Last July, 22-year-old Gabby Petito, along with her boyfriend set out with a truck, a tent and the objective of driving through the United States to see the most emblematic natural wonders of the country.
For the next two months, the blue-eyed adventurer walked barefoot around the chalk pyramids that dot Monument Rocks in Gove County, Kansas. She glided down the slopes of Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve on her plank of wood. In Utah’s Zion National Park, Petito posed with a broad smile in front of terra-cotta-colored cliffs and waded along the Virgin River as it snaked through the Strait.
In the opinion, Petito stayed in Utah for weeks, visiting national parks Mystic Hot Springs and Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands and Arches . She documented it all on her Instagram and YouTube accounts, right down to her last photo on August 25, in which Petito holds a small woven pumpkin in front of a mural of monarch butterflies in Ogden, Utah.
The caption that accompanied those photos on a background of butterflies – Happy Halloween – and some text messages in the following days were the last words that Petito’s parents read on their behalf. No one has reported communication from the 22-year-old since August 30.
Suffolk County Police in New York, which began investigating Petito’s disappearance late last week, said in a statement released Monday that the woman’s last known location was Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. . Her parents reported her missing on September 11, after a week went by without news of their daughter, according to police
Nichole Schmidt, Petito’s mother, told CBS New York that her daughter left the East Coast with her boyfriend for the road trip in early July. The mother and daughter were in close contact for most of the trip, Schmidt said, until her last FaceTime call in late August.
“At least three times a week, we used FaceTime, we called each other, we texted each other frequently,” Schmidt told CBS New York . “She kept me up to date on this whole trip.”
When Petito first stopped responding to her mother’s messages, her parents assumed she lost her phone coverage while camping in a remote location in some national park. They began to worry only after a week of silence, Schmidt said.
“I think she is in danger because she is not in contact with us ,” Schmidt told the television channel. “She could be alone somewhere, she could be stranded somewhere in the desert. And she needs help ”.
Petito’s parents said their daughter had been living in Florida with her boyfriend for the past two years, but did not offer further details about the man or the relationship. Her boyfriend had also been documenting the trip on her Instagram account until August 13.
Police said Monday that officers had located the white 2012 Ford Transit truck that Petito and her boyfriend drove across the country during the trip.
CBS New York reported that Petito’s boyfriend returned to Florida and referred the station’s questions to his attorney. The Washington Post does not publish the man’s name because she has not been charged with any crime. At the moment, she did not respond to a request for comment early Tuesday morning.
In a YouTube video uploaded on August 19, the couple were driving from place to place in the van. They smiled at the camera, shared kisses, and did cartwheels on the beach. Petito offered her companion bites of food from her fork. They held hands on a swing and played air hockey in a game room in Santa Monica, California. She screams and then laughs when the rain fell on the walls of her tent one day. Her boyfriend did yoga outside the store. They both laughed at a bowl of chocolate granola that had melted in the July heat while they were camping in Utah.
“I love the truck,” Petito said to the camera as she lounged inside the tent with her boyfriend. The road trip was due to end next month in Portland, Oregon, according to Petito’s parents.
In an emotional plea for help finding her daughter, Petito’s father urged her to contact them if she could. Nichole Schmidt wiped a tear from her face and addressed her daughter: “We miss you.“
Additionally, police said they have had a few questions about Gabrielle’s Instagram page being taken down and said they are looking into that.