memorial made of white stones arranged in a cross.

The memorial was spotted Monday evening at the Spread Creek Dispersed Campsite. Law enforcement awaits an autopsy scheduled for Tuesday to confirm whether the body belongs to the missing ‘van-life’ woman.

The New York native set out on a road trip with her boyfriend earlier this summer and was last seen alive on August 24. She was reported missing on September 11 after Brian Laundrie, who she was road-tripping with, returned home to Florida without her.

The spot with the stone crosses is just east of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming where law enforcement discovered the human remains on Sunday. It is not clear when the cross was created. 

DailyMail.com exclusively found the location where Gabby’s transit van was filmed by a Youtuber on August 27th at the Spread Creek campsite. The remains were found not far from where the van was photographed.

The location was found Monday just minutes after law enforcement left the campground around 5:40 p.m. and opened it back up to the public. The campground had been closed to the public since last Saturday.

A DailyMail reporter found a pink ribbon tied the bushes near where the van was parked on the side of the road.

Investigators left pink marker tape where the couple’s van was seen in a YouTube video and more pink marker tape by the cross. There also were red markers in a large circle around the area where investigators had been working. 

A memorial of stones arranged in a cross pattern was spotted Monday evening at the Spread Creek Dispersed Campsite east of the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming

The memorial is placed near to where authorities found a body believed to belong to Gabby Petito, 22

The undeveloped campground is popular with tourists though it has no water or trash service. Above, a sign points to the area

DailyMail.com exclusively found the location where Gabby’s transit van was filmed by a Youtuber on August 27th at the Spread Creek campsite

Gabby’s transit van was filmed by a Youtuber on August 27th at the Spread Creek campsite, and the remains were found not far from where the van was photographed

There were markings with orange paint on several rocks and trees surrounding the cross.

The orange paint on the dead trees was still wet. Near the makeshift cross, a pink ribbon was tied to a dead tree. That pink ribbon was the same type found where Gabby’s transit van was filmed by the YouTuber.

Forensic experts have been going over Petito’s computer hard drive for crucial clues after police in North Port, Florida, got a court warrant to search the device.

The computer was with her boyfriend Brian Laundrie when he returned to Florida without Petito on September 1.

A body believed to be Petito’s was found in near a campsite in Wyoming on Sunday, and Laundrie has vanished and been declared missing.  

DailyMail reporter found a pink ribbon tied the bushes near where the van was parked on the side of the road

Near the makeshift cross, a pink ribbon was tied to a dead tree. That pink ribbon was the same type found where Gabby’s transit van was filmed by the YouTuber

There were markings with orange paint on several rocks and trees surrounding the cross

A pink ribbon thought to have been left by investigators can be seen at the location of Gabby’s van

The makeshift memorial was spotted Monday evening at the Spread Creek Dispersed Campsite

Part of the warrant application reveals a cryptic last text message Petito sent to her mother Nichole Schmidt that set off alarm bells when it was received.

The warrant reads: ‘On August 27th, 2021, the subject’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, received an “odd text” from the subject. The text message read, “Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls”.’

The document continues: ‘The reference to “Stan” was referring to Gabby’s grandfather. But according to her mother, Gabby never calls him “Stan”. The mother was concerned that something was wrong with her daughter.’

It added this was the ‘last communication anyone has with the subject. Her cell phone was no longer operational, and she stopped posting anything on social media about their trip. Per her family, this was not normal behavior for the subject and they became more worried about her.’

The pair had been travelling on a cross-country trip together since July 2, when they left New York. Petito was reported missing on September 11

Petito’s hard drive is now the subject of intense scrutiny from police after her body was found on Sunday

Gabby Petito, 22, is pictured with her boyfriend Brian Laundrie, 23, in a YouTube video made to document their ‘van life’ road trip. Petito’s body was found on Sunday and Laundrie has disappeared

Nicole Schmidt and her husband James are pictured during a September 14 press conference appealing for information about Petito’s whereabouts

Part of the application for the document reveals a cryptic last text message Gabby sent to her mother Nichole Schmidt that set off alarm bells when it was received.

Gabby’s mother acknowledged receiving another text from her phone on Aug. 30 with the message, “No service in Yosemite.”

She was convinced her daughter didn’t sent that final message and that she believes Petito’s boyfriend may have sent the message from her phone, possibly to mislead her family and investigators as to her whereabouts.

Gabby’s computer was in her white Ford Transit van that was taken away by police very late September 11 – some 10 days after boyfriend Brian Laundrie had already returned to Florida without her.

The vehicle was taken by North Port Police around five hours after Schmidt- who lives on Long Island, New York – reported her daughter missing. A warrant to search the vehicle was issued on September 14.

The warrant application explains that Petito and Laundrie ‘left from New York state sometime in mid-June 2021 for a vacation in Utah, traveling a variety of National Parks along the way. While they were on their trip, they documented some of the events on a YouTube video, “VAN LIFE: Beginning Our Van Life Journey”.

It added: ‘During the trip the subject sent multiple text messages and had many talks with her mother Nichole Schmidt … during these conversations there appeared to be more and more tension between her and Laundrie.’ 

Additionally, WFLA reported that the warrant gives police access to a wide range of content potentially found on the hard drive, and digital documents, notes, passwords, encryptions or data security devices which might keep them from accessing the contents.  

Laundrie and Petito set off on their dream road trip from New York on July 2

The white van, which belonged to Gabby, was tracked through a license plate reader at the Sumpter Boulevard exit of Interstate 75 towards North Port on September 1 at roughly 10.26am, the application reveals.

The warrant, issued by the office of the Sarasota County Clerk of the Circuit Court, was executed on September 16 – two days after Laundrie vanished from his parent’s home saying he was heading to the 25,000 acre Carlton Reserve, a swampy reserve infested with alligators. 

Laundrie and Petito are seen in a photo dated July 29. The pair met at high school on Long Island, New York, and begun dating several years ago

Petito and Laundrie in one of their photos from Instagram, to promote their blog about the trip

FBI agents stormed Laundrie’s family’s home on Monday and removed his parents from the house while declaring the area a crime scene moments after authorities called off a search of a nearby nature reserve, saying they have ‘exhausted all avenues.’

The FBI tweeted on Monday that it ‘is executing a court-authorized search warrant today at the Laundrie residence in North Port, FL relevant to the Gabrielle ‘Gabby’ Petito investigation.’

‘No further details can be provided since this is an active and ongoing investigation,’ the FBI added.

Steven Berolino, an attorney for the family, told ABC 7 that the family went looking for Laundrie on Wednesday. They found his Ford Mustang, which had a police note on it demanding that the vehicle be removed from the area.

The family initially left the car there so that Brian Laundrie could drive it back, but they returned on Thursday to retrieve it, according to Bertolino.

The next day, the family filed a missing persons report for him.

DailyMail.com was on the scene Monday as FBI agents led Chris and Roberta Laundrie, Brian Laundrie’s parents, out of the home and into a police van. They were allowed back into the residence about an hour later.   

FBI agents are seen searching the family home of Brian Laundrie on September 20

An FBI agent is pictured at the North Port home of Laundrie’s parents on September 20

On Monday, chilling 911 audio revealed how a caller in Utah reported a domestic abuse incident involving Petito and Laundrie. The caller claimed Laundrie was seen slapping her on August 12. 

In the audio, obtained by DailyMail.com, the male caller tells a Grant County sheriff that a ‘gentleman’ in a white van with a Florida license plate had slapped a girl in the vehicle before driving away. 

The man also mentions the incident had happened ‘by Moonflower’ – likely referring to the Moonflower Community Cooperative in Moab, where Laundrie and Petito stayed the night of August 11 and where they reportedly were seen having an explosive fight. 

‘I’m right in the corner of Main Street by Moonflower and we are driving and I’d like to report a domestic dispute. Florida with a white van – Florida license plate, white van,’ the man says before being interrupted by the officer, who asks him what he saw exactly. 

‘They just drove off. They’re going towards Main Street. They made a right onto Main Street from Moonflower. We drove by him, a gentleman was slapping the girl,’ the man continues. 

‘He was slapping her?’ the sheriff asks. 

‘Yes. And then we stopped. They ran down an up the sidewalk. He proceeded to hit her, hopped in the car and they drove off,’ the man says as the audio ends. 

Laundrie is seen with scratches on his face which he tells an officer were caused when Petito ‘was trying to get the keys from me’ and ‘hit me with her phone’

A tearful Petito is seen in the back of the police car in Utah, 13 days before she was last seen. Laundrie admits he ‘pushed her’ during the altercation and cops determine Petito was ‘the primary aggressor’ 

Shortly after the call, Petito and Laundrie were filmed in police bodycam footage when they were stopped by Moab Police. In the video, an emotional Petito with tears streaming down her face tells officers she ‘was trying to get him [Laundrie] to stop telling [her] to calm down’ and admitting the couple had ‘been fighting all morning.’

In the bodycam footage from Moab officers, Petito says she suffers from OCD and anxiety, with both her and Laundrie saying she was stressed because of the YouTube blog they were working on to document the doomed cross-country trip. 

Laundrie is seen with scratches on his face and arm which he tells an officer were caused when Petito ‘was trying to get the keys from me’ and ‘hit me with her phone’.

He later said she was angry with him because of his dirty feet. 

When an officer asks Petito if her boyfriend hit her, she replies ‘I guess’ and makes a grabbing motion on her chin. Laundrie admits he ‘pushed her’ during the altercation.  

The couple had been traveling around the country in their camper van since early July and were visiting Moab, Utah when they got into an altercation, an incident report reveals.  

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